The Truth About The Controversial "Perfume" Video Britney Spears’ Team Doesn’t Want You To See

She’s bruised and bloody in a leaked screenshot.

Back in December, Britney Spears released a crushingly boring video for her underrated other-woman anthem “Perfume.”

BritneySpearsVEVO / Via

In it she wonders aimlessly around a motel with her unfaithful lover.

BritneySpearsVEVO / Via

And then spends some time spraying perfume alone in the bathroom.

BritneySpearsVEVO / Via

That’s it, that’s the whole video.

BritneySpearsVEVO / Via

Which fans found strange because paparazzi photos from the video shoot show Britney wielding a gun and generally acting like a badass.


Needless to say fans were disappointed by the incredibly tame final cut.

BritneySpearsVEVO / Via

Fans were even more distraught when director Joseph Kahn revealed in an interview with VideoStatic that the final video was essentially culled together from scrap footage.

It sucks, especially since my director’s cut is an entirely different video. The released edit is missing half of the story and all of the editorial structure. It took a lot of serious salvaging of footage to get it to an acceptable place after the concept was gutted… But it’s such a faint reflection of the real narrative with broken execution and far less ambition. If they liked the weak version, I’d bet they’d love the strong one. No one knows what they’re missing, and they’re missing a lot.

BritneySpearsVEVO / Via

While he didn’t share any plot details at the time, he did go on to say the video was going to explore the same themes as the videos he directed for “Toxic” and “Womanizer.”

Our previous three videos have been about empowerment and Perfume was going to be an evolution of that, but this time instead of revenge it was exploring sacrifice. Everyone understands revenge. Sacrifice is a much more mature concept of empowerment but that obviously got thrown out. It’s a shame – it was a deeper maturation of the Britney “character” in these videos.

After months of silence, fans were beginning to worry that they’d never know the truth about the lost “Perfume” video but then this unreleased screenshot showed up on today.


After months of silence, fans were beginning to worry that they’d never know the truth about the lost “Perfume” video but the original treatment leaked today and it’s very different from what was released.

Britney meets a guy with whom she falls instantly in love. It’s made clear to the audience that Britney is an assassin/hitman as we see her kill a group of people in a car (hence the gun pictures that were leaked to the media). She is given her next assignment who turns out to be the guy she fell in love with at the beginning of the video. The go to meet in their favorite spot, but Britney is not there. She is across the street with a rifle with her target set on him. She looks through the scope and sees her man holding a ring her made for her. She leaves and aborts the mission to kill him. She leaves town because she knows she is not safe around him. Doing this, she knows she will be killed for abandoning her mission to kill this guy. She hides out in a hotel and is taken by other assassins and beaten, tied to a chair, etc. She has sacrificed herself for this man. We see time pass as he dates a new girl, gets married, has a baby, etc. We see him looking out a window thinking about Britney, his true love that disappeared. Then, we see Britney on the floor of her hotel room, barely alive, as her body slowly turns to ash. The last shot of Britney is the hotel room is her smiling as their eyes seem to meet. Her body then disintegrates. The final shot of the video is Britney and her lover kissing in the sunset.

The director confirmed on Twitter that this is almost exactly what he shot.

Someone read the original treatment of PERFUME and then claimed to have seen the edit, which they obviously did not. Close though.

— Joseph Kahn (@JosephKahn)

@JosephKahn False with a smidgen of truth?

— Jamie Alderson (@JamieAlderson)

@JamieAlderson That's the basic concept of the video. I decided to kill the ash stuff before shooting and keep it more grounded at the end.

— Joseph Kahn (@JosephKahn)

He also wanted to be clear that it wasn’t his team that sprung a leak.

That image didn't come from us. We delivered all materials to label and wiped our drives.

— Joseph Kahn (@JosephKahn)

While he stands by his concept and the original video, he hopes a “rogue intern” doesn’t end up leaking his cut.

My fear is some rogue intern at the label will eventually leak Perfume but it will be an ungraded, unfinished rough cut.

— Joseph Kahn (@JosephKahn)

Unfortunately for him, Britney fans are resourceful. Odds are we’ll see the unreleased video soon.

Just ask Dave Meyers, the “unreleased” video for “Outrageous.” Via

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