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You Mean You Don’t Like the Sweet Smell of Freedom??

May 30, 2010

Bet your nose is just tingling right now.

The Original Man Candle.  Candles for men.  “Candles with attitude.”

These are what Liss at Shakesville might call “A real thing in the real world.”  I wouldn’t believe it either, if we didn’t sell them at the store where I work.  For Father’s Day.  Because you know that your dad would be really honored to receive a candle that’s supposed to smell like a poker room.

There’s not much analysis to be had here, other than to point out that anytime a company or marketing department attempts to define “masculinity” via something like a scented candle, hilarious results ensue.  Some of the candles come in scents that you’d pretty much expect – baseball, football, golf course.  Oh, and of course “fart.”  Because no man is leading a complete life if he isn’t entirely surrounded by fart jokes.  Then, of course, there are the strange selection of apparently manly food items: pot roast, pizza, popcorn (?), bacon.  They can be paired with manly drinks, which consist solely of “cup o’ joe” and beer.

What really gets me, though, are the weird concept scents that they create once they run out of obvious objects that seem “masculine.”  The line offers not only a “garage” scent (which smells of oil and rubber) and a “fishing dock” scent (which we do not carry, thankfully), but also a candle called, simply, “FREEDOM.”  Apparently, Freedom smells like cinnamon and candle wax.  Who knew?

The availability of the Freedom candle has led me to make two very spectacular jokes at the expense of packaged masculinity.  I will take this opportunity to share those jokes with you, since I think we should ALL be making more jokes at the expense of packaged masculinity.

When the candles first arrived, I switched the labels on the Freedom and Fart candles, then went around asking my coworkers to smell them.  When they inevitably balked at the surprisingly flatulent scent of Freedom, I would then say, “What? You don’t like the smell of America?”

Thank you.  I’ll be here all week.

Then, the other day, an enormously attractive male customer started perusing the scents, which we keep near the register, while I was ringing up his purchases.  As a mechanic, he commented on how accurate the “garage” smell seemed to him.  Then, wisely skipping over the “fart” scent, he lifted Freedom to his nostrils.

“Smells like… what is this supposed to be?”  he asked me.

“It’s cinnamon,” I obliged.  And when he made a slightly confused face I continued, saying, “I know.  Not what you’d expect.  Personally I thought freedom smelled like the blood of the innocent.  But apparently it just smells like cinnamon.”

Fortunately for me and my continued employment, he got the joke.  Score one for the female brain over thoughtless representations of masculinity!

Also, I would like to call a moratorium on marketing companies using the phrase “with attitude.”  Because really, it’s just silly.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. marybullstonecraft permalink*
    May 30, 2010 8:11 pm

    LOL! Queenie, you’re amazing. And you’re right, obviously: I would not have picked cinnamon as the representation of freedom. Maybe they’re making a subtle statement about free trade as the most true form of freedom? Since, you know, cinnamon is–as far as I know–not indigenous to North America.

    Also, Fart Candle? SRSLY?

  2. hereticamongthelotuseaters permalink
    June 1, 2010 7:07 am

    They chose cinnamon because it allegedly turns on a statistically significant portion of men, or so I once read. It supposedly reminds men of sex. So it’s not so much that freedom smells like cinnamon, it’s more that they really wanted to sell this scent but thought that cinnamon was not a manly enough name. I have always said that there need to be classes in schools teaching people from a young age to be critical of marketing and advertising.

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