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An Ode To Old Spice

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I’m convinced the easiest character studies happen in the drugstore. If, a few months ago you saw me in the deodorant aisle at Rite Aid for example, my indecision would have been evident. If you continued to watch me for 10 minutes, deciding between Secret’s “fast-dry-fresh-scented-whatever-gel,” or Mitchum’s “smart-solid-smelling-something-stick,” my impulsivity would eventually impart—making me reach for the red capped “Classic' scented Old Spice stick instead.

Strangely, the final decision was simple: My ex-boyfriend used it. I, in turn, occasionally would use it after sleeping at his house, or, while we lived together. Ruining any “for men only' marketing associations. I like the way it smells—'spicy,” obviously, but only subtly so. Also, clean—like freshly showered athletes in a locker room on Christmas morning. It’s comforting. Sometimes, I’ll just sit there and smell the stick. (Works as well as aromatherapy.) Though it leaves some white residue, the formula doesn’t irritate the skin. Old Spice is also arguably the best-packaged drugstore deodorant—small, streamlined, with its signature sanguine label and cap. And while “smell like a real man,” is one Old Spice tagline, apparently, “the first Old Spice product was intended for women, introduced in 1937. Old Spice for men followed in 1938,” If that’s true, sounds like the boys borrowed this one from us.

—Alexis Cheung

Photos by Tom Newton.