Victoria spices up brand Beckham

By JANE GORDON - More by this author Last updated at 00:22am on 9th September 2007

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David may be sidelined by injury at the moment, but that doesn't stop the Beckham marketing bandwagon rolling on – this time for new his 'n' hers perfumes which, they claim, reveal their previously hidden 'dark side'

David and Victoria Beckham are sitting side by side on matching Louis Quatorze-style chairs in a sumptuous suite in the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.

Their choice of seating, while far more discreet than that on which they perched at their lavish wedding some eight years ago, nonetheless hints of thrones.

Indeed, being ushered into the room by teams of anxious flunkies is rather like encountering royalty.

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The Beckhams

Sensual: David and Victoria in a strikingly raunchy pose

Even the body language of the Beckhams, as they rise to offer a formal greeting, is so regal that when Victoria extends a long, elegant arm in my direction I am momentarily tempted to drop her a curtsy.

"Thank you so much for coming all this way to see us," she says in gracious tones that are, seconds later, echoed by her husband.

David, 32, and Victoria, 33, are here to launch their new his and hers fragrances, Intimately Beckham Night (the logo of which, an embossed dVb, has a marked resemblance to a royal warrant), and the event will include, later this evening, a cocktail party and a dinner "in the presence" of the couple.

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The Beckhams

Smitten: The Beckhams show off a new intimacy

Those of us honoured enough to be invited have been carefully vetted, and the questions I can ask the couple are limited (chiefly to the perfume itself).

There are, of course, a thousand things I would like to ask the Beckhams (other than "What inspired you to create your fragrance?"), but Victoria's answer to the question "Has Coty [the company behind the scent] found a way to bottle your pout and his smile" gives a clear indication of how the couple view "brand Beckham".

"I think this perfume is very much “us”," she replies.

"If you look at the packaging you can see it's stylish, it's timeless, it's quality and it's fashion.

"I think it's all of that mixed into two – which is us."

Victoria is packaged today in a Herve Leger vintage 1980s dress that pushes her prominent chest out further and acts as a corset-like clamp on the rest of her body.

Her consort, seated beside her and treated throughout our interview to long, loving looks and the occasional touchy-feely embrace, is wearing a more traditional ensemble of maroon V-necked cashmere jumper over a black shirt and tie and casual slacks (he looks a little like a young Bing Crosby who has wandered off the golf links).

Perhaps it has something to do with the ridiculous height of Victoria's heels, but, viewed in captivity in Beverly Hills, the British sporting hero – who has a five-year contract with LA soccer team Galaxy rumoured to be worth around $250 million – is just a little smaller than life.

His wife, who, as an about-to-be-reunited Spice Girl, is by far the more famous of the duo in America, seems to be very much in charge – at least of their dual aromas.

"We created them when we were living in Spain.

"I would go to the factory in Barcelona and work with the perfumiers, and I would draw bottle and packaging ideas to show David.

"And he loved it because he got all these little sample bottles," she says, glancing lovingly at her husband.

"I did," he replies. (He is, it would seem, a man of few words.)

In an attempt to draw them both into the conversation (Victoria has talked about how very "British" they are and how her grandmother inspired the white flower "base" of her perfume), I make the mistake of extending one of my prearranged questions – "Did you agree on the creation of the perfume?" – to something like 'Do you ever disagree on anything?'

I am given a sharp look and a stern rebuke from Mrs Beckham for asking – in a way that the American press never would – about "disagreements" between her and her husband.

She then explains that she was "kind of half-joking", although – rather like the "humour" in her recent television special, Victoria Beckham: Coming to America (described by the New York Post as "an orgy of self-indulgence") – her remark didn't exactly prompt laughter.

"We don't disagree. We are a good duo," she continues. "That's why we got married," David pipes up with a little giggle.

David and Victoria are not only determined to infiltrate the higher reaches of Hollywood society, it appears that they're also hellbent on positioning themselves as the sexiest married couple on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Victoria and David Beckham have launched their new perfume dVb which is meant to show their 'darker side'

The advertising campaign that accompanies Intimately Beckham Night was shot by notoriously saucy snapper Terry Richardson, and the pictures – which include daring snatched shots of the couple in a passionate embrace in the bathroom as well as in bed – are even more raunchy than those that featured recently in American glossy W (soft-porn-style snaps featuring them embracing in various states of undress).

