What's the big stink?
Would you douse your newborn in designer 'baby perfume'? Photo: iStock
''Horrendous'' is how Fairfax Media's baby care expert describes it. "No big deal,'' is my response. The launch of perfumes for babies is causing a stink among parents and early childhood specialists. But, while I'm a former, I can't summon the rage. Fragrance for babies - haven't we been using it for years?
Johnson&Johnson's No More Tears shampoo has a lingering scent that has defined generations of Australian children. Heavenly lavender body wash, ''baby scent'' massage oils in adorable brown bottles with cherubic illustrations, milky-mild soap - artificially perfumed to be milky-mild, naturally - have been routinely used by new mothers for the past 15 years at least.
'What's wrong with baby smell anyway?
What's new is the luxury fashion houses have caught on and caught up. They've recognised there's a lucrative demographic of product-loving, brand-conscious women enveloped in a heady love for their little ones.
What could be more divine and more beautifully packaged than baby products? What could make a better gift?
Hello Bulgari Petits et Mamans, Burberry's Baby Touch and, soon, Dolce and Gabbana's baby perfume. Pure essence of tot for $100 a pop.
''It's horrendous. I don't approve,'' says Pinky McKay, author and Essential Baby blogger. ''What's wrong with baby smell anyway?
''There's nothing more divine than the smell of a newborn baby. If they could bottle that then they'd be on to something.''
I love Mustela Bebe skincare products - a French brand for babies carried in some Australian pharmacies. The bubble bath, the gentle cleanser and washes all have a distinctive fragrance. If there isn't a perfume among the 60-year-old range there might as well be.
You might not buy it, but would you use a luxury baby fragrance on your child if you were given it?
Our little ones have been perfumed for years. Why the big stink if some clever fashion houses want to make the most of it?
What makes a beautifully composed, alcohol-free eau de toilette any more evil than some cheaply and overtly fragranced and formulated budget shampoo? Which is more likely to bring tears to the eyes?