Jun 3, 2007

Smells Like....???

There's a full page ad for Dolce & Gabbana cologne on the back cover of some section of today's New York Times, featuring a sweaty European man in a white bikini laying on his back, his sweaty, hairy armpits front and center.

And while it wasn't something I needed to see over breakfast (though I'm sure it appeals to some sort of gay armpit hair fetishists) it set me wondering as to who actually wears cologne these days, given the zillions of dollars that seems to be spent on advertising.

I know that teenage boys wear Axe and Old Spice and the like, but most of the men's cologne ads seem to appear in the sorts of upscale publications rarely read by 16 year old high school students.

More than that, I don't know any men who wear cologne on a regular basis-- or even on special occasions-- anymore. Well men born in the US, anyway ;)

Even women seem to have cut back considerably on perfume- you rarely smell it at work (unless it's become more subtle and/or I'm losing my sense of smell.)

So who's driving this market? Clearly someone is buying the stuff, otherwise they wouldn't be advertising it.

My only guess is that people are still buying it- as Father's Day gifts and whatnot. It's just that the recipients aren't using it.



SchizoFishNChimps said...

That's a phenomenon I was unaware of. England is about to be experience its public smoking ban. Having recently visited Scotland, where there is already a ban, I predict an upsurge in cologne sales.
Without the presence of smoke in Edinburgh's pubs, I at first noticed how pleasant it was to breathe without choking. At least until you reach the bar area, when sweat-induced body odours are more noticeable.
I predict that, when the English cotton on to the OTHER smells, that they'll start layering on the fragrances before the boozy evening begins.

Alan Wolk said...

That's interesting F'n'C - in the States, I'd have to say that cologne/perfume usage is very closely related to age and class.

Older people (say 50 plus) seem more prone to wear some sort of fragrance. And, especially for men, the scent of cologne in the daytime is a sure sign that one is either blue collar or European. Seriously akin to wearing a gold neck chain or having a shirt that's unbuttoned a bit too far.

I'm noticing though, since posting this, that the newspapers are chock full of Father's Day ads for various colognes. Both from department stores and from the makers themselves.

PS: While the smoke free environment will seem odd at first, in about six months you'll wonder why they ever let people smoke in bars in the first place.