Men's Grooming: Old Spice, new (hilarious) choices
As creatures of habit, we men will tend to stick with our tried and true grooming products until they are no longer available. I first realized this when, for the first time in nearly three decades, I couldn't score the double-blade cartridges for blades for my beloved Gillette Sensor (and apparently I wasn't alone; after I wrote about it, I received dozens of e-mails from like-minded men).
It recently happened again, when it started to become difficult to procure the Old Spice Classic 2.5-ounce Classic Original Scent round stick I've used my entire deodorant-using life. But apparently it's about to become impossible, since the Old Spice folks have since confirmed to me that the round stick is being phased out.
And while there is indeed an Original Scent on offer among the now-standard oblate-shaped sticks (at least according to the website), that wasn't readily apparent to me when I recently went pawing through the shelves of my local Rite-Aid -- which carried about half the 17 different Old Spice scents (and that's just the deodorants).
As my sainted grandmother used to tell me, "When the good Lord closes a door, he opens a window" and what I may have lost in familiarity, I've more than made up for in hilarity, and I'm kind of upset that by following the tried and true, I'd had blinders on when the new crop of scents started hitting the market about a year ago. Arctic Force? Pacific Surge? Smooth Blast? It kind of sounds more like a weather report than a choice of scents. (Possible tagline: "Strong enough for a man but made for a storm front.")
But it gets better, the list also includes Game Day, Aqua Reef, After Hours, Showtime, and Swagger. But my favorite has to be the Old Spice Signature Series Red Zone with the NASCAR logo on it. Here's the description from the Old Spice site:
"Red Zone Deodorant slaps a sponsorship sticker over your pits that features Tony Stewart holding a bolt of lightning, atop a thousand defeated, junked race cars in a forest of shiny chrome engines and never-ending fields of tarmac."
I guess it should have been apparent that Old Spice was bringing its A-game humor-wise if not when it tapped Neil Patrick Harris for a 2008 ad campaign that included the endorsement: "[A]s a former make-believe doctor, there's one product I can recommend ...," it definitely should have hit home when the commercials featuring Isaiah "I'm on a horse" Mustafa. (Christie D'Zurilla, our compatriot over at the Ministry of Gossip blog, recently chatted him up).
For good, clean, office-safe fun, spend your lunch hour clicking through some of the hyperbolic claims and descriptions at the Old Spice site. An example: "Even if you lit yourself on fire and stood in the blast radius of a nuclear bomb, this stuff would not stop working."
As for me? I left the Rite-Aid the other day with more than a few belly laughs -- I left with Swagger.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: Procter & Gamble is phasing out the Old Spice Classic round stick deodorant (left), leaving fans of the brand to choose from some 17 new scents including Arctic Force, Pacific Surge and Swagger ( pictured, right). Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times