Lisa Kern

Lisa Kern
Pennsylvania, US
March 28
I'm a mom of three boys, a needy dog, and an insolent cat. When I'm not writing, vacuuming up pet hair, or cleaning pee off the toilet seat, I like to fantasize about jeans that actually fit and an all-you-can-eat-chocolate-and-cheese diet. Welcome to my party.


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SEPTEMBER 18, 2009 9:45AM

Can we axe the Axe...please?

Rate: 87 Flag



My teenager is trying to kill me.  Really.


It’s a slow, torturous murder that he’s attempting instead of the quick but unsuccessful ways he’s tried in the past (childbirth, sharing assorted childhood illnesses, learning to drive, dating awful girls, and that certain stroke-worthy report card in 11th grade).


This time, his weapon of choice is an object of olfactory oblivion which is no doubt banned in 17 countries:  against all that’s decent, he’s begun wearing Axe body spray.


The makers of Axe are accomplices in this evil deed, choosing attractive young girls to push samples of their product on unsuspecting guys at the mall.  Notice that they don’t send the ugly girls for this job.  Oh no.  If complete and total obliteration of parents is the goal, you’re going to need the pretty girls for that.  That’s how my son became hooked. 


I knew I was in trouble when he came home from the mall one evening wearing a strange scent that smelled like a combination of too-much pepper and fermented cat urine.  The smell entered the room way before he did and didn’t leave until long after he’d departed.  It was beyond nasty; the kind of aggressive fragrance that gets into your throat and won’t leave, mercilessly irritating you until escaping for fresh air becomes your most important goal.


            “Good Lord, Ryan, what on earth is that godawful smell?” 


            “It’s Axe body spray.  They were giving out free samples at the mall.  This girl ran up to Adam and me and sprayed it all over us.”  He took a whiff of his shirt.  “Do you like it?”


            “Ugh!  No!  It’s way too strong.  It smells like you peppered a cat and left it out in the sun too long.”  I waved my hand in front of my face, trying desperately to fan some fresh air into my overwhelmed nose. 


            “I think it’s OK.  It smells better than the other ones they have.”


            “You’ve got to be kidding.  This one smells better?  What do they put in the other ones, liver and goat pee?”


            “I don’t know.  The other ones are pretty bad.  This one is supposed to smell like leather and pepper.  I kind of like it.”


            “Leather and pepper?  You want to smell like you’re cooking your couch?” 


Ryan shot me a look that said he’d had enough of my insults and went upstairs to his room.  I spent the rest of the evening wishing he’d taken his Sautéed Sofa smell with him instead of leaving it behind to keep me company.


Ryan began wearing the Axe every day.  He’d spray it on as soon as he dried off from his shower.  He’d re-spray it if he was going out with friends.  He’d apply it before seeing his girlfriend.  In every instance, he’d go out, leaving the rest of us inside the house to suffer.


My middle-son, Matt, began wearing his t-shirt over his nose to block out the Axe smell.  Evan, my youngest, took every opportunity to protest his brother’s Axe usage by falling on the floor, dramatically covering his nose, and groaning as soon as the odor reached him.


This morning, I woke up to a sensation of being choked, as if someone had sprayed a noxious hazmat chemical in my bedroom.  When I opened my door, the now familiar leather-and-pepper Axe smell assaulted my nose, but this time in a much higher concentration.  Descending the stairs, it became clear that Ryan had sprayed himself with it once again after his shower and now the odor was throughout the entire house.


I’m sensitive to certain fragrance ingredients and Axe evidently contains one of the fragrances that bothers me.  This whole ordeal reminds me of a previous family vacation when we took my mother along with us.  She apparently decided that spraying herself with a fresh coat of perfume each day was preferable to taking a shower.  As the days progressed, the scent of her dreadful perfume grew stronger and more intolerable.  By the end of the week, she had on so many coats of perfume that getting within twenty feet of her was enough to make you gag.  In fact, she smelled so bad that we had to drive nine hours home from the Outer Banks with the windows open in the car even though it was 40 degrees outside at the end of November.  Our throats were sore and we suffered from heightened scent sensitivity for two weeks afterward.  Certainly Ryan would remember how miserable the ride home with his grandmother was.


