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Brutish Behavior
November 5, 2010 4:41 PM   Subscribe

The Old Spice Guy backlash has officially begun, sponsored by another brand of men's fragrance you'd never get caught dead using. You can slap that guy or you can slap a mime instead. Or vote for the next guy to get slapped, an overweight dude in a speedo or a familiar looking golfer. Meanwhile, Brut sets down some rules that seem a little too close to the rules for a Gentleman's Gentleman (as seen here). Yeah, it's Pepsi Shade-Of-Green-Not-Occurring-In-Nature.

I like the line "He has conviction, but is never convicted." Yep, the Brut Man always gets off.
posted by oneswellfoop (95 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Old Spice Ads = Fun. Simple. Charming.

Brut Slap Ads = Hostile. Mean. Uncomfortable Making.
posted by The Whelk at 4:48 PM on November 5, 2010 [27 favorites]


Their brand awareness is on the up. I now totally have the urge to never buy Brut. Which I guess goes to show that advertising really works, just not in the way that one might expect.

I'm on the Blue.
posted by djgh at 4:48 PM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Suddenly, men's product lines that were big when I was 8 are making an attempt to become hip and popular again.

Overall, I'd have to say... I really don't care.
posted by hippybear at 4:48 PM on November 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


A marketing gimmick != backlash.
posted by maudlin at 4:49 PM on November 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Brut must have gotten the agency that was behind the Droid ads.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:50 PM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I anoint myself with the finest oils and perfumes of the East.
posted by The Whelk at 4:50 PM on November 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


Our culture should not be one of advertising, or commentary on it.
posted by phrontist at 4:51 PM on November 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


I find it weird that they're lampooning the Old Spice guy, but replicating the self-consciously quirky style. It ends up looking more like a poor imitation of the Old Spice ads than an attack.
posted by roll truck roll at 4:53 PM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


It already is.
posted by !Jim at 4:54 PM on November 5, 2010


Brut lol,
posted by Sailormom at 4:55 PM on November 5, 2010


I'm missing the Hai Karate days.
posted by ovvl at 4:56 PM on November 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


By linking to it, you've rewarded the dickwads who made this, and they'll make more.
posted by crunchland at 4:57 PM on November 5, 2010


Our culture should not be one of advertising, or commentary on it.

But you just, I mean, I don't...what?
posted by Gator at 4:57 PM on November 5, 2010 [10 favorites]


But is he on a horse?
posted by sonika at 5:00 PM on November 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, when is Bay Rum going to get into the game?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:00 PM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like how they masculinely refer to their brand as having "blossomed" into a full product line since its inception. "Blossomed" is what they opted for, over synonyms like "grown" or "matured." So adorable.
posted by slumberfiend at 5:01 PM on November 5, 2010


I know it's terribly uncool to acknowledge that advertising has an effect on us, but I'll come out and say it: I use Old Spice, and at least some part of my decision to do so is due to the recent ad campaign. It's genuinely fun, more entertaining than a lot of non-advertising things I've seen lately, and since pretty much all deoderants work equally well, that's plenty reason to pick one over the other.

This... is not changing my mind.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:01 PM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Our culture should not be one of advertising, or commentary on it.

Yeah, but you can't make an FPP about the ads that don't exist in the culture you don't have.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:02 PM on November 5, 2010 [10 favorites]


My regular stuff has become unavailable, and not wanting to further deplete my too-expensive Gaultier Male, I've reduced myself to Aqua Velva Sport.

I sicken myself.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:04 PM on November 5, 2010


Broadway Joe endorsed Brut, and he wore pantyhose.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:07 PM on November 5, 2010


But is he on a horse?
I'm on a pig.
posted by juv3nal at 5:07 PM on November 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


Sociological Images has a post about how this campaign is policing masculinity.
posted by NoraReed at 5:08 PM on November 5, 2010


Was I the only one expecting the "another brand of men's fragrance you'd never get caught dead using" link to go to Axe?
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:09 PM on November 5, 2010 [26 favorites]


So, would the masculinity police be more masculine than the regular police? Cos, holy shit.
posted by everichon at 5:10 PM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yep, the Brut Man always gets off.

