Sisterhood Blog

Boy Smells: They're Not What They Used To Be

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

  • Print
  • Share Share

Derek Jeter came down my stairs this morning.

Well, not the man himself, but his scent. Moments before I see Boychik, I smell him, and these days he smells of the cologne “Derek Jeter Driven.”

Boychik, an avid fan of the Yankees, got his mitts on a sample at the World Series Parade in downtown Manhattan last fall and, as soon as he arrived back in Brooklyn, made for the computer like a player on third base running for home. Already thrilled after having seen star Yankees wave in his direction at the parade, he got as high as a pop fly when he saw that Avon was running a “buy one, get another for 1 cent” deal. Now, even with the copious amounts of “Derek Jeter Driven” he applies each morning it seems like he’ll never run out. Thanks, Avon.

Boychik, who is now 16, is definitely not alone among male teenagers in his interest in scented personal grooming. In fact, the teen and ‘tween demographics are a burgeoning market, and according to this article, is a worldwide phenomenon.

It’s called “The Axe Effect,” named for the popular brand of inexpensive shower gels, deodorants and other men’s personal grooming supplies that are targeted to, and wildly successful with, teenagers.

What do Jewish ethics or texts have to say about the trend?

Well, The Song of Songs refers to many aspects of a sensual lover: It says, “Thine ointments have a goodly fragrance; thy name is as ointment poured forth; therefore do the maidens love thee.”

Of course I really don’t want my teenage son loved by any “maidens” just yet, and the whole thrust of the marketing is discomfiting.

This page of the Axe website touts a product called “virtual hair,” (which sounds as if it would be better marketed to the 80-something set in Florida condo colonies). It pictures three scantily-clad, stilleto-heel wearing teenage girls and features copy that suggests that using the hair product will lead to more than stylish locks. “When a girl moves in close, inhales deeply and can’t resist playing with her guy’s hair, that’s Hair Action. Girls like giving it…and it’s best when it leads to something more.”

Blech.

I know that learning to use hair and body “product” is all part of adolescence in America — and that I should be grateful that my son doesn’t walk around emitting powerful body odor, as some other teen boys do — but some days I wish Derek Jeter and his cologne would just stay in Yankee Stadium, where they both belong.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Grooming, Derek Jeter, Boys

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.