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Smell Swell

by Ron Holdraker
March 30, 2024

‘Secret’ is/was an antiperspirant/deodorant for women manufactured by Proctor & Gamble. It is sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Secret was launched as the first female deodorant in 1956, after more than 10 years of research that began in 1945.

Don’t get me wrong, women wanting to smell attractive to the other sex goes back thousands of years, especially before times when hygiene was all but absent. Flowers and whatever smelled better that body stink was, well, better that stink.

More recently we came to the realization that sometimes, too often, we stink. It was the 1960s and TV marketing was at its  real beginning of reaching and changing American savvy and awareness.

Of course, once women discovered they sometimes smelled rotten, it was only a matter of time before the big companies targeted men. No longer could manly sweat be considered a sex magnet.

As I was reaching puberty and discovered sex drives beyond myself, it became clear that odor was...bad.

Unlike women who had girly roll-ons, men spirted cans of Gillette in their pits. As smell progressed, we had a variety of sprays, roll-ons and douses of Old Spice to woo women, or whatever.

 One thing a guy had to adjust to in life is just how much Hai Karate, Aqua Velva, or Oriental Lime to apply.

I remember one day arriving at school and having a female student exclaim the smell arrived minutes before me.

But Wait!

As time progressed so did the smell challenges.

Normal soap may smell grand, but BODY WASH misses nothing. I progressed through nice smelling Ivory Soap, only to learn I was out of touch with reality. To stay on trend one must use body wash that has the fragrance of one thousand petunias, all naturally sourced by monks in Manchuria. Combined with the latest pH formula of a word we can neither pronounce, or hope to understand, we re ready to release ourselves upon the world. 

Whoa, slow down, partner. You’re not going to use that shampoo on your delicate locks, after all the body wash. You must get/use the shampoo endorsed by movie stars The one with balanced oka-oka plant juices that leaves your dome both shiny and appealing. The more herbs the better. Add the extra hair conditioner and who can deny pure sexiness?

Okay, the body wash, shampoo and conditioner have all been applied and washed off, now comes the really hard choices.

Oh, sure, the deodorant thing may be settled, but what about the now, much needed body spray? One cannot leave the bathroom without the added musk scent, or perhaps an ode to AXE Gold Temptation, or Phoenix spritz. A whisk of smell must be applied, especially if you are going to a meeting, date, doctor’s appointment, dentist...

Going out on a special date? Old Spice is so yesterday. Now we have to add the $20-$30 bottle pure fragrance mens cologne, that not only surpasses her $50 bottle of extreme femininity, but leaves her wanting...more....or not.

Ahh, the shoe smell, spray, sprinkle some of that odor killing stuff, especially if your going to wear those old sneakers.

Oh gosh, don’t leave the house without addressing that bad breath you always fear. Mouth wash, rinse and repeat and have some nice spearmint gum on your person as the hours pass.

Now we have the latest in anti-smell. Lume has revealed a deodorant line for every possible nook and cranny. Under boob smell, no problem,  butt and crotch odor covered, perineum sweat easily handled for "pits, privates & beyond".

My thoughts are developing an entire morning body dip. The whole person is submerged into a vat, eliminating anything and everything that could, or would smell. I just haven’t overcome the - drowning while under  and holding your mouth open - part yet.

As we age and attracting bees to the flower, smell assaults lessen, if only a bit. Today I am satisfied that after all the morning rituals, my wife enters the bathroom and states "You don’t smell half bad."

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