Rondo Hatton?
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:11 PM on November 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Isn't Brut for brutes? They're not really dispelling that with the angry "Some men need to be slapped!" bullshit. Why do they need to be slapped? Because they're having fun? Because you're doing some sort of humor throwback to the early '80s when mime-hating was au courant?
posted by klangklangston at 5:14 PM on November 5, 2010


I don't use cologne, I just daub on whatever dregs of Four Loko I happen to have. Waste not, and so forth.
posted by everichon at 5:14 PM on November 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


YouTube comment from Smart Dalek's video:

"Brut is for hard man, great water, I remember when my dad use them, and all real man us it!"
posted by griphus at 5:16 PM on November 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Here's a NYT article about "ghost" brands. It looks like a new-ish agency called Madison Avenue Consortium is behind this Brut campaign. I don't know if Wieden+Kennedy is looking over their shoulder just yet.

By the way, here's a fun list from that article of ghost brands:
Among the wraiths of the supermarket and drug store aisles, in addition to Pert Plus and Sure, are once-familiar household names like Aim, Aqua Velva, Armour, Barbasol, Biz, Breck, Brylcreem, Camay, Close-Up, Comet, Duncan Hines, Fab, Lava, Log Cabin, My-T-Fine, Oxydol, Parkay, Pepsodent, Prell, Schlitz, Spic and Span, Tab and Vitalis.
posted by mhum at 5:16 PM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am completely disinterested unless they bring back Hai Karate cologne.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:21 PM on November 5, 2010


Some of these brands don't seem like ghosts at all. Aim?
posted by josher71 at 5:25 PM on November 5, 2010


Was I the only one expecting the "another brand of men's fragrance you'd never get caught dead using" link to go to Axe?

I was.
This Axe billboard has been up for a few weeks in Toronto.
posted by chococat at 5:42 PM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was the stupidest thing I have ever seen in my life. Also, nowhere near as manly as the Old Spice Guy.

(My husband used Brut when we first got married. It took me years but I got him off it. Unfortunately he went to Aqua Velva-and even more unfortunately, it was an improvement. )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:01 PM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


All I know is that beautiful skin can be a breeze with Sea Breeze™.

So what if my eyes are burning so bad I can't open them? I had to use it to wash off the itchy mineral oil sheen of my Lectric Shave™ so my glasses would quit sliding off my face.

Fortunately, the eighties happened, so I whuffed up my super-serious mullet with L'Oreal Coloriffic™ fun color mousse, inadvertently dyed myself orange with QT™ (which doesn't fucking wash off until your skin sloughs off over time, BTW, leaving you a sad blotchy orange ruin of a man), and pretended to smoke Benson & Hedges Menthol Light 100s while wondering if my excess Drakkar Noir™ might accidentally catch on fire from the ashes that fall off while you're pretending to smoke cigarettes as you hover in a corner of the now-defunct Chesapeake House, hoping to look nonchalant and availably homosexual in white seersucker slacks, Hawaiian-print Vans, and asymmetrical velour muscle shirt with stylish grommets everywhere.

These days, it's practical sack cloth and ashes, peppered with dog hair and lint, and the only thing I smell like is an unreconstructed schlumpy middle-aged dude who uses unscented castile soap and makes his own laundry detergent. Sometimes, I go out for phở, and then my fingers smell like limes and heavenly basil.

Look down. Now look up.

No, never mind.
posted by sonascope at 6:01 PM on November 5, 2010 [13 favorites]


Because you're doing some sort of humor throwback to the early '80s when mime-hating was au courant?

Wait ... we stopped hating mimes? When did that happen?
posted by krinklyfig at 6:29 PM on November 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


I guess Brut, who has a fairly estimable brand in the ever amusing 'cheap drug store cologne' industry, is satisfied being low rent. An ignominious fate, to be sure. Because, this isn't something that sucks, this is something that sucks while defining the brand solely as not being that other brand. I mean, couldn't you have tried?

