Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review May 15, 2002 / 4 Sivan, 5762

Lenore Skenazy

Skenazy
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports


A Little Too Spicy


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Old Spice.

Just the name conjures up masculinity. Kinda ... older masculinity. Maybe even grizzled.

Maybe even dead.

But no, turns out the 64-year-old aftershave and cologne is still the country's best-selling fragrance, and has been since its debut in 1938.

"It is the No. 1 selling fragrance in history," says Derek Bowen, Old Spice brand manager at Procter & Gamble. And now this venerable product is poised to conquer a whole new generation of red-blooded American males.

With wipies.

Towelettes. Wet naps. The kind of swabs you used to get with Kentucky Fried Chicken, except thicker, quilted and impregnated (as it were) with masculine scents such as Old Spice Mountain Rush, Pure Sport and Fresh.

Somewhere, the ancient mariner is weeping - and so is the marlin on his wall.

While one can only respect a brand that has clearly captured, if not the American imagination, at least the American man from his Adam's apple up, there is something perverse about encouraging guys to start swabbing themselves sweet between showers. Between rest stops!

Could Jack Kerouac have hit the road toting a tub of towelettes? Could Jack Nicholson?

Most men come equipped with sleeves, and that's sweat control aplenty. Can it be Procter & Gamble has never heard of pheromones, those hormones that holler, "I'm male, I'm available and I'm close by - just ask your nose!"

Wipes wipe all that out.

"Real men should not be 'freshening' themselves with perfumed wipies," fumes Scott Hildula, a dad in San Francisco. "In my day, you wore a circle in your wallet with a rolled up condom and a ring in your jeans from a can of snuff! I pity the sorry wimp who wears a hole in his pants pocket - probably Dockers - with a little perfumed packet."

Chris McLemore in Kansas is even more disturbed by the development.

"It's an encroachment on manhood," he says. "The Old Spice audience is the hard-core, open-a-beer-with-your-eye-socket crowd. They wouldn't be caught dead with a fancied-up towelette. It's like making A-1 Steak Sauce pink, or emblazoning the side of John Deere riding mowers with images of the Powerpuff Girls."

But over at Procter & Gamble, Bowen insists that so-called Cool Contact Refreshment Towelettes are something men have been clamoring for.

"Guys were looking for a way to better manage their sweat," says the Old Spice peddler. "Because actually, guys produce more sweat on their foreheads, backs and back of neck than they do in their underarms."

Whoa. I guess that's something I'd sort of suspected all along but never really researched. Now that somebody at P&G obviously has, we are all about to be reeducated as to the sweating habits of the human male, and why these must be reined in - and dabbed off.

Soon, a glistening brow will be as unacceptable as a drooling mouth. And we, as a country, will be perfumier for it.

"I'd much rather be near someone with that end-of-the-day aroma than someone doused in a heavy scented smell," says Pamela Gregg, a writer in Dayton, Ohio - who, by the way, guys, is single.

And I'm with Pam. A man who has banished every drip, drop and whiff is about as sexy as anti-bacterial soap - the soft kind.

Bring back the ancient mariner, marlin and all. And while you're at it, hit 'em both with a splash of the old Old Spice.



JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.

Up

05/10/02: Okay, start the movie already!
05/07/02: If you win the lottery, you may be out of luck
05/01/02: Driven nuts by drive-time cell phoners
04/16/02: Chats of a lifetime
04/10/02: This Pet Has a Tail to Tell
03/26/02: Hey, New York - Take a Haiku
03/21/02: Your 'victim,' is my 'survivor' is somebody else's 'hero'?
03/19/02: Terrorists, get out your No. 2 pencils
03/14/02: Tribute Has City Back at its Windows
03/06/02: Dumping Ted: Gray Day For the Baby Boomers
02/27/02: Sometimes, lying's the best policy
02/20/02: The Fad That Won't Fade Away
02/12/02: The smoking gun of white-collar crime is making some folks very happy
02/05/02: Exterminators are evolving, too
02/01/02: Don't suffer do drugs
01/22/02: The Blue Light of Happiness
01/18/02: Marlboro's surprising gift to U.S.
01/08/02: Hospitals make me sick
01/02/02: Read-Aloud Resolutions
12/21/01: Nothing's Worse/Than Bad Verse
12/18/01: This Little Dog Bytes
12/13/01: Palm Pilot or Calendar? Paper Wins
12/07/01: The gift of 9/11
12/03/01: Altria Is Really Smokin'

© 2002, New York Daily News