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Topic: Breast Cancer Perfume

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: May 30, 2011 09:21PM

kira wrote:

This is a post from the blog of KAK, and I found it kind of shocking, it's not LE, but it's the whole pink, marketing thing again--there are links in the blog page:

http://accidentalamazon.com/blog/2011/05/26/ko-mart/

Ko-Mart.Org

"Support the Cure - Start Shopping"

So says the banner on a snazzy new website for "Promise Me" Perfume, the latest offspring of a corporate sponsorship between Susan G. Komen, the breast cancer fundraiser, and TPR Holdings LLC, a New York-based "operator in the consumer products industry[...investing in] scalable mass and prestige opportunities in health, beauty and wellness categories...and providing transition services for large consumer products companies including Shiseido Cosmetics and Procter & Gamble. TPR principals have founded and developed such international brands as ZIRH Men's Skincare, John Varvatos Fragrances and French Connection Beauty." And now, TPR has latched onto that most marketable of brands, breast cancer.

Sometimes, I swear, these posts practically write themselves. If there is actually anyone left on the planet, or at least in the United States, who is not aware that breast cancer is no longer merely a pernicious and incurable disease, but has in fact become a ubiquitous brand and a profitable marketing opportunity for manufacturers, then let me enlighten you.

From the TPR Holdings website:

NEW YORK, October 26, 2010: TPR Holdings, a consumer products manufacturing and distribution company led by its President and beauty industry veteran Brian Robinson, has joined forces with Susan G. Komen for the Cure® to launch a union of beauty and charity. Robinson, founder of Zirh Men's Skincare and the driving force behind fragrance mainstays John Varvatos and French Connection, along with his TPR Holdings team, presents the first ever fragrance developed for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organization. "Promise Me" is the first and only proprietary fragrance developed with Susan G. Komen for the Cure as a beautiful way to honor those who have been touched by breast cancer and encourage those who have not to support this vital cause. TPR Holdings will donate 13.5% of all Promise Me sales to the Susan G. Komen organization. TPR has made a commitment to guarantee a minimum donation of $1,000,000. The name of the fragrance was taken from the recent book Promise Me written by Susan Komen for the Cure founder and CEO Nancy Brinker.

"With fifteen years in the beauty industry, I wanted to lend my expertise to a profound cause," says Robinson. "We worked closely with top perfumers to infuse the essence of the Susan G. Komen message into a fragrance that really gives back and brings hope to those suffering from breast cancer."

Hmm. A tall order, to "infuse the essence of the Susan G. Komen message into a fragrance." In the first place, I'm not quite sure what the SGK message really is. According to Jean Claude Delville, the perfumer who developed the fragrance, "Promise Me is a sophisticated floriental fragrance that opens with a fresh burst of mandarin, bergamot and blood orange. Its feminine heart evokes softness and beauty with pink peony, wild orchid and rosewood. The scent lingers on white patchouli and musk for a warm, sensual finish." Okay, so it's sort of a fruit salad with a few flowers thrown in, perhaps served in a rosewood bowl. Delville further states that his intention was to "capture a long lasting emotion of positive energy, hope and love. I wanted to create something empowering and something that would speak to all women."

All right then. But I'm a little confused here. How is this supposed to bring "hope to those suffering from breast cancer?" I know that ever since I stopped using regular antiperspirant, which is a no-no when you're getting radiation, and started using a non-carcinogenic deodorant instead, I may not always smell as fresh as a daisy, so to speak. So, if I spritz on a little "Promise Me," will I smell better? I wonder if the ingredients are organic or non-carcinogenic. Doesn't say on the website. But, hey, I'm all for "something empowering." Wish I'd known years ago that I could just spray it on. Would have saved me a lot of hard work.

No fools, TPR. They don't just do business with anybody. You have to demonstrate your corporate worthiness first. Their Investment Criteria is described as follows:

Target Investments

Fragrance, Skin Care and Color Brands
Contract Manufacturers
Orphan Consumer Brands (Health, Beauty, Wellness)
Distressed Consumer Brands (Health, Beauty, Wellness)
Long Term Consumer Licenses

Investment Criteria

We only take majority interests
Revenues of at least $2.5MM
OK with weak balance sheets and operational losses
Proven Sell Through
We specialize in Unique Situations such as partner disputes, hostile creditors and pending litigation

Core Competencies

Public Relations
Packaging and Product Design
Financial Restructuring
International Distribution
Urgent Timelines

Well, it's nice to know TPR believes in "urgent timelines." I'd say trying to decrease the death rate for breast cancer qualifies as urgent. Of course, they don't actually mention that untidy item in the florid prose above. I suppose that wouldn't be sensual or feminine enough. But, not to worry. In the meantime, TPR gets to join the SGK Million Dollar Council Elite, that special group of corporate sponsors who have sold enough pink products to be able to contribute at least a million dollars in profits from the sales of those products to SGK. They'll get to rub elbows with such luminaries as Ford Motor Company, Bank of America, and Belk, a retailer of clothing and housewares, and makers of the pink-beribboned Belkie Bear. And no one can deny that there's a certain cachet in marketing a new product that belongs to the same club as the 2008 Ford Special Edition Warriors in Pink Mustang, a silver car with pink racing stripes and a nifty body ornament. And don't worry if you missed out on the special scarf designed for Ford by Lilly Pulitzer in 2003; you can still dress quite stylishly by shopping at the Ford Warriors In Pink online clothing store.

If you still haven't quite figured out precisely what constitutes "the essence of the Susan G. Komen message," never fear. If you purchase the "Promise Me" Eau de Parfum or Eau de Parfum Gift Set, you'll get a free copy of Nancy Brinker's book, Promise Me, in which she tells the story of how her sister Susan's death in 1980 from metastatic breast cancer prompted Brinker to spend the next thirty years turning her sister's disease into a brand.

