At what point in our development as men did we collectively decide that it was considered too feminine to smell like a flower, or a fruit, or a vegetable?
I was recently faced with a unique dilemma that I would like to think tortures all men at some point in their lives. It happened in the bath and shower aisle of my local supermarket. I was there because I had just run out of deodorant and needed to resupply. Normally, this was an uneventful process. I have been buying the same flavor of deodorant as long as I have had the money to do so and the armpits to use it on. Long story short, they didn’t carry my go-to scent and I had a substantial life crisis.
I don’t consider myself the type of person that has strict brand loyalties, but it dawned on me that day that I am apparently very particular about how I smell. And I have only ever smelled like one thing. Original Scent. That was my home base, my comfort zone. On this day I was faced with the decision to smell like body odor or some mysterious flavor of armpit lubricant. So I started browsing.
Swagger, Anarchy, Power, Fresh, Glacier, and Hypnosis. These were the flavors I was faced with and I hadn’t the slightest clue what any of them smelled like. I image swagger smells like an eighth grade dance. Anarchy probably smells like wet concrete and tear gas. Who knows what power smells like? Donald Trump?
Having hypnotic smelling armpits sounds like the worst super power ever. Fresh and Glacier were the only scents that seemed to gravitate toward the more logical side of the spectrum. But then I realized that fresh is simply an adjective. If it smelled like a fresh meadow or freshly baked cookies that would be great. But it just as easily could have smelled like a fresh pile of shit or fresh sardines. I went with Glacier. How bad could a glacier really smell anyway?
As I turned to leave I noticed, for what felt like the first time in my life, the enormous variety of smells available to women. The one shelf of men’s products shriveled into nothingness in comparison to the vast sea of women’s shampoos, deodorants and body washes. Every flower, fruit, and vegetable known to man was represented on those shelves.
At what point in our development as men did we collectively decide that it was considered too feminine to smell like a flower, or a fruit, or a vegetable? For that matter, when did we become so insecure about our smells that we had to invent hardcore, nonexistent smells like Anarchy and Power? I believe it is time we reclaim some of the real world smells before too long or we will soon be limited to smelling like overly stressed “masculine” things like Tool Box® or Bacon Grease®.
I won’t overstep my bounds and assume we can instantly reach into the flower department and start laying claim to lilac or honeysuckle, but can we at least draw the line at vegetables? I mean, artichokes are all spiny and punk rock and delicious. They are a giant thistle for crying out loud. They are basically weeds. Can we at least reclaim them?
What about avocados? They are manly as hell.
Originally published on matthewbranchwriter.com
Photo: Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski