When did this all begin?
Throughout history, various tribes and civilizations across the developing globe have mixed crushed flowers and oils together in an effort to un-funk their trunk. The first perfumery is believed to date back as early as 3300BC, when the Indus Civilization used distillation and clay jars to capture and preserve scent. Cultivating a fragrance that can appeal to the masses is an art as much as it is a science. Many relationship experts truly believe an appealing fragrance can often be the difference between you and the next person at the bar. A precise and calculated hint of cologne can make or break a first impression between potential mates. Nobody wants to be near someone who smells like they died 3 days earlier, so why are men no longer utilizing this simple strategy?
It was the year 2007. The iPhone had just been released and we were learning that all of our favorite 90’s baseball heroes were juiced to the gills throughout their career. The housing market was on the verge of a collapse and so was Brittney Spears. While we collectively cheered for Peyton Manning as he hoisted a Lombardi above his head, something slipped right past us. Luxury cologne was being replaced by cheap aerosol imposters. Axe body spray infiltrated locker rooms and bathroom cabinets across the nation. It became socially acceptable to not only pass this off as cologne, but also to use it IN LIEU of grooming. It is a disgusting, reprehensible moment in history that I am ashamed to have been a part of.
Forgot to wash your gym clothes? Spray a little Axe on ‘em. Don’t have time to shower after football practice? Better do an extra second or two under the arms just to be safe. Car and room smell like weed? You’re gonna need to use about a quarter of the bottle just to be sure. This phony-scent phenomenon stunk up the nation and it left a trail sexually unaroused men and women in its wake. What was once a beautiful element carefully woven into the tapestry of attraction was now viewed as “bro” and more importantly “douche”.
Where did it all go wrong?
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment due to a multitude of abuses, but I’ve narrowed it down to these 4 reasons.
Variation: All body sprays smell like all other types of body spray. Once one dude started spraying, the whole gang started spraying. And once the whole gang started spraying, the individual subtleties become lost in the vast ocean of smell. You would have 30 dudes come out of a locker room wearing 25 different scents and it collectively smelled like a chemical spill.
Moderation: Some guys were dousing themselves from head to toe. Aerosol spray lingers much longer than a luxury cologne and what should’ve been less than a one second *spray spray* quickly turned into 5-10 second *SPRRRRAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY*. This blunder was particularly devastating in close quarters.
Substitution: Men would use body spray instead of showering or washing their clothes. Absolutely revolting. Odor + body spray = Odor + body spray. There is no substitution for clean clothes and a fresh ass.
Differentiation: If you’re wearing the perfect amount of a $150 bottle of Gucci cologne and the dude next to you wearing an inconsiderate lathering of $4 Axe body spray, you both smell like morons. Honest men who carefully chose a cologne that fits their style had to a pay a price as well.
So where do we go from here?
Much has changed since the dark age of fragrance. The economy has stabilized. Brittney Spears has grown her hair back. Fidget spinners have inexplicably risen to the top of pop culture and it’s time that men be entrusted to wear cologne again without fear of feeling douchey. The past 10 years have been difficult for cologne enthusiast such as myself but I truly believe a debt has been paid. We have learned from our mistakes and are ready to move forward with your best interest as the focal point of our efforts.
A true gentleman must smell like one. I believe I speak for all gentlemen when I ask that you forgive us our body spray, as we forgive those who Ugg boot against us.