Saturday, July 31, 2004

Deodorant - essay




In the small mining town I grew up in I don't believe anyone ever used deodorant, any man that is. In fact, I'd be pretty certain they never even heard of deodorant for men. For women, maybe. I've never given much thought to this before. The only reason I do now is that I recently ran out of the stuff and, because I happened to be in Germany rather than home in the United States, I had to do something slightly unusual. That is, usually I just use that stick deodorant. I don't remember where or when I got in the habit. I guess maybe someone must have once told me I ought to use it and, embarassed, I repressed it or something. Anyway, usually I just go to the store and take it off the shelf. I know exactly where it is and what it looks like and I never have to look at anything else. But here I couldn't find the kind I usually use so I was forced to choose a new one. Wow! I never realized there could possibly be so many deodorants for men, to say nothing of the ones that can apparently be used by either sex. I'm certain I counted at least 30 different kinds in one store alone, and given American's obsession with such things, I'll wager there are a great deal more back home. But its not just the quantity that is amazing, the names are even more amazing. How about "Team," for example? Doesn't that just make you feel like you ought to belong out there on the same team with your buddies? "Men's Club" would seem to be a more adult variation on this. Or maybe "Gran Valor." That would certainly seem like something every able bodied male should have. "Prestige" is another one hard to resist. I think "Care" and "Care #2" are really a bit too feminine for my taste, but of course I guess men should care, too. "Worth for Men" is one I found almost impossible to pass up. What could possibly be better for a man than worth? Even the man who has everything could use that. Then there are those that strike me as a shade more subtle but nonetheless suggestive of something that a man might well want to be identified with. Something like "Tabac" or "Denim" or "Country." "Russian Leather" might fit into this category as well. "Silvestre" doesn't do much for me, especially with that spelling. "Champaca" I frankly didn't understand. "Old Spice" is much too descriptive even if it does guarantee the attention of every beautiful young thing within smelling distance. There are some that just almost knock you down with their directness. "Toro," "Brut," and "Camarao" I would all put in this class. "Derringer" sounds a little too sneaky, sort of conjures up images of romantic riverboat gamblers, which, I suppose, is alright if you fancy yourself that type. Then there are the ones that appeal directly to your sense of smell to help you conceptualize your place in the world. "Musk" is perhaps the best example of this, but I think "Irish Moss" and "Canada Cedar" rank right up there with the best of these. "Rodeo" is the one I finally settled on. To me it meant a combination of sweat, straw, and manure, a real masculine odor that would clearly identify me to all comers. My wife took it away from me, said it was supposed to identify you with Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Certainly not for me. She bought me something called "Hidro Fugal." Don't ask me what it means. I just do what I'm told. I don't seem to smell too bad though

6 comments:

Two Crows said...

Are you sure you weren't looking at car air fresheners?

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