Image Letters: Readers share their own memories of Old Spice — and their fathers
In response to the story “Time in a classic bottle” from the June 10 Image section, readers wrote in to share how Old Spice — the de facto scent of American dadness — evokes memories of their own fathers. Here are a few of those letters.
We’re all in the same “boat”
Just wanted to take a moment to let you know how much I enjoyed your article on Old Spice the other day.
My earliest memory of my dad was his scratchy beard and the smell of Old Spice when he kissed me more than 60 years ago!
When my dad passed away three years ago, my stepmother gave me his last bottle of Old Spice. I took it to the funeral and mentioned in my eulogy how much I love that smell. And afterward, I splashed some on anyone who wanted to share the memory and the scent.
My sense of smell is not what it used to be these days, but for some reason, that scent still comes through as strong as ever!
I’m sure you will be hearing from other people who have similar recollections. So thanks for making us feel like we’re all in the same “boat,” so to speak. Great piece!
I’d know that buoy bottle and its octagon top anywhere
I just wanted to thank you for the beautiful remembrance story of your dad and how Old Spice has wafted its way through our dads’ and our own lives. I’d know that buoy bottle and its octagon top anywhere. And yes, there were a couple of years of Soap-on-a-Rope gift sets when my brother and I would pay for them ourselves at the neighborhood Thrifty drugstore.
This will also be the fourth Father’s Day without my dad, and it was a great occasion to remember him and godfather George across the street, by the bottle. Blessings to your dad, Douglas, and all the fathers, here and not, and congratulations on a really engaging article. Thank you for creating a special time out this morning to remember my dad and so many other good times.
Inextricably wound around my younger adulthood
In the past, I’ve written you on several occasions. I think the last contact was about your Vans column [“Vans shoes: a happily checkered past” from May 24, 2009]. My son-in-law wore the checkerboards with his tuxedo when he married my youngest daughter in 2009.
Today’s column strikes me even closer. I estimate I am nine years younger than your dad would be today. Old Spice is inextricably wound around my younger adulthood. I had it all — the shaving mug, shaving brush, deodorant and, of course, the cologne. Today, only the stick deodorant (but never the antiperspirant) remains in the lineup, specifically for travel.
Thank you for an excellent Father’s Day remembrance.
I too am the keeper of this treasure
Thank you for your piece about Old Spice and your dad’s bottle. My dad died in 2014 as well, and I too am the keeper of this treasure.
I haven’t opened it since his death because I fear the memories and sadness that may follow.
But, maybe today, I will.
Jill Witzman Dolan
When a boyfriend smells just like dad
As a 73-year-old woman, I vividly remember when I was dating a boyfriend who smelled just like my dad. I never said anything to the boyfriend; instead, I bought dear old Dad a different aftershave for Father’s Day. (Isn’t variety the spice of life?)
He was very gracious but asked me if I wouldn’t mind if he returned it and got Old Spice. Of course, what could I say except, “Sure, I love Old Spice.”
I really enjoyed reading your story about your dad. In case you're a father, I wish you Happy Father’s Day, and if you’re not, I still wish you Happy Father’s Day. This will be the first Father’s Day without my beloved husband who also just occasionally wore Old Spice.
Old Spice as mourning fragrance
I too am the owner of a half-full bottle of Old Spice given to me by my dad one day before he died last November. It sits on my desk in my office. I have such a strong association of OS and Dad that we bought two extra bottles and had all male (and female) fellow mourners at his funeral slap some on. It was a nice reminder of Dad almost being there.
For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me at @ARTschorn.