Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ruth Miller, Sweet-Smelling Scheherazade

I'll have more to say about Scheherazade in a day or two -- once I've finished "Tidewater Tales" -- but for now here's a modern-day, totally sniffable incarnation: Ruth Miller, writing a nested frame-tale for Odorono Deodorant in the May 12, 1928 New Yorker:
Women constantly ask me how they can be free from the danger of underarm odor and ruinous stains on dresses.

I can answer no better than by telling what women who use Odorono regularly tell me.

"My doctor told me about Odorono first years ago; it's marvelous, I use it all the time."

Another, "One day my dress shield slipped and I ruined a new dress. A friend told me about Odorono and now I don't bother with anything else. I use it often enough to keep the underarm dry all the time."

A business woman says, "Perspiration odor turns men in an office against a woman quicker than anything else and Odorono is the only way I know to keep dainty through the strain of a long busy office day!"

"It makes me feel so much more exquisite, and self-confident," says one woman. "I use Odorono twice a week and never have a particle of moisture under the arm."
Four better tales have never been told! I bet Ruth Miller kept her husband awake every night, telling him stories about smelly women in office buildings, always breaking off at dawn before he got a good whiff of her armpits. Notice that there are THREE levels of story here: Ruth Miller says that a lady told her that her friend/doctor told her... She finishes by saying that "women of breeding" use over four million bottles of Odorono.

Before you ask who Ruth Miller was, I have no idea. I guess shilling for a deodorant company didn't bring lasting fame.

No comments: