2/23/14

Cool Water Into The Ocean (Davidoff) - "Men Always Smell Like Deodorant"



The other day at work a young woman of twenty-two casually mentioned that "Men always smell like deodorant, their cologne all smells kinda the same." I probably wouldn't have heard her say it, if she weren't a classic brunette with nerves of steel (in my line of work, having steady nerves is a big plus). So beauty and strength were talking here. I tend to key into her thoughts, whenever she randomly vocalizes them. This particular thought was an old standby though, something I've heard a few times before from women. One of my exes said the same thing to me when she smelled Green Irish Tweed wafting off my collar. She wrinkled her nose a little and looked bored as she said it: "Why do men always smell like sport deodorant?" I know, I know, but trust me, it's one of many reasons why I broke up with her.

Do we smell like deodorant all the time? Are the world's men little more than blue-jeaned sticks of underarm protection? Where there's smoke there's fire, and in this case there's some truth to the charge, although I must point out that many men consciously avoid dabbing "The Water Of Joe." You girls out there can blame Paco Rabanne and Drakkar Noir for starting it, and you can thank Lauder's New West, Davidoff's Cool Water, and Quintessence's Aspen for changing the entire scent dichotomy around. It used to be that fragrances had complementary deodorants, but once the truly contemporary stuff hit shelves in the late eighties, the deodorants and their namesakes were indistinguishable from each other. It was novel and refreshing for a few years, and then the nineties made it cliche. At this point it's become a question that women ask, somewhat rhetorically: why?

My guess is that it's a strange social evolution, something that took a few hundred years to develop, based on female responses to male grooming practices. For centuries men have tried their hand at alluring women with their personalities and their personas. Ladies, you know it all too well - our smiles and pick-up lines are our personalities, and our hygiene, odors, and fashion senses are our personas. Based on your responses across generations of acceptance and rejection, the cards have fallen into place, and the last hand has been dealt. Guess what? Somehow you steered us directly into smelling "fresh" and "clean" and amazingly nondescript. If you didn't like us this way, we would smell like bacon and chewing tobacco instead. That brings me to Cool Water Into The Ocean for men, a beautiful little reboot of the original CW, with a salinated tomato leaf and basil top note, the original lavender/apple/violet heart, and closing credits of minty herbs and musk. Ain't life grand?




8 comments:

  1. Either men stinks or they smell like deodorant. In polite society and especially on a crowded bus, I would prefer that men smell like deodorant. Occasionally, a man has enough balls to smell sexy and different, and I applaud that. But I know most females (especially the young uneducated ones) would prefer something mainstream. I do hear them complaining about "old man cologne", and no men want to hear that. I wear Armani Code in public, but I wear vintage Antaeus and Fendi when I want to impress.

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    1. Hopefully you wear the vintage for self-satisfaction and not for anyone else

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  2. This is hilarious. Thanks, Bryan, for reminding us of the all-important social economy of scent and the undeniable role (roll-on!) played by such dynamics in the formation of our tastes!

    Big sillage "cologne guy" frags obviously came about for similar reasons to the appearance of Tic-Tacs and portable mouthwash sprays. Some guys probably would do well to shower twice a day, but it's just infeasible. Many people (guys and gals alike) would do well to brush their teeth after a meal, but sinks and toothbrushes are not always immediately available either.

    In fact, come to think of it: wasn't cologne originally devised as a sort of bath surrogate in cultures with inadequate plumbing facilities?

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    1. Dunno, but I agree that most of us could do with a few extra "touch ups" throughout the day.

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  3. Actually, I wear them to impress important people. And yes, they are refrigerated and sheltered from light. My doctor said I smell different from everyone else. Don't mean to show off or anything. Just want to be different and unique. When I'm on the bus, I want to be pleasant and invisible.

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    1. That's interesting. I don't wear fragrances to impress anyone, personally. The closest I've come is putting a little extra thought in before a date or something, but otherwise it's strictly about what I like. My collection has been crafted with the general population's enjoyment in mind, and my own, so no matter what I wear I know at least most others around me will like it.

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    2. Don't sell yourself short, Bryan: you're a curator! ;-)

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    3. I am? That would be a nice job!

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