Vitalis and Old Spice – August 8, 2022


graphix: spwilcen
Queued 7/26/2022

Want to guess where I’m going with this?

Fragrance Flashback

As a youth, I had a handsome head of hair.  Took a lot of ribbing about “curls” from the ladies.   As I remember, my hair wasn’t curly, but thick and wavy, sandy brown.  Never used any hair cream on it.  Once, a summer I think, bothered by an unusual case of dandruff, I tried something called “QED,” something akin to Brylcreem, to take care of the problem. Don’t think I used it more than a week.  Otherwise, wash it, dry it, comb it, and cut it – that was “hair care.”

Until just ten years ago, I still had a mess of hair. Well-peppered with grey sure, but thick and manageable.  Then it quickly went white.  A nice white as grey or white goes, but it also got thin and wiry. Unmanageable. I wrestled with the problem five or so years. At last, I determined to do something. Something artificial.

Brylcreem? VO5? I didn’t want to plaster it down, just make it manageable. Not keen on the “new” hair “products,” mousse, gels, axle grease, waxes, tea tree oils, wombat dung, and such.  And the prices for these “products!” I settled on Vitalis.  It has been around longer than I have. Affordable too.

In the ‘60s, the mention or fragrances like Vitalis, Old Spice, Mennen, and Aqua Velva immediately and unmistakably recalled my father’s generation.  Nothing wrong there, and all these masculine products still smell great.  They’re still around.  That says something. They just were and are “older” men’s fragrances.  Youth of the ‘60s used the likes of Hai Karate, Jade East, English Leather, Canoe, and British Sterling.  I’m betting people aged 40 to 60 today feel about the fragrances of my youth the way I feel about Old Spice. 

Point is, I find it interesting that cosmetics seem to have identifiable “generations.”  I get a whiff of Old Spice, or Aqua Velva, I immediately think of my dad. Catching a drift of Jade East or English Leather, I imagine Phil Smoothworth [BMOC in high school] just entered the room.  The ‘70s? Jovan Musk or Polo. ‘80s? Obsession or Drakkar Noir. ‘90s? Beats me. Today? Again, beats me; remember, I’m kind of stuck somewhere between the ‘60s and the ‘80s.

The Vitalis is working.  Incidentally you’ll find Old Spice antiperspirant in my bathroom kit. Otherwise, I’m cosmetically stuck in the ‘60s. Except for cologne, where I’m still using a brand introduced in the ‘80s.  I don’t know if Hai Karate, Jade East or the others are still on the market. Suspect if I found a bottle of Jade East and splashed it on in the morning, I’d get some very interesting comments.

Published by spwilcen

Retired career IT software engineer, or as we were called in the old days, programmer, it's time to empty my file cabinet of all the "creative" writing accumulated over the years - toss most of it, salvage and publish what is worthwhile.

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