Sunday, August 23, 2009

Would you Like Some Brut with your Scented Memories sir?

"Brut - launched in 1964 by boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper and famously worn by Kevin Keegan, who liked to splash it all over - this week celebrates its 45th birthday and its combination of sandalwood, bergamot, citrus and lavender is still instantly recognisable". {a perceptive reader tells me it's actually Cooper who was appearing on ads advocating splashing all over, there are factual mistakes on the quoted article from the Daily Record linked below}
They seem to be forgetting the crucial essence of this macho typhoon by Fabergé with the dog-collar chained on the distinctive green bottle ~the intense nitromusks garlanding it with all the bravado of a man who didn't have to try too hard and which made for several ones who did try too hard by overapplying this strong and memorable potion onto their burly chests in the hopes of "getting some". The now banned synth musks that were all the rage in the 70s have been replaced and Brut doesn't smell as daring. (please note the stuff in plastic bottles is a watered-down version as opposed to the glass ones)
But it's this masculine cologne anniversary that prompted several well-known people to reveal what reminds them of their youthful Saturday nights in an article in The Daily Record.
The replies vary from the (very British) Vimto drink to classic perfumes (Ma Griffe, Tweed) to simpler and predictable aromata (honeysuckle or newly-cut grass) all the way to more unexpected stuff (Elnett hairspray ~a scent I love myself and the only hairspray I use~ and sheep dung, a smell I do not but which is everywhere in Britain). One of them was basking in Bono's aftershave. Pity he didn't identify it for us.

Pic of Brut classic via


  1. I think I have told you before Helg that my husband will not wear aftershave - with Fathers Day coming up here - my daughter and I never waste our money buying him it anymore as it sat in cupboards unused for years. Frustrating, for Ana and I are both HUGE fragrance users and lovers!
    But -- and you know there is Always a "but" , my husband Loves BRUT in the deodorant spray and I have to tell you - it does smell great when he has done his "pits"!!!
    its better than many airfresheners too!!!

  2. Well, being of a certain age, Brut was THE choice of every male I went to high school with. The hallways were ripe with the smell of it, mixed with the equally ripe smell of teenage boys, erp! Now I work in a high school, and the boys reek of Axe body spray. I don't really see an improvement. :)

  3. Anonymous13:13

    Morning, Helg -

    To my recollection it was Henry Cooper who used to say, in the TV adverts, "Splash it on allll oooo-vah!"; Kevin Keegan's predilection for the - uh - 'juice' came later. There are one or two other errors, too.

    I suppose my not recognizing any of the 'well-known people' is because I've not lived in my native country for over 14 years...

    In any case, some fact checking might not have gone amiss - with us oldies who remember it, perhaps, if nothing else!

    Disillusioned in NC


  4. M,

    yes, I recall very well!! And I sense your frustration :-)
    I recall Brut from my father who flirted with it for "a brief moon" before coming back to his Paco Rabanne and Azzaro. It was pungent, distinctive and could be disastrous if overapplied. Fond memories! Enjoy the "pits" scent!! :-))


  5. R,

    why do teenage boys do that?? I mean, what do they hope to accomplish? I can see how lots of Brut could clear hallways, it always seemed so strong. Axe is much worse though to me, because they use this synthetic (dihydromercynol) that pierces the nose and singes the hair, probably to aid to the diffusion since these are such "unstabstantial" formulae.

  6. Anon, they mucked on the opening quote and got it wrong?? Typical...there is no factual checking in today's reportage. I usually point these out when I can.
    The other day I came across a quote on Justin Timberlake launching his own fragrance, Play. No mention of Givenchy behind it! It looks like hiring a celebrity to front your fragrance might backfire in more ways than one... :-(

  7. And of course I edited to add your info. Thanks!!!

  8. Brut scares me, but then again I come from a family of men who never wear fragrance except my brother and I like to think that is the French coming out.

  9. Jen,

    it does have that macho image behind it. Still, I like it in small doses. The French coming out is probably an ambiguous thing, I like to think of it positively.

  10. Ah, I had a lover who wore it very discreetly- in 1973.

    One of those men who was externally ordinary- and internally, ANYTHING BUT , LOL ;-)

    It IS good on the 'pits' .

    Fond memories...where's my cold shower ?

  11. I,

    if there hadn't been one, God would have to create one for you! I can't imagine anyone more suited to that scenario and it's fun to happen upon someone who thought this was sexy. I thought it was too even though my recollections were of a completely different nature.

  12. Helg,
    I know way mean the French part as negative. My mother was French so I actually like to think of it as a positive thing, she passed away when we were very young, and I like to think of it as a connection for my brother and I to her.


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