“Did you spill your cologne in the bathroom?” The Marine stops to look at me. He is playing with his new cell phone….it has videos and music….does all those important things that a phone needs to do! His Gemini nature is engrossed in the buttons that light up, changing wallpapers, ringtones, and….
“No,” he goes back to playing with the phone. Now, it should be noted that among people who talk way too much, we agree that ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are perfectly acceptable answers. Sometimes, more words are not needed. I walked back into our bathroom.
I am standing in the middle of the room and I can smell it. All over…surrounding me. It’s sexy and strong. I can feel it hit my bloodstream. I have always been terrifically affected by smells. The Marine wears a mixture of cologne and deodorant that make my eyes glaze over with pure passion. It is literally shaking the cells of my body causing a vibration that is rattling my nerves. It’s that soap! I look at it a little suspiciously because I know it does not belong in my quiet place (the bathroom is my space—The Marine just rents!). But, the smell is overwhelming….like fresh clean man and I wanted to rub it all over me. I pick it up and walk back into the bedroom. Something is not right here….The Marine never changes his toiletries. Twenty years…same soap, shampoo, and cologne. He goes all commando if they don’t have his brand of Qtips (there seems to be a difference!).
“Did you buy this?” I asked, quite confused.
Looking up from the new toy, he focuses on what is in my hand, “Nope, your mom,” incredulous at the thought that he did not get the right soap. “Remember on Saturday when she called to say she was going to Wal-Mart. She asked if you needed anything and I told her Irish Spring soap.” It is a largely known fact among the family and friends that I hate Wal-Mart. Too many screaming kids running everywhere (if your kids are not like that, then please do not hit me because some are and they all seem to be wherever I am!) mixes with the constant feed of noise from announcements / commercials and too many choices on the shelf. By the end of a one hour session in Wal-Mart, I need an adult beverage to calm my nerves!
As I looked at the new blue box that screamed “NEW! Irish Spring: Moisture Blast,” I had to laugh. It is built for a woman. Promising the amazing new technology of “Hydro Beads,” my mom innocently picked up the box and strolled off. For all intents and purposes, it looks like a woman’s product with its bold statements of “Clean without That Dry Skin Feel!” However, lurking in the banal blue box that reaches out to the male population in design and feel is deception in the making. The packaging is all man, but the message on it is completely female. The marketing dept gets points for doing its job.
What is disturbing to me, in this case, is not the marketing. It’s the product development. The smell is overwhelmingly male. By this, I mean that it reminds me of what a man smells like when he is fresh out of the shower, body hot from the water with soap fresh on his skin. And, not just a little, but in an amplified, overpowering way like chocolate that has been warmed to make it gooey. Maybe if the new soap is meant for women…making it smell like a sexy man might just work.
When I called my mom to ask her why she had gotten the wrong soap (she knows what soap he likes—we packed boxes for him and sent them to Iraq), she laughed and said she loved the smell of it…don’t tell The Marine. Maybe he won’t notice. Maybe not, but I did! She did. Maybe that is just the point. ~~Dee
BTW…this is not an ad, so please do not send me requests for product reviews. I am just one confused women trying to figure out the world!