I think it would have been nice to live in a world where Old Spice and Brut and, hell, let's throw in Aqua Velva, would be one-upping each other in producing the most grandly and absurdly interesting and self-aware commercials. But noooo. If those Old Spice commercials are the Transformers then this bullshit is nothing but Go Bots. And really: hell with that.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:34 PM on November 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wait ... we stopped hating mimes? When did that happen?

I think the in fashion pointless hatred has moved over to the hipsters.
posted by josher71 at 6:37 PM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Among the wraiths of the supermarket and drug store aisles, in addition to Pert Plus and Sure, are once-familiar household names like [...] Schlitz

Schlitz was/is a very popular cheap beer, particularly when you're around college age at the local Walgreen's at 11pm, and you hold the pooled wad of wrinkled up one dollar bills and change of a dozen drunk people who all agree that quantity is better than quality. Also Schaeffer.

For a while there my generation made Schlitz very trendy and even pricey in certain places, which goes along with the faux-working class aesthetic that was popular when anyone with a pulse could get a credit card. Sorry about that - not my doing. When I drank I did consume mass quantities of it with my friends, but none of us thought we were ahead of the trend.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:50 PM on November 5, 2010


I think the in fashion pointless hatred has moved over to the hipsters.

Oh, right. Well, I got that covered in my previous post to the thread.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:51 PM on November 5, 2010


Every time I see someone going to mimes as a rich source of comedy, I automatically think this isn't going somewhere funny. It's just such a weird, played-out comic meme, like cracking wise about polacks, lady drivers, and mothers-in-law, and kind of bizarrely anachronistic. Where do you even see mimes anymore? Are they really dogging our heels in every public place? Hell, making fun of pince-nez glasses and the overstuffed characters who wear them would be stunningly au courant by comparison.

Sadly, I think it's pretty much just a fag joke in French drag, but maybe that's just me.
posted by sonascope at 6:51 PM on November 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Eep, never mind my reuse of "au courant"—I either subconsciously plagiarized that line or just had the parallel thought that it's super-cute in conjunction with mime defense.
posted by sonascope at 6:55 PM on November 5, 2010


Creepy and badly executed. Better execution would not help.

I must also agree that mime abuse is played out.
posted by KS at 7:13 PM on November 5, 2010


There's nothing wrong with mimes, who are just performance artists. It's just that people like myself who are introverted really do not find a lot of joy springing forth from our hearts when some stranger comes up and starts performing in our collective faces. My first reaction is to want to lash out at the intrusive stranger, who is in white face and grinning like an evil clown, seemingly enjoying this encounter way too much. It's a cliche, but there is truth to it, depending on your perspective.

I do sympathize with mimes and other street performers who have to take random abuse. Musicians who are busking don't tend to do this, although a persistent busker who is not all that good is kind of an intrusion in its own right, particularly if you're in a subway station.

So ... to make this relevant to the original post, I think it's funny that Old Spice is considered at the top of the coolness pile of mass market cologne. When I was a kid it was the quintessential old guy scent. I don't care much as I don't wear cologne, but it's fascinating that it's entirely due to marketing and very little to do with the actual product. When I was in high school the popular cologne was Polo, which IMO is gawd awful and smells like a pine tree car air freshener, the kind you hang from your rear view mirror. I never wore any cologne but a lot of over-hormonal guys at school did. Looking back it's clear that the popularity had everything to do with how it was marketed at the time- it worked.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:17 PM on November 5, 2010


Castile soap is the best thing that ever happened to my skin and scalp.
posted by blucevalo at 7:20 PM on November 5, 2010