            “Taking after your grandmother and using Axe instead of a shower today, Ryan?” my husband asked pointedly.


            “I am NOT like Grandma!” Ryan responded indignantly as if he’d been waiting for someone to compare him to his grandmother.


            “Well, you have to admit that it’s pretty strong stuff.  This morning I think it crawled under my bedroom door and attacked me.  The smell actually woke me up,” I added, making yet another attempt at showing Ryan how much it bothered me.


            “It comes under my door and into my room, too,” Matt added.  He knew we had to present a united front if we had any hopes of convincing Ryan to abandon the Axe.


            “Yeah, mine too,” Evan chimed in.  “My whole room stinks now.”


            Ryan was still in denial about the lingering effects of his beloved Axe spray.  “You guys are overreacting.  I don’t use that much of it, and I only spray it in my room.  No way is it getting into your rooms.  I just don’t see how it’s as bad as you’re making it out to be.”


            “It is that bad, Ryan.  Yesterday I coughed for three hours after you left for school.”  I know; I played the Motherly Guilt card, but I had no choice.  I had to do it.  Surely he wouldn’t want his own mother to cough for three hours, right?




            “Well, if it’s so bad, why haven’t any of my friends complained about it?  Everyone I know wears it and no one ever complains about the smell.”


            “That’s because the pepper and cat pee has burned out their olfactory receptors.”


After Ryan had finished glaring at me and left for school, his Axe smell once again stayed behind.  I became even more determined to get rid of the body spray for good.  I work from home and there’s no way that I was willing to put up with smelling that nastiness for even one more day. 


Since I wasn’t aware of any twelve-step programs for body spray addiction, getting my kid off the Axe was going to be up to me.  In desperation, I went up to Ryan’s room, took both cans of Axe from his dresser and hid them in a cabinet in the hall where they could no longer harm anyone.  I then went back to work, confident that our days of being terrorized by a can of body spray were over.


Ryan returned home later to shower before going out with some friends.  I was in my office working when I heard him come down the stairs. 


He peeked around the corner to where I was working on the computer.  “Was it really that bad, Mom?” he asked in his best wounded-sounding voice.


It took me a minute before realizing that he was referring to the missing cans of Axe.  I rolled my chair away from the computer so I could face him directly.


            “Yes, Ryan.  It really was that bad.”


            “I don’t understand why it’s bothering you so much.  I hardly use any.  It’s just a quick little spray like this.” He demonstrated how he’d spray just a small amount of Axe on himself.  This was more serious than I thought.  Denial of this degree was going to require more than my usual motherly tact.


“I think I’m allergic to it,” I blurted out.  “When you use it, my throat closes up and I have trouble breathing.”  It was almost the truth; I do have a hard time breathing air that smells like pepper and cat urine.  “You might not be using very much of it, but any amount would bother me.  That’s why I think it’s any allergy.  It’s also bothering me more each day that you wear it, as if its effects are cumulative.  I’m sorry, but you just can’t continue to use it in the house.”


Ryan considered what I’d said for a moment before responding.  “If it bothers you that much, I won’t wear it.”


Wait...what?  Really?  I won this?  I could picture a giant scoreboard with “Mom – 1; Nasty-smelling body spray – 0” on it.


His sudden compassion for my predicament made me soften my zero-tolerance position a bit.


 “Look, I didn’t throw the cans away.  If you want, you can keep them in your car and spray yourself out there.”


            “No. People will be complaining that my car smells bad when they get in it.” 


I wanted to ask him why it was OK if the house smelled bad but resisted the temptation.  I didn’t want to risk my hard-earned victory. 


I retrieved the cans from their hiding place and gave them to him.  “Are you sure you don’t want to just put these in your car, or spray it outside?”


“Nah, it’s OK.  I’ll just throw them away.  I don’t need to wear it.”  His hands lingered on the cans for a moment before tossing them into the kitchen waste basket.  I gave him a hug, because even though he’s taller than me and maddeningly stubborn, he’s still my kid; a kid who showed me that he knew it was important that I win this one.  He left to go out with his friends, smelling better than he had in days.


Matt and Evan came downstairs, having heard the entire conversation.


            “Did you really get Ryan to stop wearing Axe, Mom?”  Matt asked tentatively, afraid to get his hopes up.


            “Yes I did.  Ryan threw his cans of Axe away and said he wouldn’t wear it any more.”


            “Sweet!” shouted Evan as he jumped up to give me a high-five.


That’s right, kids.  Today is the day that your mom single-handedly evicted the horrible, no good, very stinky Axe from our home.  Who knows where this could lead?  I promise to use my Mom Powers for good and not evil (unless it’s against messy rooms and dirty laundry that doesn’t quite make it into the laundry hamper.)



(mmm...chocolate...maybe I'd like this one better?)
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Oh, Axe is this generation's Old Spice....classic!
I thought this was going to be about people who say "Can I axe you a question?"

I find all those commercials that promise unlimited you-know-what to adolescent males and adolescent-minded males annoying, but they apparently have persuaded at least one adolescent male in my house.
Will Someone Feed the Cat? - I was ready to pay a hot girl to tell him that it smelled awful! I'm glad that your home smells better now, too.

Onecorgilover - Oh my - I'd forgotten about Old Spice! Just mention the words, and I can instantly recall that smell.
Con - Sorry for the misleading title. That's a post for another day. :)
JK - You're right. To me, the sexiest smell is a clean soap-and-water one. No artificial fragrance needed!
My then teen sister had a coconut perfume she wore everywhere. After we mocked her mercilessly for a week she quit.
Leather and pepper? Could this be a real scent?
Oh my God!
You could have at least kept it in case you were attacked. This might be cheaper than pepper spray, but probably is more inhumane.
This deserves an EP.
They gave me a little stick of Axe deodorant at the movies, and I have yet to open it, yet I will fearlessly wave it in the face of an attacker, if need be.
Will Someone Feed the Cat?'s comment has me rolling. Thank God I do not have any teenage boys anywhere near me.
Ocularnervosa - Another friend said that Axe is the Love's Baby Soft for guys. I guess Axe is payback for all of us who tortured our fathers, boyfriends, and brothers all those years ago.

WalkAwayHappy - If the dogs think it's awful, that's saying a lot, considering the nasty stuff that canines like to sniff. Thanks for stopping by.

Delia - That's the one! I was going to put up the commercial for instinct but didn't want to increase its sales. Great idea about using it to fight off intruders. Now I'm prepared if sons #2 or #3 decide to start wearing the stuff. Thanks for your nice words, too. :)

Stellaa - Trust me, you do NOT want to smell it.

Cartouche - Yep, Will Someone Feed the Cat? has pretty much nailed it. It's that bad.
I am tremendously impressed you succeeded. It took me forever to convince a boyfriend (that's right, damn it, I was the beautiful girl telling him this) that his shaving cream smelled awful, and he needed to spring the extra fifty cents for the shaving cream that said "Does not smell like mothballs."
I feel your pain on this one. Never won the battle. Good work, mom.
I love a success story. You played every angle perfectly - well done! I was complaining the other day about my son's disinterest in showering and deoderant, but this is definitely worse!
Awesome! In my day it was High Karate. Of course you would have to fight the women off with your martial arts moves. Remember that crap? It never worked. I've never fought off a woman in my life and high Karate never attacted any in the first place.

You can keep thinking that you had something to do with Ryan's decision if you want to Lisa, but more than likely some girl told him he smelled like crap. Hate to break the news to you. ;-)
But then, girls these days like boys with their underwear hanging out, their pants falling down, their hats on sideways and a bull ring in their nose, so what do I know?
I haven't smelled the stuff, and frankly after this I don't care to either. I would probably be allergic to it.
Great win mom,. You played that mom guilt card good.. Poor boy.. smiles.
My 12 year old nephew started with the Axe. It's overpowering and his name is Ryan.... intriguing.
This was so funny and wonderful. And I've never smelled Axe, but it's amazing the power of the pretty girl (and the fact that company is getting away with such a horrid smell)
Mrs. Michaels - Bwahaha! Next to the "does not smell like mothballs," they obviously need one that says "does not smell like cat pee."

Gwool - Wow, this stuff must be an epidemic. I hope your son eventually comes to his senses.

