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the 10 most nsfw banned perfume ads

We round up the steamiest scent campaigns not fit for print.

Courtney Iseman

What is it about a fragrance ad that makes brands feel they have to go over the top? Perfume commercials and print campaigns are always brimming with drama and often toe the line of perceived decency. And sometimes, the Advertising Standards Authority has decided, these brands just go too far. From downright porn-y shots to models that look just a bit too come-hither, scent industry ads have a history of getting pulled from the public's view.

Tom Ford for Men, 2007
At Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and his eponymous line, Tom Ford has set a new standard for provocative advertising - many of his ads border on pornographic and almost all involve nudity. But when he let Terry Richardson shoot the 2007 campaign for his men's fragrance, things really reached porno heights. The bottle of cologne sits between the model's breast in one shot and between her thighs in another, and everything is very...oily. The crazy part? This ad was banned in Italy but not in the typically strict UK, which is known to ban even only-kind-of-nude campaigns.

Calvin Klein Obsession, 2008
Eva Mendes has a reputation for being totally comfortable with nudity in her films and photo shoots, but the public apparently wasn't too comfortable with her 2008 ad for Obsession. Calvin Klein is one of the brands most quickly associated with provocative, forbidden campaigns, and it stuck to its undressed guns by featuring Mendes sans a stitch of clothing in bed. It might have been a bit much for primetime TV, but compared to other CK ads (one was accused of portraying gang rape), this one seemed on the tasteful side.

Beyoncé Heat, 2010
The only nudity in Beyoncé's ad for her fragrance, Heat, is alluded to without being fully shown, and the singer spends the rest of the commercial slinking around a house in a dress always in danger of falling off. We don't see anything we shouldn't see, and Bey remains solo as she croons the song "Fever." But the ASA still thought the commercial was too suggestive to be shown during daytime hours, fearing children would be forever scarred by the sight of overly oiled cleavage.

Yves Saint Laurent Belle d'Opium, 2011
You could blink and miss the offending gesture that got YSL's Belle d'Opium ad banned, but the Advertising Standards Authority perceived actress Melanie Thierry pointing to her arm in the middle of a fevered dance and ending her routine in seizing motions on the floor as simulated heroin use. This was just one of the more recent and prominent scandals in Opium's long history of controversy: the perfume was banned in Australia and the Middle East upon its 1977 launch and Chinese Americans demanded an apology for its offensive name. It went on to be advertised with banned campaigns like Meisel's nude shot of Sophie Dahl in 2012.

Marc Jacobs Oh, Lola!, 2011
Marc Jacobs's description of his Oh, Lola! scent as sensual and "more of a Lolita than a Lola" probably didn't help the ASA's belief that the perfume's ad was sexualizing a child. Dakota Fanning, 17 at the time, is dressed in a short lace dress and holds a giant Oh, Lola! bottle between her legs - the ASA claimed that Fanning was dressed to appear even younger, making her positioning with the bottle all the seedier. Fanning herself has laughed the whole incident off.

Madonna Truth or Dare, 2012
It's kind of a wonder that ABC banned Madonna's Truth or Dare commercial for being too racy. We're all too used to the megastar's risque antics, and compared to her videos, photo shoots and performances of earlier decades, this ad, which features her dancing around in a corset, seems pretty tame. If anything, it only rubs in our faces what Madonna's body unfairly looked like at the age of 53. But the ad was only allowed to air again when her lingerie was digitally enhanced to cover more flesh.

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, 2013
Advertising watchdogs were again in a tizzy over the effect that Keira Knightley's Coco Mademoiselle ad could have on children. Knightley is never fully nude in the commercial, and while plenty of shots allude tastefully to sex, nothing really seems too out of the ordinary for a luxury perfume campaign. Complaints were received, though, when the ad ran during daytime children's programming, giving little eyes a peek at Knightley seemingly undressed in bed. The spot was subsequently stricken from the daytime TV lineup.

Rihanna Rogue, 2014
Like Madonna, Eva and Beyoncé, Rihanna is certainly no stranger to nudity and provocative body language, and we're not strangers to how she looks engaging in such behavior. The ASA didn't totally shut down her ad for her Rogue fragrance; they just forbid it from being displayed anywhere children could see it, deeming the singer's nude-except-for-heels look too suggestive. The organization did throw her some props, however, for the ad not being demeaning (and perhaps even empowering) to women.

P. Diddy 3AM, 2015
Sean Combs couldn't have thought his ad for his 3AM fragrance would actually fly considering he and his IRL girlfriend, Cassie, spend the entire commercial having simulated rough sex. It's been banned on television and Diddy had to re-shoot the ad to make it meet the standards of Macy's (where the scent will be sold - porn and family department stores, who would have thought these two wouldn't go together?). Perhaps most disturbing is the blatant objectification of Cassie: on top of the violence, she's nude while he remains suited up.

Tom Ford Black Orchid, 2015It's appropriate we come full circle with Tom Ford in a round-up of envelope-pushing ads. Maybe the designer's penchant for naked campaigns comes from his own preferences: "I do everything completely naked," he's said. Whatever the case, as Fern Mallis has noted, Ford understands "more than anyone else that sex sells." His latest perfume ad featured Cara Delevingne bathing nude, and perhaps the ASA was making up for not banning that Richardson campaign when it decreed the shot couldn't be displayed anywhere near a school. Other than that, it got the green light, with the organization acknowledging its artful nature.

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Text Courtney Iseman