80 years-old Old Spice has been manufacturing their signature fragrance for men since 1938.
To most men of 40+ years, Old Spice means something. It means class, and shelling out your hard-earned cash for a bottle to impress the girl next door. Like the tagline says, “If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist.” I believe that’s not the case anymore.
Looking at stock – however high it may be – doesn’t give you a look into what people are actually buying, and as a teen surrounded by other teens, I know what guys are using. So I ask, what makes my generation gravitate towards something in the same price point like Axe, or towards the more expensive designer fluids over Old Spice? Maybe it’s the abundance of choice that young men have when it comes to fragrance?
Could be, but another culprit could be to blame: Old Spice has lost sight of its own core product.
When it was purchased by Procter & Gamble in 1990, Old Spice began heading in a new direction. At the turn of the millennium, Old Spice spread into other grooming-type products, including deodorant, shower gels, and body sprays. Not only had they lost their iconic aftershave in a glass bottle, but now they were selling a variety of different scents under the Old Spice name.
The different scents all fit into three distinctive families under the Old Spice umbrella: “High Endurance” is their basic line, “Classic” is the original line, and “Red Zone” is supposedly a higher-end line. To me the moment a brand creates such separation in its own collection is when they lose their novelty, and that’s why I think young men today are leaning less towards Old Spice products in general.
In an attempt to find out what the source of all this is, I bought a “Red Zone” body spray for around $8, and it’s called Champion. Remember, this is part of their higher-end line; let’s see how it measures up.
Presentation wise, this body spray is typical for what’s on the market at this price point, although it is certainly different from its direct competitor, the one it sits next to on the shelf in the drugstore. The can is metallic red all around, with a gold and navy design on the front that reads primary school to me. The spray mechanism is notable because it has a rotating ring that ‘locks’ the sprayer so that it doesn’t, say, spray the inside of your gym bag unintentionally.
The Old Spice website description reads:
Turn up your mansmell. Let’s admit it men, we don’t have a lot of tricks up our collective sleeves. Sure, ladyfolk make their skin all sparkly and their hair asymmetrical, but the best we can do is choose a button-up or a sweater. That’s why it’s important to smell great. Old Spice’s Refresh scent technology enhances handsomeness and commands female attention all day without having to reapply.
Okay, so that was no help. Not only do I still not know what the notes are, but now I’m wondering if ladyfolk is a real word. “Command[ing] female attention all day” seems slightly sexist to me, but hey – that’s not the topic at hand.
Alright, here’s the deal: if you like the smell of public pools that are filled equally with urine and chlorine and the smell of filling up your car with gasoline until you pass out, you’ll love Champion. It’s also got notes of hot asphalt, cherry, and lime – a great mix if there ever was one (not). It smells synthetic, cheap, and considerably worse than the only Axe spray I’ve ever tried. It bears no resemblance to the Classic Old Spice, and I’m frankly quite disappointed.
The performance of this spray is a major selling point, at least in theory. I wouldn’t buy it again if it was the last fragrance on earth, so projection and longevity are of no concern to me.
Verdict: If this is their high-end line, I don’t want to try the High Endurance collection. I’d recommend jumping off a cliff before recommending this.
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