Grandpa Smells Good – Happy Father’s Day Henry

by Matthew Tilker on June 14, 2014

Scent is our most powerful sense, a trigger to unlocking vivid memories. Original Old Spice reminds me of my grandpa. He lived until he was 100 years old, and from ninety onwards, he shaved less frequently. But when he did, he always used a few drops of Old Spice. As I type this, the image of his tan, ruddy, freshly shaven skin (except the neck which he seemed to miss as he got older) exuding that “manly” aroma of cinnamon, citrus and musk flashes before my very eyes. It is a memory that I would not trade for anything.

As Father’s day approaches, we naturally turn our thoughts to our Dads and Grandfathers, and hopefully a distinctive pleasant smell comes to your mind. Magazine articles on perfume and “fragrance snob bloggers” (as I like to call them) often try to deride the old classics—Old Spice, Brut, Aqua Velva, Aramis – but for many of us…they ARE embedded in the very fiber of the memories of the men we love. And for good reason, they have history on their side: release dates –1937, 1964, 1917, 1965 – and are all still on the market. So take that Aqua Di Gio!

Today our sense of masculinity is more nuanced. Alpha males, beta males, hipster, techie, SNAG (sensitive new age guy)….the masculine spectrum holds far more personality types that it did in the days of Walt Cleaver and JP Rockefeller. Yes it can be confusing at times, but I am very proud of the five strikingly different Mistral men’s scents. We hear from mom’s that their son got rid of his stinky Axe for a bar of Black Amber or that somebody’s father just loves the fresh clean scent of Cedarwood Marine. From a creative standpoint, the possibilities for men’s fragrances are now endless.

But truth be told, I also feel a tinge of nostalgia for the good old days, the simpler times when the great generation worked hard, fought hard, raised families, and built America into a global powerhouse. They didn’t have the choices we have today but they sure smelled like men.


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