Old Spice, Brut, Aqua Velva, even 'Lectric Shave. Is there no love for Hai Karate here?
posted by TedW at 7:34 PM on November 5, 2010


krinklyfig is right. Old Spice was once Old Man Cologne. I still think of it that way, despite the clever, well-produced marketing and all the body wash crap. I won't buy the Old Spice body wash, because I think it must be a body wash mixed with cologne for senior citizens, and that can't be good.
posted by raysmj at 7:38 PM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hmmm ... You suppose someday many years from now Axe will be considered the old guy brand? If so it will be the dirty old skeevy dude scent of choice. Somehow I can't picture retirees using body spray, but at one point Brylcreem was way hip. What happens when retro is cool when you're young, like Mad Men, where it influences the fashion? Some people find a fashion they like when they're young and stick to it until they die. So, are we going to see golf courses 50 years from now full of old people wearing clothing from their parents' generation sense of fashion, mixed in with people stuck in the '80s and '90s? That will certainly be surreal.

The sci-fi movies promised us the future sense of fashion would be nearly universal in style, with jumpsuits with slight variations being the most popular form. Maybe the people scooting around on Segways will start wearing jumpsuits. Makes sense, right? I would welcome such a fashion movement and at the same time would be somewhat intimidated by the futuristic scooter people. It would make someone wonder if they weren't messing around in secret underground laboratories, that is when they weren't scooting around casually, pretending like they had no intention of trying to take over the world. Anyway, as far as popular styles go, clearly the jumpsuit thing isn't likely to be popular in the future. I think it's going to look a lot more like A Clockwork Orange. Kinda like today.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:50 PM on November 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't care about Brut and Old Spice, but I do want to give a shout-out to Gent's Gent, which is quite funny. And now I'm off to read about ghost brands and policing masculinity.
posted by immlass at 7:51 PM on November 5, 2010


I have friends. I have many friends. I have some friends who are lesbians. And they're diverse, of course, as humans are wantonly likely to be. Yet despite their differences in age, race, height, profession, sympathies or education, they all recall some tremendously exciting time in their youth when they where ravished by a boyish slip of a girl who always reeked of Old Spice.
posted by The Whelk at 7:51 PM on November 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Which is a way of saying Old Spice is def popular among a certain set of lesbians.
posted by The Whelk at 7:52 PM on November 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


In my limited experience.


I'll go now.
posted by The Whelk at 7:53 PM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, Old Spice definitely reeks.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:57 PM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


The lesbians of my experience tended to smell rather of Speed Stick, which still reminds me of a certain curly-haired lady in my past. Do actual men even use that?
posted by sonika at 7:58 PM on November 5, 2010


It's just that people like myself who are introverted really do not find a lot of joy springing forth from our hearts when some stranger comes up and starts performing in our collective faces. My first reaction is to want to lash out at the intrusive stranger, who is in white face and grinning like an evil clown, seemingly enjoying this encounter way too much

I understand. But, raise your hands Mefite's the last time this happened in the past ten years.
posted by josher71 at 7:59 PM on November 5, 2010


I'm in the curious position of hardly ever being able to find my cheap drug store aftershave of choice, English Leather. It's not fancy, but it's not all that common anymore either. I haven't seen the new Brut ads... Now that I think about it I don't think I've seen a Brut advertisement since Kelly LeBroch told us how it was "The Essence of Man."
posted by usonian at 8:01 PM on November 5, 2010


That was impossibly stupid.
posted by reductiondesign at 8:03 PM on November 5, 2010


Do actual men even use that?

I think I smell like candy and whiskey but I can't be sure.
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 PM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I still have a bottle of Pinaud's that my dad must have gotten from a barbershop over 20 years ago.

But if I have to put on stinkwater it's Clubman!
posted by Max Power at 8:39 PM on November 5, 2010


My dad and my brother both wear old spice.

So, of course, my husband is forbidden to.
posted by jb at 9:00 PM on November 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is just abdominable.
posted by not_on_display at 9:01 PM on November 5, 2010


You suppose someday many years from now Axe will be considered the old guy brand?

No. Axe/Lynx occupies a market sector -- the teenage boy who has no concept of "too much body spray" -- that is perpetually replenishing itself.