So what's behind this new, sexier image?

David explains: "Obviously not many people see this side of us and I think that's what's great about having a fragrance like this.

"That box, the bottles – it's a way of us showing our dark side," he says with one of those sweet smiles that makes him seem about as dark as Victoria's hair (a livid blond today).

Even with a couple of weeks' stubble (he says that since his contract with Gillette ended he relishes not having to shave every day), David remains the epitome of "clean-cut" and it's difficult to picture the "dark side" he and his wife talk about continually.

One journalist, from a high-profile American publication, is so struck by the way in which the erotic tension between the couple is being orchestrated that he wonders where it will end, pointing out that if they want to remain headline news in the US they will have to compete with the likes of Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie et al, whose antics (drink, drugs, porn and prison) make Brand Beckham look somewhat tame.

Certainly the insights they offer me – he loves buying her clothes, she always asks, "David, do I look good in this?"; she looks "great without make-up", he "likes the rugged look" – are so mundane that you can see why they're keen to spice themselves up.

The need to be more outrageous might also explain why the couple touch, coo and exchange meaningful glances throughout our interview – presumably to demonstrate that their relationship is still so sexually charged that they cannot keep their hands off one another. "David and me, we are very intimate," Victoria says at one point, in explanation of the name of their fragrance.

In a bid to get them to reveal something about their family life (they have not mentioned their children, and it is their role as parents – to Brooklyn, eight, Romeo, five, and Cruz, two-and-a-half – that interests me most), I slightly adapt another of my prearranged questions: "What is the most evocative smell for you?" adding that I've always thought there's nothing more evocative than the smell of a freshly bathed toddler.

"Well," says Victoria, casting a worried look from her PR to me and back again, "I wouldn't say that the smell of children is provocative…"

When I gently remind her that the word I had used was "evocative", she looks momentarily nonplussed and then regains her composure.

"I love the smell of kids. When our kids wake up in the morning – you know, the smell of a baby first thing in the morning is priceless.

"I mean everything we do revolves around our family so we love that smell.

"And I love the smell of David when he first wakes up," she says reaching across to touch him. "I love the smell of you, too," he echoes.

Dragging them away from each other and back to their family is a difficult task, but they do reveal that a perfect day in their new-found home of Los Angeles would be spent with their children.

"We'd get up and have breakfast together and then maybe drive down to Malibu.

"It would be good to spend time together on the beach," says Victoria.

"Whenever we get the chance to spend some time with the kids, that's our ideal day.

"Then we come back, put the boys to bed and have a romantic dinner," says David, looking across at his wife.

One of the best things about their new life in America, Victoria insists, is the fact that she and David can spend more time together.

Does she worry about their being apart in the future? (He will be travelling with Galaxy and she will be on tour in December and January with the Spice Girls.)

"You know, we speak on the phone so much. When David is away he spends a long time on the phone to the kids.

"I think it is about quality time. We spend so much quality time together; we are very, very fortunate," she says, signalling with a look at her PR that my own quality time with them is over.

Later, on the hotel lawn, the couple mingle with their guests (mostly American beauty press), pose for photographs and sit down to eat at the top table (Victoria's mother and father are also present) in a manner that is altogether more informal and endearing.

Towards the end of the dinner (Victoria did eat the meal, although the photographers who had been taking snaps of the guests were ordered to turn their cameras off when she raised her knife and fork) the couple prepare to leave.

"Please excuse us, but we have to get home for the kids," Victoria says with a huge smile that lifts her face and makes her seem less manufactured, much prettier and more appealing.

If Mrs Beckham would stop trying so hard, relax a little and reveal more of her natural charm, she and her delightful husband might well win the approval and affection of the American public and become the rightful king and queen of La-la land.

The Intimately Beckham Night range, from 19.50 for a 30ml eau de toilette, is available nationwide

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Yet another cringeworthy money making, publicity seeking, attempt from the self absorbed Beckhams!

- Jamsey, Wales

Well Michele, we kinda dont want them back either so you're quite welcome to them!

- Lisa, Preston

No, no! We don't want them back. You can have them. Honest. We don't mind at all!

- Anne, Fleet, UK

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