Old Spice is looking for new customers

On a recent death march through a shopping mall, my wife dragged me from a counter that sold women’s fragrances to a counter that sold men’s scents. (I have no idea why women get fragrances and men get scents. But maybe it’s the same kind of spin the mother of a girl I dated in high school gave me when I mentioned that her daughter had gotten sweaty playing badminton. “Horses sweat,” she informed me. “Men perspire. Women glow.”)

In any event, my wife had to work up a pretty good glow getting me to the counter that sold men’s scents, because I’ve been wearing the same one for years.

“Maybe you’ll find something you’ll like better,” she insisted.

“Fine,” I said. So when the sales lady approached, I asked her, “Do you have any Old Spice?”

The sales lady was amused, my wife was embarrassed and I was only half-kidding. Old Spice was my first scent and, if I were single, I’d still be wearing Old Spice. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

But now, it turns out, Old Spice may no longer be the punch line of a million grandfather jokes. Because it’s coming out with a new line of scents with names like Wolfthorn and Hawkridge. According to an Old Spice spokesman, they’re part of the Wild Collection and intended for men “who want to be viewed as manly, seductive and maybe a little intimidating.”

Making me manly, seductive and maybe a little intimidating seems like an awful lot to ask of a scent. But maybe I should try it, because the stuff I’m using now doesn’t seem to intimidate anybody.

Then again, neither did any of the other scents I’ve tried.

In college I switched from Old Spice to Aqua Velva, because the commercial promised, “There’s something about an Aqua Velva man.”


Then I saw a commercial in which a woman riding on a horse declared, “All my men wear English Leather, or they wear nothing at all.” I’m not sure how intimidating it was, although I did notice that people in elevators tended to give me a wide berth when I splashed it on.

So I probably have nothing to lose by trying a spritz or two of the Wild Collection.

Then again, I could just risk the ridicule and go back to the Old Spice scent that has been around since 1937. Maybe it is what your grandfather wore. But, as it says on the box, “If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t be here.”