The Axe effect and me

Sally Sorte

I admit, I wear boys’ deodorant. Axe “Phoenix” body spray to be exact. This may sound ludicrous, but male scents are made to attract females, so doesn’t it make sense to wear a smell that I find pleasing? A quick trip to the pit for instant pleasure? Here’s why girls should consider Axe.

Besides the olfactory attraction there are the names: Axe “Conviction,” “Enygmata,” “Apollo,” “Clix,” “Tsunami,” “Voodoo,” “Groove,” “Kilo,” “Pulse”: names tinged with action movie romance. Girls just get “Powder Fresh,” “Vanilla Sparkle,” “Floral” and “Berry”: trite names that sound like the paste flavors offered by my dental hygienist for my biannual teeth cleaning.

You might think wearing Axe body spray could damage my love life. You would be wrong. Roses, lilies and a tropical plant that I don’t know the name of appeared on my front porch last February 14. Not too shabby. Of course, the senders live in different states, so they don’t smell me on a regular basis.

Okay, so here’s another example: My friend and I were at an Irish bar in Madrid discretely swooning over some English blokes. In his bloody hot accent, one of them said, “Oy, one of you smells good.” He leaned in closer to play detective. “You!” he proclaimed triumphantly. “You smell good!” “Thanks,” I responded coyly. “I’m wearing Axe.”

Again, you might write that off, thinking, “European men, they’re as feminine as men get; they take longer in the bathroom to get ready than most girls.” You would be right. I frequently waited for my two Italian amicos to choose the perfect tight H&M T-shirt and tiger-striped jeans, then apply hair gel, aftershave and three layers of cologne before we could hit up the discotecas. However, European men adhere to ‘deo-gender norms’ just as strictly as Americans.

Alphie, my 23-year-old Spanish pisomate when I was abroad last fall, noticed the Axe body spray on my shelf. With concern in his eyes, he told me that Axe was for boys. This was about as effective as telling the silly rabbit that Trix are for kids; I informed him that my scent selection was intentional. Alphie explained again; I assured him again. And again. Eventually, he gave up, saying it must be a language barrier. I chuckled.

Then there are the commercials. Those who don Axe attract sexy dates in rainstorms; those who don Secret manage to avoid white marks on their shirts. I already know how to avoid those sporadic white crusty zebra stripes: put on shirt, pull shirt away from self to allow clearance for canister, spray armpit, y perfecto!

Now, I’ll also admit that I use Caress body wash with my pink loofah, and Skintimate shaving gel with my Venus razor. I figure that if we’re at skin level then maybe I want to be “Silky Smooth” and “Radiantly Feminine.” But that could change: Axe makes “Phoenix” body wash, too.