Axe to Grind

After watching countless hours of U.S. Open Tennis coverage, the quarter-hourly advertisements of Axe Body Spray for Men finally hypnotized my husband. He had to have some Axe body spray.

Grandma taught me the Standing Distance Rule: if someone can smell you three feet away, you are a rude and barbaric oaf. Fragrance should be noticeable only when someone leans toward you, not smashed into your face ten feet away.

Needless to say, Egor’s request horrified me. Axe is not a product you dab delicately behind your ears–you blast it on like spray paint. We agreed to compromise and pick up a deodorant stick.

I spent forty-five minutes sniffing deodorant at Walgreen’s. Two were selected. I reached a few conclusions in the process. If you disagree, print this out, take it with you and start sniffing. You will be amazed.

Men’s Fragrance Guide:

1. All popular men’s products smell a little bit like Gillette.

2. When they say a man’s fragrance is “fresh,” they mean it smells like Windex.

3. If you see a selection of more than three men’s fragrances, the rest smell like the previous three fragrances, but with added fruit, flowers, or pine scent added.

4. “Bold” always equals “Cloying.”


Here is my review of the Axe brand of fragrances:


*     Touch: Yow! They should have named this one “Ants.” It has the faint odor of squashed ants (and Gillette). This will be at Big Lots for $0.89 in no time.

**    Apollo: Murphy’s Orange Soap, Windex, and Gillette. I conjure this fragrance when I see an orange tree air freshener in an old sports car.

**    Voodoo: Gillette, Old Spice, and flowers. If they dialed down the Gillette a bit it would make an earthy shampoo/conditioner. With the Gillette, it smells how root beer would taste after you brush your teeth.

***   Kilo: Gillette, tootsie rolls, and Deep Forest Off. I like the pungency of Off, but the sweet undertones take the zingy sting out of it. This is a PE teacher smell.

****   Essence: The most popular fragrance judging by variety of products represented. Its charm lies in its inoffensiveness, a subtle blend of familiar but unnamable scents. I bought this for E.

***** Phoenix:  The suit section of a mid-range department store. Agreeable. I purchased this as well. This was E’s favorite.


I won’t even dignify the women’s fragrances with a review; however I will give them credit for not obfuscating their selections with silly names. “Honeysuckle,” “Lavender,” and “Fresh Rose” are straightforward and accurate descriptions. If you want to wear 1,000 flowers in your pits, knock yourself out, girl.

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