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Britney Spears, ‘Perfume’ – Song Meaning

Britney Spears
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Britney Spears can, like, never be accused of making music you can’t or don’t want to dance to. That’s her specialty, her stock-in-trade. But most of her songs have the emotional depth of a rain puddle, since they are meant to stimulate the body before the mind. That is, until she delivered ‘Perfume,’ a heartfelt ballad where the narrator’s insecurities get the best of her. We’re breaking down the meaning of ‘Perfume’ and its lyrics.

“Current girlfriend, ex-girlfriend / I’m trying to be cool / Am I being paranoid, am I seeing things? / Am I just insecure? / I want to believe / It’s just you and me / Sometimes it feels like there’s three of us in here baby.”

She sets the stage, revealing that the ex is still in her BF’s life. Who knows why? Maybe they have a kid together? The narrator keeps that information to herself, but what she does reveal is that two’s company and three’s a crowd — and the presence of the ex-GF does not sit well with her, triggering her anxieties. While she may think that there are three people crowding the relationship, we think the third element is not the ex, but her insecurities mucking things up.

“I wanna fill the room, when she’s in it with you / Please don’t forget me / Do I imagine it, or catch these moments / I know you got history.”

Yep, Brit Brit (or her character) has some serious insecurities if she has to ask to be remembered. That adds up to zero in the confidence department.

“And while I wait I put on my perfume, yeah I want it all over you / I gotta mark my territory / I’ll never tell, tell on myself but I hope she smells my perfume / I’ll never tell, tell on myself but I hope she smells your perfume / I hide it well, hope you can’t tell but I hope she smells my perfume.”

It’s romantic survival of the fittest. Brit’s marking her territory with her perfume. She wants to leave her scent on her man so that her rival — be it real or perceived — steps off. It’s also clear that this a war she is fighting in her mind, one that weights heavily on her heart. It likely has no basis in reality.

PopCrushers, what do you think of our assessment of the ‘Perfume’ lyrics? Tell us in the comments below if you agree or if you hear a different story.

Listen to Britney Spears’ ‘Perfume’

Next: See More Song Meanings

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