Dustbowldiva - I feel your pain. I know those anti-showering days well. There's no smell quite like that of a stinky, pubescent boy.

Michael - I'd forgotten about High Karate! You're probably right that it wasn't my magic powers which caused Ryan to give up the Axe. It was probably a girl. Wish I knew her name ' cause I owe her big time.

Fireeyes - Hopefully, you never will have to smell it. Thanks for the mom-kudos. :)

Marcelle - It's amazing what and how they can market anything these days and be successful. I checked out the link above that Delia included and they talk about this stuff as if it's the best smelling stuff of the century. Maybe only people with a Y chromosome under the age of 20 enjoy the smell.
Ack! I missed Chuck and Ben.

Chuck - Oh no, they're targetting the pre-pubescent guys now? Or maybe just Ryans? Thanks for stopping by.

Ben - Thank you!
Yes, my son has Axe in his room; yes, I almost choke to death once a week. Another unpaid hazard in parenting.
Ugh, Axe is awful! Being a teenager/young adult woman myself, I can say with confidence that it does not work the way the commercials portray it. If anything, it's the exact opposite. I remember walking past the boy's locker room in high school and being hit by a wave of foulness (and no, I'm not talking just about the sweat smell).
Hilarious post!
I'm feeling very lucky that I have a daughter and not a son - the Axe commercials at the movie theatre are enough to push me over the edge.

"Brute" - does that bring back any memories for you? My dad used to put on so much each morning that it was the smell that woke me up, not an alarm clock! Old Sprice is dreamy compared to that stuff.
If somebody has an axe to grind, they should take it out on a case of that crap. Until every case of that crap is gone.
Never had the pleasure (?), experience anyway, of smelling this - but I'd be happy to see the end of it if it meant no more airing of that revolting commercial...
Cologne and perfume should never be sold as an aerosol product. Ever.

But I am a fan of cologne and perfume - in moderation - and appreciate those who wear it well. My rule of thumb is that no one should smell my perfume unless I'm giving them a hug - I don't want to be broadcasting my perfume to any passerby!
My 11-year-old is just discovering that deodorant, in fact, might be a good idea. You have no idea how hard it was to dig through every display in the store to find unscented! I do not need a pre-teen boy smelling like "musk" or "rain" or "sports" or whatever. How about "not stinky"?

Lord help me when he gets old enough for Axe. They'll probably have some other foul scent by then.

Thanks for the laughs!
Like Will someone feed the cat, scents trigger migraines. My son, went from having to be threatened with bodily harm to get him to bathe to spraying this crap on himself after his shower in what seemed like a matter of days. I banned is from my house, spray it outside. and he was going to be in the car with me he couldn't wear it. I finally bought him some cologne I could stand and threwe the Axe away!
Funny piece, Lisa. Glad Ryan came to his senses. The video at the end makes me think of two things: one, a saying my wife's co-workers are fond of - bleeders love chocolate - which I've always found strangely endearing somehow. The other, is that the artist on the soundtrack to that video is a wonderful musician from New Orleans, named Allen Toussaint. Go check him out...
Hilarious, Lisa.
I understand your reaction. Reminds me when a taxi or bathroom has one of those strong ant-odor sticks that gives me a headache and makes me want to barf.
And I still remember the smell of woman that wafted through an entire airplane. She was obviously from some culture where bathing was considered a sin. The flight attendents kept going up and down the aisles with air freshener but it did no good. Luckily it wasn't an overseas flight or they would have wondered why an entire planeload of people had passed out!
I too was and am the mother of an Axe-wielding/wearing teenage boy. The hot girls who told him how shitey it smelled were his sisters, and he paid them no mind. But, I am here to report that the Axe left the house. Well... the kid moved out! Rated.
My personal favorite Axe fragrance is Motorcycle Oil & A1 Steak Sauce. It comes with a stick so you can beat the ladies/stray dogs off.
I've never had the occasion to make an Axe acquaintance
Sounds like I've been luckier than some
Rated for the victory
Love's Baby Soft was mentioned already, but there were some other truly memorable scents back in the day, including Charlie, Jontue and Sweet Honesty. Perhaps it is just a phase that all adolescents go through. Maybe the olfactory sense is unusually dull during puberty.

