Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thursday Night Flashback - HOTR Reviews Men's Grooming Products.

I bought this bottle of shower gel on sale, as sort of a fun Christmas stocking stuffer, just because the name sort of cracked me up and I figured it would be good for a smile.  Plus cheap shower gel for the guest bath.   Anarchy.  Unleash Chaos.

Then I opened it and unleashed something.  But it wasn't chaos.

Once, when I was a totally first time deer hunter, I opened up the bottle of Tinks, deer in estros scent and took a big whiff, to see what it smelled like.

I do believe most of my nose hair incinerated, my retinas briefly detached and there was a compression somewhere between C-11 and C-12 as I attempted not to throw up.

This was worse.

Thinking it was just me, I ran it past a gal friend for a test sniff " Wow, that's horrible" she said (and some special words she learned from Scandinavian relatives)  Her husband then offered his nose for a test and then promptly offered me a bottle of fine scotch  to get it out of the room and bury it.

Maybe, when one of the red hazmat bins is empty. . .no, safer to bury it.

To the Anarchy-showered male in the advertising above  - trust me, unless you're one of those effeminate vampires from Twilight and tube top dress girl has a wooden stake and a big mallet handy, she's not going to be smiling on her drive home.

Scent is a deeply personal thing, and certain scents bring do bring back memories. 

Brut was beyond popular when I was growing up, one of the first to use a celebrity endorsement to persuade men that grooming wasn't for wimps. Famed  heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper was the original "face" of Brut, urging men to "splash it all over" long before David Beckham had his first shave.  I think there were little machines in the bathrooms in bars you could go into with a fake ID and  have something with Kahlua and the guys would go douse themselves with it or so I heard I don't know I was at choir practice. . .

I wasn't a big fan of Brut.  But I worked at the airport after school, pumping gas, driving this humongous truck with lousy brakes that was full of flammable liquid between large pointy moving objects and Samoans racing bag carts.  And Dad freaked out if I drove the VW Bug on the freeway. 

So I smelled like kerosene, which sort of cancelled out the Brut smell.  Besides, I was holding out for my grade school girl crush, Illya Kuyakin, so teenager boys in Brut didn't stand much of a chance.

Remember Hai Karate! ? My Dad had some of that and was supremely disappointed and used to tease my Mom that his bottle must have been a dud as he didn't  have to fend of any super models with karate chops like on the commercials.   I don't remember what it smelled like but I don't think he ever had to fend off Mom wearing it, though, come to think of it, once, when he put on too much, she drove a golf ball from the back yard through the back kitchen window with a Five Iron.

Dad gave that up for Old Spice which he has worn ever since. When I go home, he gives me a big hug and I can still smell it on his sweater, that "Dad" smell that's both reassurance and comfort.

Now, there's not just aftershave, there is cologne, shampoo, body washes, shampoo/body washes (and the difference is?)

Most advertise themselves to smell like "fresh glacier extinguishing a giant forest  fire full of deer in heat" or such things.

I think the perfect man natural scent would be some sort of mysterious combination of gun cleaning fluid, coffee, bacon, woodsmoke, and dark beer (with a slight undertone of 20 year old British Motor Car Wheel Bearing Grease.) 

But if one has to wear an actual store bought scent, I vote for the most subtle of sandalwood (And Demeter makes this unisex fragrance called gin and tonic that's smells really good on clean skin).

But boy, are there some bad ones out there.

Russia makes some particularly vile ones though they'd be good with a twist of lime and some ice,

And there's one I can't remember the exact name of,  from a small central European country that smelled like the bottom of the sea. The place where fish poop a lot, not the Aerial the little redheaded Mermaid happy place.

Pinaud Lilac Vegetal- can be used as a substitution for Tinks.  Seriously. You'll have a 12 point buck trying to climb your head as quick as you can say C'est vraiment de ta faute!

Masters Island Breeze - be careful you don't get any on your skin. 

Secretions Malefiques -  the Kardashians Kat in heat.

Aqua Velva Musk - if you want to be hit on by a hairy fur trapper,  go right ahead.

Clubman - Very 80's name.  Dries down to Cat box and Mrs. Butterworth syrup. 

Black Magic (various grooming products) - If  you see it?   Kill it!  Kill it with Fire!

