I remember when my nephew hit puberty, and stopped smelling like a person and started smelling like a French whorehouse. Or whatever your preferred euphemism is for “too much cologne.”
I don’t know what it is with adolescent boys and their mustard gas-intensity fragrances. It must be some combination of anxiety over one’s rapidly changing body and — I don’t know what. But my nephew was hardly the only one who seemingly bathed in the stuff. The Axe Body Spray cartel could give any women’s personal-care product a run for its money.
So I immediately dived into Dahlia Lithwick’s hilarious piece about what happened when she went a solid week, wearing Axe and Axe-y products. She’s such a good writer; why confine her to the Supreme Court? Behold:
What happens when a fortysomething women walks around smelling like a 13-year-old boy for a week? Mostly nothing. As it turns out, ours is a culture in which, as a general principle, people don’t really feel comfortable commenting on your scent, even when it is so powerful as to be causing climate change. So even if you apply Axe before a funeral—as I did—nobody is going to grab you by the arm and ask you to please leave. I wore a heavy coating of it to a dinner party one night. Eliciting no response, even when I started helpfully jamming my neck into the other guests’ noses, I did learn from several mothers that the Wall of Axe (a naturally occurring phenomenon in which eight or more teen boys reapply Axe after phys ed, then stand in the stairwell together) has become so bad at some local schools that it’s been banned altogether. Another guest described a perennial teen rite of passage—the agony of spraying Axe down your own pants for the first time.
It’s a little anticlimactic; you see the premise and you expect to hear stories of rooms emptying and cats fainting, and it’s not quite that lively. But honestly, my hat is off to anyone who can olfactorily bond with a teenage boy like that.
I had a few boyfriends who were fond of male fragrance. I grew to the point where I would rather smell regular old b.o. and farts than CK1.
Tired, I am. I’m always tired at this point of the day. How about a dog picture? Wendy wants to be a meerkat for Halloween:
Something outside was very interesting.
Here’s Neil Steinberg, laying out a few of his least-favorite companies:
Maybe there is something about humans that just needs to hate something, and since I can’t find it in my heart to despise any particular group of people based on race, religion or nationality, I express that natural tendency to loathe by really getting my back into hating certain companies and their products, and not always rationally either.
It starts with Caribou. It goes on.
Wednesday. Ohhh-kay. I’m going to bed.