Anyway, glad you that you have banished the malodorous Axe from your home!
Oh, and please, it's Hai Karate and Brut. (Although Brute is might be much descriptive, I'll grant you that.)
:D too funny
go Mom! Perfumes in general smell like alcohol to me. Bath and Body works lotions I love, but perfumes *ack*
course I am currently running Karen out of the house by burning incense 24/7 and wondering why my allergies have suddenly flared up
Haha! Hilarious! My son has a friend who bathes in Axe, and when he comes over, I get insta-headache. Thank God my son hasn't taken to it! Even he says it's too much...
I have sort of "won" the Axe battle around here... I simply informed the boys that IF they wanted to smell like they had spent the last week in a whorehouse without benefit of a shower they were welcome to do so BUT if they sprayed it in my house they AND the crap they were spraying were going out the second story windows.

For SOME odd reason they decided to spray it elsewhere.
it has nothing to do with the aroma, it's those damned commercials with all of the hot young girls grabbing them, just like Hai Karate. Or Brut or that hideous potion called Skin Bracer. It all stinks. I've always wondered why men buy scents that they like and women buy scents that they like. If you are going to attract the opposite sex wouldn't you want to smell like something that appealed to them? Like the best perfume a woman could wear should smell like hot wings and beer.
Okay, that chocolate ad is just... gross... ugh!

Feeling a sense of proud mom unity that you somehow won this battle. My son discovered Axe in the junior high locker room. He wasn't done with it for an entire year. Smells don't bother me that much; I kind of considered it some sort of karmic payback for the Christmas stocking Charlie perfume I wore for a while as a teen. ("Kinda fresh, kinda now - Charlie! Kinda new, kinda Wow! Charlie!")
This brings back memories of transporting my son and his friends to dances; gagging on the heavy cologne that stayed in my car for days. Really funny post!
Good job! That stuff reeks.
It's not just the boys. My baby-dyke daughter (a term I can use, being the mama-lesbian) is obsessed with the stuff. Come home from an 8 hour, outdoor marching band rehersal, in 95 degree weather, in Arkansas, carrying a sousaphone, throw on a little Axe and you're ready for the movies! Who needs to shower? (YUK!). So glad her girlfriend disabused her of any illusions that it was covering up the funk. Mom just wasn't getting through to her.
You are a good mom, and you have a very sweet son.
Hysterically funny, Lisa. Dead peppered cat. I love the image. :-D
Oh my gosh! I just got home from work and was greeted with all of your wonderful comments. I had no idea so many people were suffering from this wicked stuff. Thank you all for reading my piece and leaving such fun comments. I have to get dinner started but will be back later to respond individually. Thanks so much again. XOXO
Congrats on winning that battle. Axe is truly horrible stuff. I hate it when I'm stuck near the wretched scent on a crowded train and can't get away from it. This kind of stink is one of many reasons why I don't envy high school teachers.

Shaggy - Just picked myself off the floor after falling out of my chair laughing.
Such a shame OS doesn't have a scratch and sniff feature. Hmmm. Maybe not.
I love this! I am sensitive to all perfumes and colognes, so have lived through this kind of thing around relatives as well as of course many strangers. I never understand why people think most of them smell good (a few smell good to me but they all bother me but most I find very unpleasant to smell even before they make me feel ill).

congrats on your victory! I suspect that his girlfriend secretly thanks you.
Impressive work, Ms. Kern - especially the deaxification! The writing itself is so good I nearly puked a little - I can't even watch the commercials without feeling a little nauseous.
I have never smelled this potion, and I consider myself lucky. Very funny piece, Lisa.
My 11-year-old boy asked for this stuff. I convinced him that he shouldn' t use it because he already has three girlfriends who keep breaking up with him because of other girlfriends. I told him it could be hazardous to be even more attractive to women. He agreed and I've stayed "Axe-free" ever since. I will, however, probably be paying for therapy in the near future.