As I've mentioned here before, the Basenotes crowd tends to like Old Spice, and not just out of a PBR-ish inverted snobbery. Same with Brut: it was and is an affordable fougère, in the way that OS was and is a mass-market oriental. Shitty campaign, though.
posted by holgate at 9:02 PM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


...nothing but Go Bots.

Hey man, fuck you.

They were more affordable than Transformers. And they shot lasers from their hands! Except for that one guy.
posted by Evilspork at 10:39 PM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Which I guess goes to show that advertising really works, just not in the way that one might expect.

No, not if one expects the way advertising works is by never having an negative impact on anybody.
posted by layceepee at 10:43 PM on November 5, 2010


Today, randomly, I was driving down the road and saw a man riding a horse bareback. All I could think of was the Old Spice ad.

This was terrible and made me cringe. That's saying a lot from someone who spends their spare time playing WoW.
posted by Zophi at 10:53 PM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


For anybody wondering, as I was: no, they have no corporate connection to each other at all.
posted by rhizome at 12:22 AM on November 6, 2010


I know it's terribly uncool to acknowledge that advertising has an effect on us

I have a whole category on my own weblog called "If you're in marketing, kill yourself", and I've been known to promote AdBlock quite a bit, but I don't think I've ever refused to acknowledge that advertising has an effect on us.

In fact, that's one of the reasons I'm trying to avoid advertising as much as possible. I'd like to make up my own mind instead of being swayed by infantile crap that repeats as often as possible to cram a message between my ears And realizing it won't get any better because what they're doing now actually works doesn't help either.
posted by DreamerFi at 12:29 AM on November 6, 2010


What I'm saying is that we should ignore it. It isn't going to be analyzed away.
posted by phrontist at 1:00 AM on November 6, 2010


I actually like a well-executed ad. Part of having a good product is making sure your market knows of existence and is convinced that your product is what they're looking for. When you take away all the commercialism rants, it can be a great, smart way for a business to interact with the public. It can be as simple as making sure your tavern sign makes the place look respectable but not too respectable to having a guy in a towel answer dozens of tweets. I take joy in a well-crafted commercial.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:10 AM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


The lesbians of my experience tended to smell rather of Speed Stick, which still reminds me of a certain curly-haired lady in my past. Do actual men even use that?

Uh, um... Some people I might know do. They might like the convenience and dryness of a stick, and the bargain price and they say the relatively-low-on-the-radar scent that you can't really notice unless you're really huffing someone's armpit is a postive.

That's what I think those friends tell me, anyway, so I heard.
posted by smoke at 1:39 AM on November 6, 2010


My dad and my brother both wear old spice.

So, of course, my husband is forbidden to.


My grandpa wore Old Spice, and I love it on my husband. I don't think about my grandpa when I smell it, but I find it pleasant and soothing. Apparently my lizard brain thinks that's just how a good man ought to smell.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:37 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Before I started making my own deodorants and perfumes, I wore men's cologne quite a bit.


I discovered in high school that, for some reason, most lady perfumes smelled either chemical or cloying to me, and when I wore them, they seemed to smell worse. I remember actually being mocked for the way I smelled one day when I was wearing ... what was it, White Linen? I don't remember, but it was profoundly foul. That might be a poor example, but even the finest floral smelled like plastic off-gassing.

One day I picked up a bottle of Stetson my Dad had received as a gift and never wore.

Now, I was not a popular kid. And I was not "attractive," at least not according to the standards of my classmates, who would go out of their way to remind me that I was ugly. But damned if people didn't start telling me I smelled really good. They were shocked when I told them I was wearing men's cologne - they said "It just smells really warm and clean."

I started experimenting with other fragrances my dad had abandoned. I wore Brut. I wore Old Spice. I wore a number of forgotten colognes, dispensed from blocky dark bottles with black caps. Nobody ever said "You smell like a man." And this was not out of politeness, because if they thought they could harass me about something, believe me, they would. It was a fluke of body chemistry.

Even now, I gravitate toward scents that most consider masculine. Woods, spices, citrus and leather, that is what I want to smell like. Warm and clean.

