Weeklong Experiment: Mom Wears Axe Spray

Dahlia Lithwick joins ranks of teen boys

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 22, 2013 12:23 PM CDT

(Newser) – It seems Axe body spray is contagious. Dahlia Lithwick was too familiar with its "olfactory terrorism" after her sons, ages 10 and 8, started wearing the brand's body wash, deodorant, and spray in imitation of their 13-year-old cousin. She teased, she joked, and then she one day discovered it was the only product in her shower—so she decided to try it. Her immediate reaction actually includes the words "sunshine" and "harps." Writes Lithwick for Slate, "I smelled the way an adolescent male smells when he feels that everything good in the universe is about to be delivered to him, possibly by girls in angel wings." And so she decided to drench herself in it for a week.

It prompted a range of reactions: Her husband declared it instantly effective, noting she was "already single again." But after realizing that most of society is too polite to call out a woman wearing a scent "so powerful as to be causing climate change," she decided to double down with an uber-heavy application at Slate's annual retreat. Her roommate cowered, but three female colleagues "spontaneously observed that I smelled completely amazing," with one waxing poetic about a night in the back of a truck as a 14-year-old. As for Lithwick, "I really did grow to love the fragrance. And no. I don't want to talk about it." Her kids felt differently: After their mother began wearing Axe, they abandoned it within days. Click for her fantastic piece, which includes the phrase "boom-chicka-wah-wah" twice.

An Axe ad screen grab.
An Axe ad screen grab.   (YouTube)
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