And I'd avoid Anarchy, for now.

So ladies - what are your favorite (and least) scents on a guy?

And Gentlemen - do you have a favorite or do you just agree on that whole woodsmoke and bacon thing?


  1. Old Spice was my dad's, or Canoe. I am fond of amber or sandalwood too.

    And yes, Hoppes#9 is perfectly acceptable as a unisex fragrance as is Crabtree& Evelyn extract of west Indian and Sicilian limes.

  2. I started out with Old Spice for the first 20-25 years. Switched to Plain old Aqua Velva and have been running for my life ever since! Oh yeah, only from my better half.

  3. I always liked Old Spice's Fresh Lime aftershave, so of course they discontinued it. "Royall Lyme" is nearly the same, although about 5 times the price. I keep a bottle of that for special occasions. I use Aqua Velva for work. Ogallala brand Bay Rum, Lime and Peppercorns is also a recent favorite. J. Peterman's 1903 smells good, too, although a little goes a loooong way. As for Hai Karate, it's back, available in the Vermont Country Store catalog, should you desire some.

  4. I've used Old Spice forever. The other day the check out girl at Kroger asked if I had it on. I expected the usual " reminds me of my dad" . When I said yes I did she replied" oh I love it, reminds me of my grandfather".........sigh it's hell gettin old!

  5. Old Spice, and I've got an old bottle of Something-or-other Noir ... somewhere.

  6. No scent for me but what God intended masked by a little no fragrance deodorant.

  7. For anyone raising sons, it's a happy day when you look around and realize there are no more Axe products in the bathroom, indicating that they've finally outgrown whatever phase of early-mid adolescence makes Axe seem like a good idea.

    I'm not sure there is a particular name-brand equivalent for girls, but there's certainly a genre that I call "Lilac Aggression," beloved of those who have just discovered perfume and think that if a poof or two from an atomizer is good, total-immersion self-baptism in the stuff must be terrific.

    It do find it to be pleasant when the ladies discover what really works on them and employ it with subtlety, but I've never asked anything other than what I use on myself -- ineffable evidence of a recent shower and decent deodorant.

  8. > As for Hai Karate, it's back, available in the Vermont Country Store catalog

    I never get past the Porous Peppermint Sticks -- terrific candy in its own right, and sucking an orange or a big sweet Meyer lemon through one is every bit as counterintuitively tasty as they say.

    As for the colognes, personally, I'm happy enough to leave Hai Karate (and archrival Black Belt) amid the 70s pop-cultural decay that they symbolize and probably cause the smell of.

  9. Old Spice!

    There is a perfume that my wife and I refer to as "weaponized" as even I can't stand the smell of it. I've come across it at Oracle conferences and it immediately gets your attention, and not in a good way.

  10. For a long time it was Estee Lauder for Men. Then we slowly moved to CK Obsession. I now hear from others that both are considered "classic". Sigh.... Normally I don't bother and Break Free and #9 both are usually signature scents around here. Gah, I need to grab a female friend and a small pile of hundreds and get up to speed on the new stuff. I'm wearing suits that are over 10 years old as well.

  11. Froglube (cream) trumps Hoppe's #9 in the aroma department, and is good for our guns too.

  12. I use just a dab of Old Spice because it reminds me of my dad and grandfather. I place it under my chin so that I can smell it. I am now 66 and officially an old fart.

    All time No.1 cologne pet peeve: Men who use some offensive type that smells like the ant spray we had to use under the kitchen sink. And after they go away, it is still strong. Then you remember, they shook hands with you. They had poured it in their hands, applied it all over their body, and failed to wash their hands! Aarrrgh!

  13. "combination of gun cleaning fluid, coffee, bacon, woodsmoke, and dark beer (with a slight undertone of 20 year old British Motor Car Wheel Bearing Grease.) "

    Now I know why you used to come over to my house...( until you met that Johnson guy.)....

  14. Old Spice. But Scherie likes Hoppes, too.

  15. Old Spice seems to rule here!

    B. - I've seen your partner, the hot blonde, shoot. Enjoy the shooty game and we'll see you in a couple of weeks I hope.

    More later - but I go on duty in a few hours and a nap is in order.


