Back in June 1967, less than a week after the 6 Day War in Israel, I left for Paris to study French at the Alliance Francaise, Sorbonne. The classes were all-day affairs and brutally difficult so when I saw the poster for the new James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, I rushed to the theater to see it. I was a heavy James Bond fan in the 60s, I even combed my hair like him, see my photo in this article. (BTW, click on poster to see the French version, and yes, it's safe for work)
Parisian theaters in those days would show filmed advertisements shortly before the main feature. One of those ads was for a female underarm deodorant. As I remember the ad, a woman is standing in a bus hanging on a strap with her underarm just above a poor fellow's head. Squiggly odor waves cascade over this guy and he takes out the underarm deodorant and sprays it on the woman's armpit hairs. The audience laughed at this; deodorants were rather a novel thing in Paris in those days. I suppose they wondered why anyone would want to cover up a woman's natural fragrance. I know what you are thinking: France is supposedly the birthplace of perfumes, so shouldn't they normally want to cover up a woman's odor? In my opinion, perfume should be used [very sparingly] to enhance, not cover up a woman's natural fragrance.
I personally prefer the smell of a woman as she comes out of a shower; I do not enjoy perfumes or shower body splashes or whatever they're called.
I was reminded of that ad in Paris long ago when I read the following this morning:
prschik.com [blog now defunct],
Rexona Shuts Down Their ‘Russian Women as Pigs’ Campaign
The new campaign for Rexona deodorants called upon all Russian women to kill their ‘inside pig’, referring to their piggy habits – one of them being specifically the lack of deodorant or antiperspirant use. After a scandalous beginning which received numerous negative responses in Russian-language internet, the Rexona website was shut down, Adme News Agency reports.
Rexona openly declared that women in Russia have a terrible body odor and possess neither remorse nor awareness regarding this issue. The company’s promotional website tried to open the eyes of Russian women to educate them on this topic and help them avoid such embarrassing problems in the future.
According to Rexona, Russian women smell eight times as strongly as English women and six times worse then German females. Even Polish women are three times more likely to have a pleasant body smell.
I don't know how Rexona made that determination, but leaving out for a moment the faint native smell each race of people have for their bodies, there are very few individuals who can detect the ethnic smell of women from different countries; even after you bathe them, all women of the same ethnic group smell the same. To say that Russian women smell like pigs because they don't use deodorants is inaccurate. And I have smelled thousands of women, but that's a different story for another time.
Oh, the James Bond flick? I recall enjoying it although hearing Sean Connery speak French was a bit off-putting at first.