Can Cologne Change Your Life? The Experiment: Part 2, Women

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If you missed it, Paul’s been experimenting to see how his life will change when he gives it a new scent.

So far, I’ve gone through smell detox, picked up some Creed Green Irish Tweed, and started to test it out. I’ve also learned:

  • Cary Grant was in North by Northwest, and I should watch that movie (according to Adrian L.).
  • If you’re in-the-know, Green Irish Tweed is referred to as GIT by the cool kids (Patrick R. and odinbearded and sator and Ryan and Michael R. and others). Not to be confused with Git, the source code management software, nerds (like me).
  • GIT supposedly smells like Cool Water. After reading this and having smelled both, I agree that they’re similar, but I never would have come to that conclusion without a prompt.
  • Supposedly, there is no fairy tale magic potion in Creed’s cologne. Thanks a lot, Douglas W.
  • But GIT was the right choice, at least according to Shawn R., IjN, and yoyorobbo. Phew.
Wearing Cologne

Application of cologne is tricky. Everybody seems to agree that it should be subtle, but one man’s “subtle” is another man’s smell-bomb. It’s a sliding scale at best.

I’ve definitely over-done it on days, and I hate it. I’m not ready for that. I want to apply, smell it briefly, and go on with my life. I don’t want to noticeably smell my cologne constantly – I just want it to be there in the background. In college, I remember a guy down the hall borrowing my roommate’s cologne before heading out for the night. Five sprays. He used five sprays. He fogged his entire body and our room along with it. “Do that shit in the hall,” I gasped at him. Luckily, I was able to retreat to a bar that smelled like urinal cake.

While we’re telling college cologne horror stories, I should at least mention to our collegiate readers that if you forget to empty the strawberries you put in your dorm freezer for frozen cocktails before break and you come back to find that the dorm cut its power and that your strawberries are a rotten mess instead of a delicious daiquiri ingredient, clean the mess up with soap and water. Do not just give it a spritz of Hugo Boss thinking it will “cover the scent.”

But as I was saying, application has been tricky. If I’m a drop off, it’s a disaster. I’m getting better.

Elegant packaging for an elegant scent.

Elegant packaging for an elegant scent.

Testing on the Ladies

The day I got my Creed in the mail, my wife and I were both home. I was downstairs with my package. She was upstairs with hers. Now, perhaps I’ve been led astray by those smell pheromone ads in the back pages of magazines (not to mention the Axe ads), but I was kinda hoping for immediate pant removal as the logical, reasonable response to my new, wonderful scent. Mine or hers – either way – her choice. Instead she shouted/asked.

“Did you open that cologne?”

“Yes,” I said while straining to listen for the sounds of dropping pants, racing heart, etc. etc.

That was the end of the conversation.

Later, when we were in the same room together, she asked, “Did you put some of that cologne ON?”

Sigh. Of course I had.

Full disclosure: When I first told my wife the idea for the article, she thought it’d be entertaining and funny. Then she realized a critical piece of what I was saying. “YOU’RE doing the experiment?” she said. “I thought you talked JOE into doing it.” No, I was doing the experiment, I reiterated.

So there’s a bit of that.

Cologne, like how we dress, is our way of presenting our best-possible self to the world. It’s our way of declaring our taste, affluence, and genetic fitness among other things. I may not have a Bentley parked out front, but I can smell like I might. Or dress like I could. My wife, however, knows that the theoretical Bentley is a very real Toyota Sienna. What I’m trying to say is that the experiment was flawed and I needed to find another woman. For science.

Things that go in your nose are expensive.

Things that go in your nose are expensive.

Woman #2 is a Bartender

Our local bar has been a bit of a let-down. We recently moved to small-town America, and I can’t explain how much I miss the bars we used to go to in Chicago. They were just better. They were welcoming. They learned what we drank and knew what to pour us. The bartenders were chatty and friendly and generous. We’ve been to our local bar now nearly a dozen times and there’s still no welcoming feeling, no acknowledgment of our city-level tipping, no chit-chat. It sucks. Until …

“Yuengling and a glass of red?” the cute blond bartender says to us as we sit down at the bar. It’s a wonderful thing. We’ve become regulars – finally – she knows our drinks! Problem is, that happened the last time we went to the bar. It was pre-Creed. Now that I’m living in a post-Creed world, I can’t even begin to imagine what my new smell will bring. A conversation longer than a drink order? A comped appetizer? A free shot? Maybe a threesome?

Turns out: none of that. We enter, me smelling like a billion dollars, and what happens? Nothing. We’re somehow back in the shit shack, just another pair of customers. Our regular status has been revoked. We’re commoners again, dammit, and we order our drinks like ordinary chumps.

Can I blame the Creed? Maybe. Maybe I smelled too city, too out-of-town, too sophisticated, too outsider. It’s a lie I tell myself while I drown my sorrows in a non-pre-poured-like-Norm’s Yuengling.

However, science is all about repeatability, so I grudgingly head back to the bar days later. Creed-scented attempt number two turns out the same way. There’s no conversation, no free anything, no friendliness, no threesome. The couple that arrives after us gets the full-on regular treatment: “How are you? Haven’t seen you in a while! Cold isn’t it?” Bastards. I attempt to sniff them.

But I do notice one thing, and it’s not something I was expecting. I catch myself shopping for suits again, eyeballing a three-piece one day, then a casual linen one on another, and a new blazer after that. Something is going on.

Coming up:

  • Will wifey warm up to my new scent?
  • Can I find a third woman that will have a positive reaction to my scent?
  • And is the right cologne more powerful than a pile of airline miles at the airport?

Got a cologne success or horror story? Share it in the comments. Want to try GIT for yourself? Get a bottle on Amazon.