I graduated from a very small school in Pennsylvania. James Carville famously said, “Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between.” I grew up in the Alabama part. Kutztown is only 90 minutes from Philadelphia and 2 hours from New York City. But, it might as well have been in Wyoming for how far apart it was culturally. I didn't have the luxury of exposure to sophistication. And, growing up in the 80’s we didn't have instant knowledge at our fingertips, so you had to really make an effort to learn about things.
As an 80’s American male growing up in the sticks, the cologne of choice was Drakkar Noir. Every single guy had Drakkar Noir. You had to have it. You literally had no chance of getting a girl if you weren't exuding the odor that could have been a Pontiac Fiero air freshener scent. I don't remember what the “must have” perfume was back in the day. I don't think they had perfume because there were no celebrities to tell women what to smell like. If memory serves me correctly, I think Colors by Benetton was real popular. What I also recall was even those female lagoon creatures who smelled like a flatulent skunk had an easier time attracting romantic interest than I did. So, I had to resort to putting Drakkar Noir on top of my Drakkar Noir to even have any shot at all.
So, it's only right and fair this generation have its “Drakkar Noir”. And, it is Axe Body Spray. If Brut Deodorant fucked a moldy pine cone, the love child would be: Axe Body Spray. Page 23 on How To Be A Gentleman states "Never buy a cologne that can be purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond." I mean, it's terrible. If given the choice of wearing Drakkar Noir, or Axe Body Spray I'm splashing on the Drakkar, wearing a turtleneck, rolling up the cuffs of my Z Cavaricci jeans, and listening to Guns 'N Roses on my double deck boom box. The funny thing is, you millennials reading this, you literally have no idea what I just wrote.
Anyway, why am I shitting on Axe Body Spray? Why is it fair for me to shit on Axe Body Spray when I had Drakkar as a kid? I'm so happy you asked that question, imaginary rhetorical question friend! Here is the reason why: I DIDN'T FUCKING KNOW BETTER. YOU IDIOTS TODAY HAVE THE INTERWEBS! This generation has access to more stores and scents exponentially than my generation ever had! The 80’s version of Perfumania was called Walgreens. That's right. Buying cologne at a drugstore was not a sign you made poor life choices, it was literally the only place to buy it. Unless you enjoyed smelling like fryer grease, then Arby's was the place to go for that wonderfully sour, rancid reek. Here were the choices back then: Drakkar Noir, Drakkar Noir Lite, Drakkar Noir IPA. Fine, you could get Stetson...oooh, I feel Marlboro Man-ish already! Canoe and if you were a Rockefeller, Polo. It wasn't called Polo Green, because fuckin' Polo Blue, Black, Purple, and the weird striped ones hadn't even been invented yet! It was simply called, “Polo.” We talked in hushed whispers about whether it really existed or not. I once got in a fist fight with a friend who insisted someone in Fleetwood actually had a bottle. I asked him if he knew gullible wasn't in the dictionary. I swear that kid would believe anything. A bottle of Polo in Fleetwood. How ridiculous.
Today my shelf holds such alluring scents from the houses of Cartier, Burberry, Bvlgari, Brooks Brothers, and yes, all the Ralph Laurens. None of these scents are exclusively found in Paris or Milan. You can get them at almost every single department store. You won't find a bottle of Drakkar Noir snuggled amongst all the bottles. Do you know why? I learned my lesson. Please, millennials, I'm trying to save you from 20 years from now future embarrassment. Put the Axe Body spray can where it belongs. At the bottom of the ocean. Figuratively. Please don't pollute the oceans any further than it already is. And spiny lobsters wouldn't be caught dead wearing it anyway. They're allegedly avid Polo cologne users.
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