(thumbified for stink-free living.)
My cousin (whose name is also Lisa, btw) has had battles with her teen sons over a stinkum solution called "Bod Man." I thought she was making that name up until I saw it in the store. Yeesh! When I was a teenager, boys just wanted to smell like marijuana (except when they were around their 'rents.)
Oh! Jeez! We've been suffocating on the infernal Axe fumes for over a year now, but I think the allure is wearing off. Now we can breathe again. Until our son finds some other noxious potion to take its place. Gag.
Smells are such a huge part of memory...and music.

Loved this, I so relate.

Lisa, This post is priceless. With two teenage boys in the house, I can sooo relate. I dread picking up the the posse from the the local movie theater. Usually 6 boys piling into the minivan = Me arriving home with a massive headache...

Too funny.

ps. On the other hand, picking them up from football practice is no treat either. Yuch.
I wear Axe sometimes, and I like it. (of course I live in smelly-ass Mexico where you can still smoke everywhere.......)

Hit me, hit me hard. I can take it.
Hilarious, Lisa! I just forwarded your post to my sister who is facing the same battle with my nephew. I know she'll get a kick out of it.
I love your style of writing. Each post is a delight. This is hilarious. I've seen the commercials for Axe (though not the chocolate one), but I haven't experienced the smell. Obviously, the marketers know something we don't. Axe must contain something that appeals to young men. Maybe it's the sheer aggressiveness of the scent. Your telling of the story is marvelous. Congratulations on your victory. May there be more to come.
Deborah - I love your term "unpaid hazard in parenting." No one tells us about things like this when they put that sweet little baby in our arms.

Naive - If you think the stuff stinks, and you are part of the demographic whom the wearers are trying to attract, then we can honestly say that an entire generation of guys have been snookered by effective marketing. It's amazing but sad at how easily entire groups of people can be led.

Bluesurly - Ah, yes - my dad wore Brut. Not often, thank God; only for "special occasions." Not exactly an endearing scent either.

Teresa - Thank you!

O'Really? - Yes, but that would have the unfortunate consequence of releasing the smell. I do like the imagery though.

Myriad - I don't watch TV much but was surprised to see how many commercials they have when I searched YouTube. They must have an unlimited advertising budget.

Reader - You are exactly right. Perfume is meant to be enjoyed by the wearer, with occasional scent drifting to others who are near to, or embracing, the wearer. Not populations of entire zip codes! It's interesting that you mentioned that perfumes and colognes shouldn't be put in aerosol containers. I was wondering if that was why this stuff smelled so overly strong, even if only a small amount was used.

Froggy - I love it! "Not Stinky"-scented deodorant. Now that's a marketing idea I can get behind!
Indie Girl - I didn't think about trying to select a less obnoxious scent for him. How did you get him to like the one you picked?

Lonnie - How nice to see you here! Thanks for the info on the musician in the commercial. I wondered who it was. I will definitely check him out.

Lea - Being trapped in a confined space with an objectionable smell is the worst kind of awful that there is. I wonder if the non-bathing woman knew that the spraying of air fresheners was because of her?

CK Dexter Haven- I love your term "Axe-wielding." It IS a weapon. Glad to hear that your home smells better these days although it's a shame that your son had to move out for it to happen.

Shaggy - Bwahaha! You are a total hoot.

junk1 - You are VERY fortunate indeed.

Jeanette - It must not be only teenagers who suffer from the dull sense of smell; apparently elderly people do, too. The fragrance (I use the term loosely) that my mother coated herself in on our vacation was Jontue. Thanks for the spelling corrections. I didn't think "High" Karate was right unless they had a variety which contained cannabis. :)

Julie - Uh-oh. Be careful with the incense or Karen might write about you.

j lynne - Sounds like your son has good sense (or would it be "scents"?)
Mrs Raptor - I'm going to remember your advice in case this happens again: fling offspring and nasty-smelling stuff out of 2nd story window. OK, got it. Thanks!

Bobbot - Your comment made me laugh. Why hasn't anyone thought of beer and hot wings as a perfume? Genius!

Annette - I'd forgotten that Charlie theme song. In the future, we should probably be suspicious of advertising that includes the word "kinda."

Rita - Thank you! I guess some parenting milestones never change.

Umbrella - That's a great idea and one that I hadn't considered. It's true that the pricier fragrances smell much better (and last longer, too.) Thanks so much. Now I'm prepared if this happens again.

Scruffus - You said it. I think our trash can smells better.

