WWWTP? – Garnier Fructis Shampoo Edition

March 14th, 2013

Sometime last year, my girlfriend DVR’d a copy of this commercial for Garnier Fructis shampoo because she saw it had chemistry in it and because she is awesome:


If you pause the video at 0:13, you will notice quite a few chemical atrocities:


Basically, nothing is right. Note the surfeit of Texas carbons. I also love the asymmetry of their elemental fluorine, though maybe those things labeled “F” are atoms of fruit? And what is up with that ideal gas law? You’d think they’d be able to get a structure for biotin in there, considering how big they wrote the word on the chalkboard. Argh…

Anyway, great catch by the ol’ g/f…whom I am now happy and proud to call my fiancée.

15 Responses to “WWWTP? – Garnier Fructis Shampoo Edition”

  1. David Eisenberg Says:

    Marriage is a wonderful thing that interfers mightily with academic research – thank God!
    I just hope it won’t interfere with your blogging.

  2. See Arr Oh Says:

    Congratulations on the engagement!

    As someone who’s *cough* used the product in question *cough* I’m a bit appalled that it slid by their science staff. Perhaps a letter is in order…

  3. Chemjobber Says:

    Congratulations, Paul.

  4. Skrith Says:

    The asymmetrical Fluorine atom caught my eye first than Texas carbons (I believe one gets used to it on commercials).

    Now that you pointed out they may be “fruit atoms”, I remembered that “horse molecule” thing..


  5. Lila Says:

    Congratulations, Paul! Great news.

  6. John Spevacek Says:


    The asymmetric fluorine is most likely a very heavy isotope (not the large nucleus – maybe even the rare 31F!) and probably even packed with an extra couple of electrons (filling the 2p orbital won’t increase the size much, but going to the 3s would). We are all about to watch the birth of a neon atom.

    More seriously, much like no body is complaining about the asymmetry of the water molecules which could well be just a result of the viewing angle, the same could be true for the fluorine. One atom is simply close to us and the other is further back. (Can’t believe I’m defending this ad.)

  7. pcelsus Says:

    This one is another example I saw some time ago. https://twitter.com/chemraven/status/271082955332530176

  8. Lilia Says:

    Congratulations on your engagement!

  9. Glen Says:


  10. Stephen Bahl Says:

    What’s the atomic number of fruit? And I’m not surprised at some of those carbons being hypervalent, since they so readily form 120-degree bond angles despite being allenic carbons. Clearly they’re special.

  11. Paul Says:

    Thanks for the good wishes!

  12. qvxb Says:

    The water molecules are shown in their asymmetric vibrational stretching mode. Note the ideal gas law in the lower right corner. For extra credit, the instructor will give the class (who have amazingly strong hair) the volume of a flask containing 10 g water vapor at 200 °C and ask them to calculate the pressure.

  13. Hap Says:

    1) Congratulations.

    2) I guess I’m not certain what kind of shampoo is compatible with fluorine. What bottles do they use? I figured nickel would be sort of pricey.

    3) I’m thinking the spironaphthalene thing with the internal allenic carbon is probably an intercalator. Not really helpful for hair.

    4) What is the asymmetric triatomic molecule with green atoms? Do they have an X-ray structure?

    Why do the people who draw these ads think that “looks cool” requires “nonsensical/impossible chemistry”? Chemistry isn’t the ad people’s field, but Fructis probably has some chemists who could probably give them useful structures to draw in the ad. Would those not be visibly engaging?

  14. The Iron Chemist Says:

    Man, I’d sure hate to wash my hair with F2. In their defense, they did draw some nice looking hexagons.

  15. Curious Wavefunction Says:

    Congrats again Paul. You need to add more of the folks commenting here on your FB list!

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