Splash it all over
Ah, so, that’s what heritage scents are!
To this day the ‘Charlieeeeee’ refrain remains embedded in my head - the ads were constantly on the radio. Probably on the box too but I didn’t grow up with television. All the girls at school wore the stuff, many of them trying the big-hair look of Charlie’s Angels girl, Farah Fawcett Majors, ubiquitous seventies sex symbol. But it was Shelley Hack, later to become a short-lived Charlie’s Angel, who was the "face" of Charlie, not Fawcett Majors.
Fathers wore Old Spice (and Brylcreem) and their sons splashed it on secretly before they got their own cologne. Given a choice, that would be Brut – it was so much cooler than Old Spice!
|Shelley Hack||Henry Cooper||Paul Gascoigne|
The heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper was the original "face" of Brut, urging men to "splash it all over". Brut was one of the first products to use a celebrity endorsement to persuade men that grooming wasn't for sissies. Later, the footballer Paul Gascoigne also starred in an advertising campaign. Domestic violence allegations by his wife led to negative publicity which reflected badly on the Brut brand as the ironic reference to Brut / Gascoigne being a "brute" followed. Although his remark that it gave him a rash probably didn’t help either.
For me, Carl Orff's 'Carmina Burana’ (also associated with 'The Omen') will forever be associated with Old Spice, as will be the woman who kept flicking her hair backwards and forwards to a backdrop of crashing waves. But, despite still being stocked on most male fragrance shelves, it seems that were I to look for the stuff (I won’t be!) I’d not readily find it - the clipper ship was replaced by a Sailboat/Yacht by Proctor and Gamble in 1992.
‘The lust for the smells of one of the most reviled decades, in fashion terms, has been triggered in part, according to trend-watchers, by film versions of popular programmes such as Starsky and Hutch, The Dukes of Hazzard and Charlie's Angels.’ Personally, I think it all has to do with people of that decade now being in positions of power and looking back with nostalgia to the decade that helped define them. Why else would the music, fashion and even the food of the seventies have recently been rehabilitated?
I can understand why some seventies dishes are being rehabilitated but, according to The Grocer Magazine, Blue Nun, Smash potato mix, Nimble bread and Ringos snacks are enjoying new-found popularity on supermarket shelves. You really have to ask why.
I can also be nostalgic about the seventies but I won’t be buying Old Spice nor will I be splashing Brut over myself anytime soon. And I’ll definitely not be quaffing back Blue Nun at any stage in the future.