Cassiopia - Yep, our kids seem to need to hear it from their peers. I'm glad that your daughter's girlfriend was successful in getting her off the Axe. Axe plus no shower is a deadly combination.

Sandra - Thank you. He IS sweet (and now smells sweet, too!)

Verbal - Thank you! Unfortunately the smell was even worse than the image.

LandP - I hadn't thought about the teachers who are forced to smell an entire roomful of this stuff each day. By the way, your heavily-perfumed friend sounds like my mother. When I asked her to wash her mega-dose of perfume off before we left on the last day of our vacation, she told me no, that it would wear off. Exactly WHEN, Mom? In the year 2018?
Lisa, you crack me up. Your boys are getting some dang good mothering.
Cindy - The belt is back in style? Now THAT'S good news! I will embrace the day when I no longer have to look at teenage underwear. Thank you for stopping by. :)

bikepsychobabble - Being trapped on a crowded train with this stuff would be agony. Isn't there such a thing as a No Horrible Scents law on public transportation? There should be.

SeattleK8 - Oh believe me, you do NOT want a scratch-n-sniff feature for this stuff.

Silkstone - I wonder if it's the synthetic components of most perfumes and colognes which cause them to be so irritating. If someone were to dab, say, pure vanilla on themselves, would it offend us less? You're right; there's an awful lot of dreadful smelling stuff out there.

Owl - Oh my! Sorry about that. I didn't mean to make it too realistic! Thanks so much for your very kind words. :)

Emma - You are luckier than you realize. :) Thanks very much for the compliment.

Jodi - Ha ha! I love it! You used the commercial's claim to keep your son away from it. You are a brilliant mom.

Eva - "Bod Man?" That even SOUNDS revolting. Thanks for the memories of when all boys smelled like pot.

Nelly - You've been putting up with it for year? I feel for you. I wouldn't have any lung capacity left!

Buffy - Yes. Here's to hoping all of our memory smells are good ones.
Brie - Yes, it's a toss-up as to which is worse: the body odor or the Axe.

Ginny Rose - I won't hassle you because you wear Axe. Mexico is far enough away from Pennsylvania. :) Just curious: What scent do you wear?

dailyforeclosure - Thanks! Please send your sister my best wishes for a successful, sweet-smelling outcome with her son.

Steve - Wow, thanks! Such nice compliments. :) I think you nailed it with by saying the scent is aggressive. Maybe it appeals to men with high testosterone levels? Who knows! I do wonder if these young men actually LIKE the scent or just think they do because of the ad campaigns convincing them that women like it. Advertising is a powerful and influential industry.

Wakingupslowly - Thanks! I just hope that Ryan agrees with you when he reads this and doesn't try to kill me in my sleep or something.
VERY funny! My kid used the stuff for a while, too. Thank god he gave it up on his own.
Oh Lisa. Still chuckling over liver and goat pee. I guess Ryan doesn't read your blog. I've had to stop writing about my son ever since last week when he discovered that I'd offered Beth Mann $10 to have a talk with him.
Hells Bells - You're lucky that your son chose to give up the Axe on his own. Once that addiction sets in, it's hard to change their minds.

Juliet - That's too funny about you offering Beth $10 to talk to your son, although I'm sorry he didn't get the humor in it. Ryan doesn't usually read my blog, but now that I've written about him for the first time, he'll no doubt find this one. Save me a seat in the parenting dog house, OK?

Sao Kay - It's so good to see you. I appreciate that you understood the significance of my win and how hard it was for Ryan to give up. Thank you for the kind words.
My son has also fallen, another kook-aid drinker. I have seriously thought of requiring that he spray it only on the lanai. (That's screened-in porch for you non-Floridians.) However, as close as the neighbors are, I might have the Po-Po knocking at my door and saying someone has complained about the loud smells.

And my generation was assaulted not by Old Spice, but by Polo, usually by the frat boys (and frat boy wannabees) at the Ole Miss football game.
Oh yeah...I forgot about Polo! hahaha...

