Tag Archives: Manly scents

Old Spice’s New Appeal

Brooklyn Sunset

As the sun was setting this past Saturday night in Brooklyn, NY, I found myself smoking a great cigar and sharing spirits with dear friends. As the topic of conversation jumped around, inevitably we found ourselves talking about pop culture and reality TV. Aside from confessing our guilty pleasures, a particular moment stood out when we began discussing commercials. When we began reviewing those that caught our attention, we were in awe of how many we could recall in the age of DVR. We laughed at a few, questioned what were they thinking for others and tipped our hats to a few we found really progressive. For instance, we thought the Cheerios commercial with the interracial couple was cute and very timely and the Amazon Kindle commercial with the girl and gay guy on the beach caught us off guard, in a good way (we didn’t expect the ending but we were glad Amazon went there). This got me thinking about how some commercials targeting to men have been on point lately. One in particular, the Old Spice commercial with the guy being followed by a shower everywhere he goes is hilarious.

Old Spice recently launched a collection of scented soap bars and to bring it to the attention of men, debuted a series of commercials. For those that can remember the soap commercials of the 80’s, they were big on showcasing lather to catchy jingles. With a nod to the 80’s, Old Spice continues its dead on marketing approach by poking fun at these commercials of yesteryear. Every time I see them, I can’t help laughing. I actually planned on writing about them and then I was contacted about reviewing the collection.

Old Spice Scented Bar Soaps

I really like Old Spice’s new collection of scented soap bars. For a while I’ve been using body wash so this was a nice departure. The bars have been thoughtfully designed. Their shape and size allows the bars to rest comfortably in your hands. Each of the bars, Figi, Pure Sport and Swagger are very fragrant. On one occasion after taking a shower, I cracked the bathroom door and my wife commented that not only did the soap smell good but it also scented our entire bedroom. As for the soap’s performance, if you like a soap that produces a good lather and doesn’t dry out your skin, check and check. After using these soaps for two weeks, my skin feels just fine. My favorite of the three is Swagger. The scent is clean with a musky under tone and it just works. My wife on the other hand is a fan of Pure Sport so I guess I’ll be going between the two.

This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed, however, are completely my own based on my experience.

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Malin + Goetz Rum Hand Wash – A Simple Luxury

After a long day and you arrive home, what are you washing your hands with? Is it that small piece of soap left over from your showers you thought was just right? Perhaps the shower bar has double duties? Don’t fret, lots of guys fall into this boat. It’s a detail we don’t give much thought to. But consider this, friends come over and they need to wash their hands and that’s what you offer them? Better yet, don’t you deserve better? Continue reading

Bleu de Chanel

For sometime now, I’ve been writing an essay in my head. It deals with pop culture’s latest obsession, manly men. The themes are everywhere, from the runways to AMC’s Mad Men. Some have even speculated that the recession could be a culprit. The New York Times Sunday Styles article, “From Boys To Men” is a good read on the topic. Continue reading

Jovan’s Sex Appeal for Men

What can you say about a fragrance that markets itself so boldly as an aphrodisiac? Jovan’s Sex Appeal for Men boasts being “more than the usual promise in a bottle. It’s more like a guarantee.” Why this relic from the late 1970s exists is a mystery to me, but I’m glad it does.

Sex Appeal for Men was launched (with a “for Women” counterpart that is no longer in production) in 1976, and everything about the packaging makes that apparent. The economy-sized bottle and the bizarre essay on the blue and mirror-finish box that exhorts men in 70s-era script to splash it on—“Man can never have too much”—all of it screams sleaze. It’s worth quoting the box copy in its entirety:

Sex Appeal.
Now you don’t have to be born with it.
This provocative stimulating blend of rare spices and herbs was created by man for the sole purpose of attracting woman. At will.
Man can never have too much.

The back of the box varies. The spray bottle packaging has instructions for “How to make the most of it” (“Spray it right on. On your chest. On your arms. Or wherever else you want more sex appeal.” Wink wink.)

The splash bottle, which I have, says this:

Splash it on. The more you use, the better.
Because it is truly sex appeal.
(and man can never have too much).
Sex Appeal by Jovan. For the first time in the history of the world… We bottled it.

And yet despite all of that retro hyperbole, it smells good. It’s like a spicier, less powdery Old Spice.. Some people compare it to Pierre Cardin for Men. As Tania Sanchez writes in Perfumes: The A to Z Guide, “You know, this is what guys who smelled bad used to smell like. It’s great.” She gave it four out of five stars.

After reading Sanchez’s hilarious and glowing review, I spotted Sex Appeal at a Brooklyn drug store. My girlfriend and I joked about it a bit, but we were curious. Could it really smell good? Could it, um…will it really turn women on? She got me a bottle for Christmas, and while it smells fantastic, it seems to have no real magnetic effect on her. Oh well. At a mere $16 for a hefty 4 ounce bottle (typical colognes are 3.4 ounces), it’s worth it.

I imagine the target market for this fragrance was once a combination of naïve, pimply teenagers and mustachioed womanizers of all ages. The kind of guy who might name his 1976 Camaro “The Love Boat,” and never do the top three buttons of his silk shirts. But who buys this now? If Jovan had any sense, they’d pay some geeks to come up with home-made video ads for this stuff and let it go viral on the web. I guarantee irony-loving hipsters and the nostalgia-gripped aging womanizers would buy it by the crate. –Harry Sheff

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