Kudos to KomenWatch.org, for their recent post, The Scent of Exploitation.

Knowledge is the antidote to fear, Ralph Waldo Emerson Dx 5/10/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 30, 2011 09:46PM - edited Jun 1, 2011 11:59AM by Luan

No way, probably stinks of phthalates and co. Do u think maybe they could donate some of the proceeds for research on designing better equipment, i.e. mammogram machines. I think i would rather drown than having my poor breasts suffer the torture again in a few months time. I,m with u re anti-perspirant, maybe THAT,s what they should have come up with. :( Edited to add, very impressive post Kira

Don't knock at death's door. Ring the bell and run. He hates that. Dx 10/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 31, 2011 06:46AM Suzybelle wrote:

GAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!  Just when you think the buzzards and bonepickers can't sink any lower, they somehow manage to do just that.

I swear  I get so tired of the fluffy, pink b.s.  Thanks to canny marketing this, BC is now some big 'team' and we are all supposed to join, shout out positive crap and wag our pink pom poms around. 

No thanks.  I would love to tell them where they can put their "Promise Me" perfume.

Dx 1/27/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+
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May 31, 2011 09:25AM kane744 wrote:

 For once, I'm speechless!

Dx 9/26/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 5/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 6/26/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 8/1/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 31, 2011 12:19PM Suzybelle wrote:

I personally don't think we should let this go, JB, but I totally get what you're saying. And I'm probably wrong!!!  Laughing I am, alot of the time. 

And while I'm not going to march on the courthouse, or mouth off to people who don't ask, I'm not going to support this crap with my money and I'm going to tell people who ask why I think this crap is so bad for breast cancer, and for women in general. 

I fully support research for cures for breast cancer.  I don't support the big, pink machine.  Just my .02...but I will take your advice - I'm off to the store to buy brownie mix.  Tongue out

Dx 1/27/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+
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May 31, 2011 12:22PM NattyOnFrostyLake wrote:

Kira, Kira, Kira,

What a great find. I had no idea there was a http://komenwatch.org/

I wonder if Komen lost a lot of donations after they sued the small breast cancer charities for using the word, "cure."

Inflicting perfume on others is offensive anyway. If people want to put the disgusting chemicals on themselves, fine. But when I have to inhale the stink, it's just like being forced to inhale someone's second hand smoke. Typical of Komen to think of something so inane.

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May 31, 2011 12:36PM dlb823 wrote:

Does this strike anyone else as a totally off base and insensitive cancer awareness product when you remember how gagging and nauseating any perfume smell is when you're in chemo?   On that count alone -- plus the unhealthy chemicals Luan pointed out -- in terms of sensitivity to the bc community, it's right up there on the disappointment scale with their KFC "Buckets for the Cure" affiliation.   Deanna

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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May 31, 2011 12:59PM NattyOnFrostyLake wrote:

Deanna,

The insensitivity to the smell issue in cancer treatment makes you wonder if anybody at Komen has ever had cancer. Going in the direction of fragrance as Luann and you point out is going in the opposite direction of health. Perfume/cancer patients is an oxymoron.

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May 31, 2011 01:53PM - edited May 31, 2011 01:54PM by kira

What an excellent point--my parents belong to Kaiser Permanente, and all the Kaiser stationary reads :"For the comfort and safety of all patients and staff, please do not wear perfumes to any appointments." Or something like that.

Perfume=asthma for me, and radiation sure triggered asthma, so yet another reason this is so misguided.

An oxymoron sums it up.

I "met" KAK on these boards, and follow her blog, and I'm sure glad she has the energy and time to figure this stuff out.

Kira

Knowledge is the antidote to fear, Ralph Waldo Emerson Dx 5/10/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 31, 2011 02:09PM dlb823 wrote:

Not that Komen doesn't do some wonderful work... but if you want a really disappointing experience re. how out-of-touch they can be, try writing to express your disappointment with this perfume affiliation.  I did that for the KFC one, which I felt very strongly about. Not only did they write back, but they basically told me they were right and I was wrong.  It was a real eye-opener to me about what Komen values the most.    Deanna 

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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May 31, 2011 07:40PM Tina337 wrote:

They should call their perfume "Delude Me", "Lie to Me", "Pay Me", "Sue Me", or maybe even "Forgive Me". Gosh, I hate wasting energy on this, but Komen really bugs me.

"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 31, 2011 11:30PM elmcity69 wrote:

thanks, kira, for posting it. i actually read the article on facebook yesterday. one more reason to disdain Komen and their pinkwashing bullshit.

tina: hilarious post.. let's have a Komen perfume naming contest! mine would be: Pink Ribbon Mafia (once in,you're never really out - but at least you can smell good)

Dx 9/24/2009, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 15/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 1, 2011 11:48AM - edited Jun 1, 2011 12:06PM by Luan

"Sue Prom helped organize the "Mush for a Cure" sled-dog race to raise money to fight breast cancer five years ago, a fundraiser that was humming along nicely until it received a letter from an attorney for the organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure". 

"Emelin Evans, 92, a 65-year survivor of breast cancer, during the survivor celebration ceremony in the Mall of America as part of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure events on May 8."

What a shame, I'm pretty sure this poor little old lady did not have investment of her hard earned dollars into stinky perfume on her mind when she ran   !!!!!!

http://www.startribune.com/local/122911838.html

Don't knock at death's door. Ring the bell and run. He hates that. Dx 10/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 1, 2011 01:38PM kane744 wrote:

AND perfume attracts mosquitos!!!

Dx 9/26/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 5/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 6/26/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 8/1/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 1, 2011 01:57PM Luan wrote:

Don't knock at death's door. Ring the bell and run. He hates that. Dx 10/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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