I usually mix something up for myself, but I will confess - for those days when I've been wearing my uniform too long, and I just can't deal with myself, I do have a secret stash of Old Spice.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:41 AM on November 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


These days, it's practical sack cloth and ashes, peppered with dog hair and lint, and the only thing I smell like is an unreconstructed schlumpy middle-aged dude who uses unscented castile soap and makes his own laundry detergent.

I too, had a mullet. It was flourescent orange from a misguided attempt at lightening (Sun-in, I think was the culprit) and frizzy from another awful 1980s styling attempt involving perms and Aqua Net. If I had pictures I would share them tear them into pieces and burn those pieces and then pay to have them launched into space. Far, far into space.

We are both better looking, and better smelling, than we were. Trust me.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:50 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was thinking I had a position from which to be haughty, seeing as I don't wear stinking cologne, body spray, or "splash," and don't wash myself with vile-smelling "body wash," which is a category I just don't understand. Is handling a bar of soap too difficult? Are people being bruised by bar soap in the strenuous process of application? Wasn't the whole being-a-man thing supposed to be about having a bar of soap with a few impacted pubic hairs on the rim of the tub instead of having a salon's worth of bottles, tubes, and spritzers littering every available surface in the bathroom?

Granted, I'm being a wag, but the resurgence of bottled stink for boys just makes me chuckle, and there are times when, if I'm catching the cross-town bus at the same time school's letting out, the assortment of snaky cartoon stink lines make me feel like that poor black cat that was always crawling under a freshly-painted white picket fence and drawing the attention of Pepé Le Pew, albeit without the attention and all the French entreaties. The snaky cartoon stink lines do, occasionally, dance to the tune of snakecharmer music, but I pay them no mind.

I'd be snotty as a stench-less holdout, except for one thing. If your nose was to find itself in the vicinity of my mustache, particularly where the horseshoe tips dive off my chin and curl into two little inward-pointing cup hooks there, you'd get a definite and distinctive whiff of Pinaud-Clubman neutral mustache wax. It's a subtle, but alternately floral and medicinal pong redolent of the turn of another century, penny-farthing bicycles, and arguments about colonialism in the Philippines, and I wear it because my 'stache would otherwise be a rampant and charmless thicket of brown and white.

I also wear it because my father was a bit of a survivalist, always stocking up on items he was convinced would disappear from the world. This is why we ended up with a hundred gallons of Chlordane in brown glass bottles marked with skull and crossbones stacked up in the crawl space, and why, when we were going through his things after the end, I turned up a stash of 18 tubes of Pinaud-Clubman under the bathroom sink. His neatly looped handlebar had been a laughable curiosity in the seventies, an amusing eccentricity in the eighties, and just Cleve in the nineties.

I started using it, just little bits at first, to stabilize the shaggy brushiness of my 'stache when I finally got annoyed with the way my then-mouth doughnut placed me among the ranks of frat boys, bad ball players, and particularly hip youth ministry coordinators. When I switched back to double-edge razors and shaving became something other than an agonizing session of scraping with tiny venetian blinds, I started trimming out the center of the doughnut to make a proper seventies horseshoe.

"Nice mustache," Morgan Spurlock told me in the Westfield Century City Mall while I was standing around, irritably waiting for my friend to meet me there. This remark, while making me a little giddy, made me realize that I did probably just look like a fat Morgan Spurlock impersonator, so I let the trailing tips grow until they cleared my chin. With a little wax, I could encourage the natural inward curl until I had my little cup hooks, which looked both overdramatic and embarrassingly vintage in a way I quite enjoy.

There's also that scent, the subtle floral/medicinal quality of the wax, and it is, in fact, a central part of what I like about waxing my cup hooks. It gives me no shame at all to feel like I smell a bit like my father did, leaving out his occasional predilection for Old Spice in the pointy white bottle with the little metal tip, and to find some comfort in the fact that, a decade and some years after his demise, I'm charting a similar course in personal affectation, albeit on a slightly different heading. It smells, ever so slightly, like home and safe harbor smelled, such a long, long ago, and that's just fine with me.

