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If you were looking for a way to gauge media susceptibility, you could do far worse than to look into the way that men use colognes and the like versus the way that these products actually work. There’s a terrific example right now for something called “Axe” that embodies the paradigm. Axe is a body spray, and although there are different varieties, they all smell pretty much like air fresheners. The commercial in question shows a guy fumigating himself with this stuff as hordes of bikinied women stampede him from every direction-- by land and by sea. The reality, of course, is that the liberal application of Axe would be likely to cause a stampede in the opposite direction, an evacuation of the bikini babes, leaving the hapless guy alone on the beach, reeking of candy apple and musk.

This is not a new problem: remember Hai Karate? It came with a marshal arts defense manual, so that the user could fend off the women driven wild by the scent. Since it kind of smelled like ammonia I don’t imagine that too many guys had to worry about it.

It may be my imagination, but there were probably more horrible after shaves back then.  There were guys who favored Aqua Velva, for instance, Petecavemanundies endorsed by no lesser light than Pete Rose. It is hard to imagine anyone regarding Charlie Hustle as a grooming paragon, but people-- or at least guys—apparently did.


At some point for most men the dime drops, and we stop intentionally perfuming ourselves altogether. Freshly showered and smelling faintly of Safeguard is fine, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A subtle scent is a pleasing thing, and it is surprising how it can work to make a positive impression—chances are there is a guy at your workplace with a signature scent. Watch some time as he picks up his messages from the receptionist after lunch and gets the big smile when he walks up and the soft sigh when he leaves. Olfaction is the sense that is linked to the deepest parts of the brain, after all, and a whiff of light cologne can be very pleasing. 

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Posted by: Robert | May 3, 2007 12:42:33 AM

It's Pete Rose. I'm not surprised that the well-groomed sorts that might stop by here wouldn't recognize Charley Hustle, I guess.

Posted by: Bill Altreuter | May 4, 2007 5:29:59 PM

Remember the cologne, Macho? That was a good one (and by good, I mean very bad). I work for a Denver skin care specialist (http://www.thecenterforskincare.net), and while we've seen more and more men coming into our med spa, a lot of these men do indeed wear cologne; they just don't wear it very well (too much of a good thing and all that).

Very cool banner at the top of your site, btw.

P.S. I recognized Charlie Hustle, and I'll never forget him rounding home and heading, literally head first into the catcher. I would have also recognized Broadway Joe, had you used him instead.

Posted by: Mike | Oct 12, 2007 4:39:31 PM