The world’s stupidest products

Baby perfumes — just another in the long list of the "best ideas ever."

Carolyn Grant

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. That’s what the bard says and I’m not disputing it. And the single-most pleasing scent in all the world is that of a baby. You may dispute if you want, but any parent knows that smell — that unmistakable, soothing, wonderful scent of baby — is the best smell ever.

You know who agrees with me? Dolce and Gabbana, the Italian luxury industry fashion house. In fact, Dolce and Gabbana agree so whole-heartedly that they have just introduced a new scent to their line of perfumes — per I bambini, which translates to ‘for children’.

Yup, baby perfumes to make your baby smell better than a baby. More babyish, if you will.

The mind boggles. Can you imagine picking up your little bundle of joy, raising he or she to your face, nuzzling against that sweet skin and saying to yourself, ‘You know what this baby needs is some perfume’?

I just…. words fail me.

Add ‘per I bambini’ to the list of stupid products we don’t need.

But add it to the list or not, I am betting there are people out there who will think baby perfume is the best idea ever. You think not? Let’s take a short journey though stupid products no one should have made money on — but did.

Of course there’s the Pet Rock. Remember those? Who needs a rock in a box, that you can pretend is your pet? No one needs that, we all said. Tell that to inventor Gary Dahl who made millions on that little venture. Well, tell it to him if you can find him on that tropical island he is no doubt inhabiting.

And of course there’s the singing fish. How many homes did you walk into and your host insisted you listen to the bass sing ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’? You had one, don’t lie to me.

Then there’s Billy Bob Teeth. Yes, these are dentures that make you look like a hillbilly. This begs the eternal question — why? Why would you want to look like a hillbilly? But the inventor, a small town dentist, made millions of dollars. Check it out at I kid you not.

How about the Flowbee? You know, the little vacuum hair-cutting machine? You don’t have to sweep up the cut hair because the vacuum sucks it off your head, mid-cut? Yeah, that’s the one.

But the afore-mentioned products actually did make some people some money.

I’m still wondering how much money baby perfume will make the already wealthy Stefano Gabbana. Will it make him even richer? Or is baby perfume destined to join the list of products that should never have been invented?

I speak of products like Man Candles, with scents of ‘Riding Mower’ and ‘Two by Four’. Never heard of them? Shocking.

How about pickle-flavoured toothpaste or pizza-flavoured cookies? How about Paula Deen Butter-Flavoured Lip Balm? Wonder Sauna Hot Pants, anyone? Meatball-flavoured bubblegum? A non-stick frying pan with a denim jeans design. It exists, I swear. Also electric rubber duckies for your bath. Yes, electric. For the bath tub. I don’t see how anything could go wrong with that.

Someone also once invented banana bling. It’s like a jewel-crusted sleeve you put over your banana so it… looks sparkly, I guess.

There is also a chip made to look like the tip of a finger. You dip it and bite off your own finger.

One of my personal faves I found on the quest for stupid products was lunch meat with clown faces formed into the meat with other coloured lunch meat. Sort of like Mortadella, except with the extra creepy factor. Really, the only thing that could make it better was if it smelled more like a baby.

Carolyn Grant is editor of

the Kimberley Daily Bulletin