That said, you have to be awfully close to me to even catch the scent, and generally, if you're that close, you're probably already comfortable with me. The modern stuff, though—well, it reminds me of swimming at the Indiana Dunes, in waves that are oddly free of salt for a Marylander, and looking out at that huge powerplant or factory complex up to the right, just hoping that the winds don't change and bring those clouds of what looks like chemical warfare agents across the beach to kill us all.

The bus pulls up and there's a gang of kids waiting there, and I just roll my eyes, feeling like a hapless cow grazing on the shores of Lake Nyos, about to have an extremely bad day.
posted by sonascope at 3:59 AM on November 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


I have never worn aftershave or any kind of "fragrance" in my life. I simply do not understand why anyone would want to smell that way. I don't like perfume on women, either. Nasty chemical-smelling rubbish, all of it. Still, the Old Spice ads amused me.

I'm on a sofa, not a horse.
posted by Decani at 5:16 AM on November 6, 2010


I just showered with the Old Spice body wash. Pips likes it.
posted by jonmc at 5:22 AM on November 6, 2010


As a teenager I was frequently caught alive in Brut, just like all of my peer group. It came in a bottle with a very large opening so that you had no choice but to use a lot of it.

But I should be clear, this was 40 years ago. Imagine my surprise to see that Brut still existed. Now I'm going off to listen to my Jackson Five ABC album.
posted by tommasz at 5:49 AM on November 6, 2010


I wanted to slap that mime with a toothbrush. Jesus. I had to check to see if my monitor's color calibration was off.
posted by emelenjr at 6:06 AM on November 6, 2010


"If you shoot a mime, should you use a silencer?" - Stephen Wright
posted by jonmc at 6:13 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


That is probably the most racist ad campaign i've ever seen.
posted by empath at 7:34 AM on November 6, 2010


No. Axe/Lynx occupies a market sector -- the teenage boy who has no concept of "too much body spray" -- that is perpetually replenishing itself.

Yeah, but guys like that get old like everyone else, and grooming habits have a way of sticking. Seriously, at one point all that grease in men's hair was considered strictly teenage stuff. Among any group of guys today who grew up in the '40s or '50s, it's not difficult finding at least one old greaser who is working it as much as he can with what remains on his head. For some reason these guys also seem to be the most enthusiastic about the miraculous qualities of polyester clothing and gigantic watches.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:15 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Old Spice = Hey, these guys are fun and have a sense of humour! That was funny.

Brut = Wow. These guys are derivative assholes.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:45 AM on November 6, 2010


I use the most embarrassing cologne known to mankind.
This is the thing where I tell metafilter something and then immediately regret it.
Recently, I was trying to purchase a men's toiletry bag, referred to amongst my tribe as a dopp kit. Where would you go for such a thing? I searched everywhere. I finally found one at Sears. Indeed, it appears they do have everything. But I couldn't just buy a dopp kit, I had to purchase it as a part of a "gift set" for a particular brand of cologne. "Whatever," I thought, "just give me the damned bag."
After getting home, I careful packed my new dopp kit, taking the cologne out, intending to pitch the wretched stuff right in the trash. I don't know what compelled me, but I sprayed some on my neck, just for the hell of it.
I was in New Orleans.
Immediately, people commented on it. A lot. It was getting weird. "You smell freaking awesome!" The response was universal. I am no foreigner to wearing cologne or body spray, but it has never elicited such an overwhelming response from strangers, for God's sake.
What is this toilet water?
Nothing more than *sigh* Antonio Banderas Seduction in Black.

I'll be in my room. Please don't favorite this anecdote.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:14 AM on November 6, 2010 [13 favorites]


Brut sets down some rules that seem a little too close to the rules for a Gentleman's Gentleman (as seen here)

That's it. Pistols at dawn, Brut.
posted by COBRA! at 10:35 AM on November 6, 2010


usonian: "I'm in the curious position of hardly ever being able to find my cheap drug store aftershave of choice, English Leather. "

The Vermont Country Store has you covered.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:49 AM on November 6, 2010


The lesbians of my experience tended to smell rather of Speed Stick, which still reminds me of a certain curly-haired lady in my past. Do actual men even use that?

