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Spears' 'Perfume' Fails To Leave Lingering Impressions

Music Video Of The Week

Assoc. Arts & Review Editor

Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013

Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2013 02:12

Over the course of her career, Britney Spears has been a corner in several complicated love triangles—with Justin Timberlake, Wade Robson, and Kevin Federline, among others. So in her latest music video for “Perfume,” the pop star addresses this very issue, claiming that when it comes to romantic relationships, three’s a crowd, and that’s it.

The mid-tempo ballad is the second single off her latest album, Britney Jean, and like the lyrics of the track, the scenes in the video address what it’s like for Spears to be caught up in a complex affair with someone, to be the victim of a womanizer, and to lack the strength to do anything about it but hope the lingering smell of her perfume will break the other two up.

Directed by Joseph Kahn (“Toxic”), the “Perfume” music video highlights Spears’ vulnerability, depicting both happy flashbacks of Spears with her love interest as well as present shots of her struggling with jealousy, as she watches him with his new brunette girlfriend.

While most of the scenes in the four and half minute video are personal, poignant, and emotional enough, there are some that seem to come off as a contrived marketing technique. The times when Spears is filmed spritzing herself with a round pink bottle of perfume are particularly jarring. It makes sense that Spears would use her own Fantasy fragrance in the video, but that doesn’t mean that such prominent product placement is an effective decision to make for art’s sake.

Kahn’s video may not leave much of a lasting impression and its impact may diffuse in the atmosphere of Spears’ older music video hits—but “Perfume” is still a commendable effort on her part to be open, honest, and relatable on camera.

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