  16. Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio for me. Before that it was Chaps or Old Spice.

  17. Count me among the Old Spice guys.

    Just a nice, clean scent.

    WAAAAY back in high school, my sister bought bought a "set" of Nine Flags, nine little bottles of different scents in a little styrofoam holder.

    Some were OK, some were, uhhhh, effeminate, and some would have a bull moose chasing you down the street.

  18. I prefer hubby to be scrubbed clean, topped off with unscented deodorant. The only fragrance desired is the smell of dark chocolate on his breath.

    Hubby is partial to the smell of cinnamon rolls with vanilla frosting. The fragrance is absorbed by any clothes worn in proximity to the kitchen on baking day.

  19. Old Spice has always been my dads scent of choice. Personally the men's fragrance that drives me insane in a good way is Joop Homme. It's what Mason has always worn and it can still get me in a lot of trouble!

  20. Hai Karate and Brut and Axe are horrendous. I loved English Leather when I was married. Now, not at all. I like freshly bathed scent and some deodorant on a guy. Woodsmoke and bacon would work.

    My grandson liked Axe, maybe still does. When he first needed deodorant, I went shopping with my coupons. My daughter said to be careful it was not "old" smelling. So, I stopped cheerleader types in WM and asked them which they like of the three brands with coupons. Apparently teen girls swoon over Axe deodorant. They giggled lots while helping me by smelling deodorant.

    Old Spice reminds me of my father. So, I do not want to smell it on any guy.

  21. "fresh glacier extinguishing a giant forest fire full of deer in heat"

    I am laughing so hard that it hurts, I think the right side of my rib cage just collapsed.

    Wood smoke and bacon would work. Generally I don't wear cologne, I prefer to smell "neutral" as in "no one is there, move along."

    I do have a bottle of Old Spice for when The Missus Herself declares that I should "wear aftershave." Parties where you have to wear a tie seem to merit aftershave.

    I hate parties with ties.

  22. I read in a book (where the main protagonist was female) that women loved the scent of a man who uses Baby's Own soap

  23. And im calling you a chicken and you know what i mean.

  24. Old Spice and Clubman but not together!!

  25. For me it's bacon, woodsmoke and the ORIGINAL Hoppes no 9.
    I just turned 67, so maybe that explains it - old guy syndrome!
    Us old farts have to stick together!


  26. I wrote another book chapter - now I'm going to curl up with a book and a glass of white wine while Partner is on the road over the weekend. Thanks for understanding about the break from a lot of posts and commenting. I am reading your comments and thoroughly enjoy. And agdshootst - you are correct. . all the squirrels are nervous right now - but I smiled. Happy Birthday and also a welcome back to Luc!

  27. Bacon, coffee, and woodsmoke, with a hint of two stroke exhaust is my normal scent. I don't shave so aftershave is out, and most cologne gives me a headache.

  28. Good bay rum. Taylor of Old Bond Street, Captain's Choice (the Cat O' Nine Tails in particular), Ogallala (the lime version mentioned above, or the sage and cedar has a nice outdoorsy scent to it)...there are plenty of options.

  29. Still using, if I think I want to, Old Spice that I think the bottle is twenty years old, it was recognized by a lady at the library about fifteen years ago, and I decided I had splashed much more than needed... so have cut back. She was on the other side of the checkout counter. Way too much. A fresh shower is all I want, a hot one.

  30. I take that back life depends on a split second many many years ago in my case three maybe four lives in a warm summer room a longe way from here maybe i will tell you one day but it hangs on a M C96 a silver paper knife and a photo back in summer 1969.

  31. I guess I've given up on adding any smell other than what comes out of the Lectric Shave bottle.

    I think my Dad (now 90) used to have Old Spice under his bathroom sink, though I never knew him to use it much. At one point he accumulated a really odd collection of men's cologne, because he was on the Board of Directors of a local Catholic hospital, and the nuns gave it out as Christmas gifts to the Board members. Don't think he ever used that either.

    If we're just talking favorite smells, Hoppes, bacon, woodsmoke, diesel and gasoline all are high on my list. Also the smell of a hayloft, newly filled. Or a hayfield just mown. Even a barn chore coat that emits a faint smell of horses.


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