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Products Past and Present: Old Spice

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I'm always curious about the origins of products, especially those I encounter everyday. While obviously Old Spice isn't something I use, as my beau's deodorant of choice, it's a product I'm well acquainted with. The scent sticks to everything: his clothes, the sheets, the couch, and so I've started to wonder about its history.

Plain and simple, Old Spice has been around forever. Surprisingly, when the product was first introduced in 1937, it was a fragrance called Early American Old Spice and it was for women!


Old Spice for men wasn't introduced until 1938 and was mainly a line of shaving soap and after shave which was marketed with a manly nautical theme consisting of sailing ships. This Old Spice commercial from the late 50s shows the nautical theme well, there are even singing mermaids!



This ad from 1953 shows the Old Spice product line:

In 1990 the original manufacturer of Old Spice, Shulton, sold Old Spice to Proctor & Gamble who promptly changed the logo from sailing ships to a yacht. Proctor & Gamble also changed the scent, marketing many new fragrances under the Old Spice name. Finally in 2008 the original scent returned but to the disappointment of many, it no longer smelled like the Shulton original.

In the last couple years Old Spice has launched a rather interesting advertising campaign:




It's rather disappointing to find out that 
today's original scent is not actually 
the scent to which I owe my existence
(see product tag line)

but it still smells pretty darn good.

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