One Thousand Scents

Friday, January 06, 2012

Mountainous: Old Spice Denali Deodorant


I am not what you would call a high-maintenance person when it comes to getting ready in the morning. Shower, shave, deodorant, sunscreen/moisturizer, I'm good for the day. I consider those things (maybe not a daily shave) to be an absolute minimum for everyone. Soap and water are cheap, and there is no excuse for smelling of body odour these days. As for deodorant, some lucky people (Jim is one of them) don't need to wear it; if I don't, there are consequences, and I figure for pretty much everyone with armpits it's better safe than sorry. As for moisturizer, I don't know why it's considered unmanly: men have skin, skin dries out (especially in winter), ten seconds of smooshing a bit of lotion on your face every morning solves the problem. And it isn't vain to not want to look like an old leather briefcase before you hit fifty, so some sunscreen in your moisture is a good idea for most people.

I always use Mitchum gel deodorant, which is unscented and gets the job done. But every now and then I sniff around in the men's deo department just to see if anything smells interesting, because you never know, it just might. Last year Old Spice had a Fresh Collection of four scents, and I sniffed them because that's what I do, and three of them weren't me at all but one of them, Denali, intrigued me. So I bought it. And then didn't wear it for over a year, because let's face it, I'm going to be wearing a fragrance most of the time, and if I'm not it's because Jim's around, and since he is a foe of commercial fragrances in general, I don't want to smell like scented deodorant or scented anything.

But on Wednesday morning as I was getting ready to go to work I looked in the storage closet to get some new contact lenses, and I saw the Denali and sniffed it — not too bad — and put some on, and goddamn is it ever strong!

On the way to work (with my arms by my side and my heavy winter jacket on) I put on some Jo Malone Black Vetyver Café, not because I adore it but because I found the vial and figured why not. It isn't a particularly strong or long-lasting scent, so I figured I could reapply it if I needed to. I didn't need to, because once I got to work and unjacketed myself I could smell the Denali all day: when you wear a scent under your shirt, air is forever being pulled in through the neck- and arm-holes, scented, and whooshed back out again. The scent wasn't overwhelming, but it sure was there. And it sure was durable: it hovered around me all evening, and I could still smell it that night when I went to bed, though it had diminished enough that I was pretty sure it wouldn't bother Jim, who didn't comment on it, so I guess it didn't.

Yesterday morning I showered as usual. When I lifted my arm to put on my usual (unscented) deodorant, I could still smell the Denali! That stuff is tenacious as hell.

Denali is the name of a mountain in Alaska, so you might reasonably think that it would smell outdoor-fresh, brisk and cold and ozonic; the website says it smells like "wilderness, open air and freedom". What it actually smells like is quite a lot of patchouli (which is why I bought the stuff — it tricked me into thinking it was a chypre), and a bunch of other men's-cologne things: the list given in Basenotes is

Top Notes: Fresh Air, Mandarin Splash, Crisp Fruits, Spearmint, Fresh-cut Cilantro 
Middle Notes: Fresh Spices, Rosemary, Armoise, Lavender, Licorice, Freesia 
Base Notes: Creamy Vanilla, Rich Amber, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Sweet Musk

and hell, I don't know, it might be accurate or it might be complete bullshit. I mean, it's deodorant. It does have a fruit-salad top and there's a pile of spices in there along with the patchouli, but otherwise it could be anything: they could throw Rhubarb Pie and Wisteria and Larchwood into the list and who would be able to say differently?

I don't see the point of mass-market perfumed deodorant, because if you're the kind of person who wears a fragrance then you're going to want to really wear a fragrance and not risk having your toiletries clash with it, and if you're not the kind of person who wears a fragrance then you sure don't want anything that smells as strong as this does. But it's still on the market, so I guess men are still buying it. It isn't a mistake I'll ever make again.

3 Comments:

  • I'm funny about my deodorants, and have come to love the higher end scented ones, even if they don't match my perfume. I find women's much subtler than men's as well though...But traditional Old Spice deodorant smells so damn good, it is hands down my fave scent on a man. Love. The newer ones- not so much. They really are just too strong and AXE-like.

    By Blogger Daly Beauty, at 11:28 AM  

  • I have no problem with the scented deodorants that are part of a fragrance line, because those are generally crafted with the same care that the scent itself is. It's all those Axe/Lynx teenage-boy deodorants that are so choking. The weird thing about Denali, and probably the other three as well, is that it doesn't smell so overwhelming in the container, but on your skin it just amplifies itself to an unbelievable degree.

    And yeah, the original Old Spice is fantastic stuff, still; there must have been many reformulations over the years but as of about five years ago, when I got my bottle, it was still amazing.

    By Blogger pyramus, at 12:04 PM  

  • I actually really love the Old Spice "Matterhorn" deodorant -- it smells like mint and green apples. I usually wear unscented deodorant, if anything at all, but I bought this one when I was reviewing scented deodorants a while back and sort of fell in love. I only break it out once in a while -- it is also very strong and competes with perfume.

    By the way, your Rose 31 post yesterday is my favorite review of yours ever. Instant classic.

    By Blogger Elisa, at 2:07 PM  

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