I was desperate and bought speed stick once. It didn't smell bad, but didn't really help with anything. In retrospect, it probably wasn't an issue; 99% of the time I smell like stale leather and grain alcohol anyways.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:34 AM on November 6, 2010


I agree with the general sentiment peppered throughout this thread that mainstream internet advertising is not really that notable and bad responses to said advertising even less so
posted by tehloki at 12:04 PM on November 6, 2010


"The lesbians of my experience tended to smell rather of Speed Stick, which still reminds me of a certain curly-haired lady in my past. Do actual men even use that?"

Yep. Green, regular Speed Stick, which works well with my body smell.
posted by klangklangston at 12:15 PM on November 6, 2010


Which is a way of saying Old Spice is def popular among a certain set of lesbians.

Tell it. IMO, it's not a small set, either.

I mean, I'm monogamously married to a guy and all-- but a lot of women, including some who are outwardly very straight-seeming women, get this look on their faces and tell me how good I smell when I wear Old Spice deodorant.

Which is pretty much why I've kept using it.

I'm on a horse.

posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:37 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hubby uses speed stick too.

After this thread I will NEVER borrow his deodorant.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:54 PM on November 6, 2010


krinklyfig: "For some reason these guys also seem to be the most enthusiastic about the miraculous qualities of polyester clothing and gigantic watches."

Quite right. Maybe it's because I live in Calgary, but you don't see too many of those guys around - I figure there must be a whole cohort of greasers who were 18-23 when I was 13-18. What, they suddenly all became allergic to polyester and stopped buying Brylcream? Where did they go? Maybe I don't hang around the right malls or something, but you'd expect to see them on the bus. People on the bus here don't even smell like they've bathed in cheap perfume either? What's that about?
posted by sneebler at 5:41 PM on November 6, 2010


Maybe it's because I live in Calgary, but you don't see too many of those guys around - I figure there must be a whole cohort of greasers who were 18-23 when I was 13-18. What, they suddenly all became allergic to polyester and stopped buying Brylcream? Where did they go?

Florida.

People on the bus here don't even smell like they've bathed in cheap perfume either? What's that about?

The nerve.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:31 PM on November 6, 2010


> I'm on a horse.

Look at my house
posted by mrzarquon at 10:40 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


There was a time in the early 90's when if you took a day and poked around in certain areas you could still reliably find independent mom & pop type grocery/pharmacies, many of which were treasure troves of 20-30 year old goods on dusty back shelves. I think at some point most of them made enough to get by on beer and cigarettes and lottery tickets that they just stopped paying attention to the rack of instamatic flashbulbs, or the box of black power fist afro-picks. I think a combination of time and ebay wiped them all out eventually.

Thanks to one of these stores, I have a pristine, never opened bottle of Hai Karate that just might be my most prized possession. I have been tempted to open it on occasion, but reason always wins out over curiosity. I figure one day I'll meet a very special lady, and decide to ask her hand in marriage. And maybe I'll need a very special scent to help convince her of my worthiness as a mate. Until that day comes. The Hai Karate sits on the shelf, unopened.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:49 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm on a horse.

Moo!
posted by Francis at 3:54 AM on November 8, 2010


The Vermont Country Store has you covered.

Thank you, corpse in the library - Your post coincided with the arrival of their catalog in our snail mail. Along with the English Leather were many other old man/old lady fragrances and nostrums, each one marked up by about 100% of what they sell for at a regular store when you can find them.

Fortunately for me we're entering into "buy a generic christmas gift for dad" season, and over the weekend I found an English Leather gift set at Rite Aid with cologne, aftershave, and deodorant for $13. I may have to go back and stockpile.
posted by usonian at 9:53 AM on November 16, 2010


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