Lisa; I took him with me to the store and had a very attractive young sales woman help me in convincing him a nice subtle fragrance was better. as someone else said it costs a lot more but sooooo worth it!
Ugh, our 11 year old has been inducted into the world of "manpoo", as my husband likes to call it, and his first choice was a bottle of Axe Brazilian Mud something or other. It really doesn't smell all bad and as it's just bodywash it isn't overwhelming. But, after reading your post, I am thinking the bodywash is like a gateway drug and he will soon be experimenting with bodysprays! I may need your help on the intervention.
Phaedo - I'm laughing at "New Car Smell." I think that "Got Lots o'Bucks" would be a gender-neutral fragrance, too. :)

Dayna - oh my gosh, I'd forgotten about Polo! That's another classic. It's funny how just reading the names of those old scents makes you instantly remember how they smell.

Indie Girl - That is definitely a strategy I'm going to keep in mind in case Son #2 gets any ideas.

mamoore - I have to tell you a story about body wash. This morning, Ryan said that he's thrilled because he found (and bought) Irish Spring body wash. I told him in what was probably poor timing on my part that when I was a kid, my parents used to wash my mouth out with Irish Spring soap. To this day, I can't stand the stuff. He threw his hands in the air and said, "Oh great! Another scent that you're not going to like!" I assured him that as long as he didn't try to put it in my mouth, I'd be OK. So please tell me that body WASH is more subtle than body SPRAY, OK? If not, I'm going to be in big trouble!

Eric - Yep, smelling like a gym sock is definitely bad when you're trying to impress the ladies, and I second your comment about the allure of being unique. We'll see how it goes with the Irish Spring body wash. Otherwise, we're off to Macy's!
Rated for its intoxicating scent. Fabulous.
Cory - Thanks! I'm posting the link to your Axe piece here (if OS will let me).

Hey everyone - be sure to check out Cory Frye's intensely funny Axe testimonial here:

Sorry I can't hyperlink it, but it's definitely worth the effort to copy and paste.
Ugh! As one of the "commentors" below said, it will probably take a teenage girl to convince him to give the stuff up. Maybe you can rent one? As for "Old Spice," that was my Dad's favorite. I love it because it reminds me of him. Don't diss Old Spice!
PhillyArt - Don't worry; no dissing Old Spice. It's a classic for sure. I can still remember how it smells. My dad wore Brut on special occasions but my grandfather wore Old Spice. Good memories!
Brut. Then English Leather. Then Aramis.

Finally nothing. Hallelujah.

There are no teenage boys in my life. For which I'm grateful beyond words. that's what the kids are up to, huh? I put on a friend's Old Spice just to be weird...I mean this was like 6 months ago...and we went to an art gathering thing...and I had several women tell me they loved my scent....that could be weirder than me wearing it in the first place. xox
femme forte - Ooh, Aramis - I'd forgotten about that one. Hopefully Axe will pass from the forefront of our minds just as quickly. Thanks for stopping by.

Robin - Actually, that was clever of you to wear Old Spice. The scent probably evoked all sorts of warm, loving memories of their fathers and that's why they liked it so much. :)
Oh, your guys sound wonderful and I too have been through the horrors of the Axe stuff. Fragrance was also banned from the house. I just had to get used to the smell of stale alcohol....Loved this post.
Reminds me of an old joke about a down-on-his-luck door-to-door toothbrush salesman... it *is*shit... wanna buy a toothbrush??
Mary - Wow, you too? This stuff must be epidemic!

Mr. E - Hmmm...I don't know. New or used?
Too funny, Lisa. It's like a cologne horror story. Especially funny since its called "Axe."

"It smells like you peppered a cat and left it out in the sun too long."


But seriously, that stuff is noxious. Most perfumes are filled with so much crap - I can't be around that stuff at all any more. Introduce to him some sexy essential oils like sandalwood or even lavender.
I have a 15 year old boy and I'm waiting....
Z - :)

Beth - I do wonder about the stuff that they use to make it. I mean, smells like cat pee and pepper just shouldn't be combined - ever.

Nan - I hope your son can resist it. Tell him to stay away from the cute girls who push the stuff at the mall.
Awesome post! I have banned Axe from my house!
tdudette - Yep, banning is the only option. Thank you for finding this piece and taking time to read and comment. I appreciate it!
Hee hee...Sauteed Sofa...hee hee...