One of these days I will actually get to something that was released in this millennium. But Musette requested via FacePlace that I do Love’s Baby Soft, and it is always better in the scheme of things to do what Musette asks..
Love’s Baby Soft apparently was released in 1974, with some of the creepiest advertising ever known. I mean, look at this commercial: You know this would never pass muster today but you have to wonder how it ever did even then?
I know this was the decade of David Hamilton and all, but this ad aired today would get the entire creative team on lists that would prevent them from moving within 1000 feet of a pre-school. As for the scent, the website describes it as “As soft and gentle as a kiss. It speaks in a powdery whisper, and is as cool and fresh as a gentle summer breeze.“
Not having smelled a baby recently, if ever, I cannot say that this is a simulacrum of one. Or even if it’s a simulacrum of the ideal lollipop lickin’ Lolita of a group of admen after a 3 martini lunch. Unless ‘Lo smells of baby powder, play-doh, and feet.
In other words, Love’s Baby Stinks.
The same company was responsible for the nautical-themed scent Canoe. Canoe was launched in 1936 with notes (from fragrantica) of
Top notes: Lavender, Lemon and Clary Sage
Middle notes: Carnation, Bourbon Geranium, Cloves, Cedar and Patchouli
Base notes: Vanilla, Heliotrope, Tonka Bean, Oakmoss and Musk
Canoe was one that I actually did have a small bottle of when I was a teen for a very specific reason: I had a job after school for a year before college and there was a very difficult lady who worked there who liked it. It wasn’t my favorite, but I figured that if she did and it kept her happy, then it was money well spent. It did and it was. Upon leaving the job, I think I gave the bottle to another worker there and told him to wear it or pour it behind the sofa in the break room as he chose.
Which makes it sound like I hated it. I didn’t, but I had, and preferred Eau Sauvage, which kind of treads the same ground (or seemed to at the time) so why, I thought, keep both? Yes, that was me in my teens, yet to become the person who would not only keep it, but add to it. Because you never know. The bottle I purchased (after shave) off of eBay was marked “original formula”
Now granted mine is in a glass bottle and I have no idea of it’s age or condition- it could have lived in a cave since 1966 or been touring the Sahara on the dashboard of a VW bus since last election day for all I know. I get sort of lavender/sage/geranium and then not much else. But frankly I don’t remember the one I had fresh from wherever drug rather than department store I got it from (I’m sure it was more likely Serio’s than Steiger’s) being all that either. It’s not enough to make me want to toss it, but not enough to make me want to explore further.
And then there’s Camay.
Camay has been around forever seemingly. According to Wikipedia it was introduced in 1927 as a “white, pure soap for women” when other soaps were dyed to mask “impurities.” Camay was heavily advertised in the 70’s with women lovingly soaping their faces (or creepily, having them soaped)
with a look of bliss on their faces that really could only come if the bar was stamped “Rorer 714” and could back the claim up. (SNL did a hilarious parody ad of it, linked here) It also received a literary shout-out in Stephen King’s “The Shining” as a phantom smell Jack Torrance experiences in room 217 before he meets the former occupant. We didn’t have it in the house that I remember: we were more of an ivory soap kind of family, except for some perfumed French stuff that my mother kept in drawers as sachet and the exotic black facial bar we were not allowed to touch (a brand which I use to this day.) So I ended up choosing from eBay something called “Camay Clasico” in Spanish-language packaging, because it would A) get here in a reasonable amount of time and 2) perhaps be like Mexican Coca Cola and closer to the real thing.
Well it got here quickly.
I don’t know if this is the way it was back in the 70’s, but it certainly isn’t a white soap, it’s a creamy yellowy pink and very, VERY highly scented. Like a dozen roses dipped in Cherry Heering and a soupçon of cherry cough syrup. Or a bucketful. Now, I like cherries. I like them in dessert and I like them in some scents, but these are a little overboard. I needed to break up the 5 pack and separate them like they were nuclear waste in the pilot for “Space: 1999” lest they blow my little apartment out of orbit like Moonbase Alpha, so piercing was the scent. If I ever need to transport a dead body to it’s disposal site or a few kilos of something very illegal over the borders of the country I might be tempted to try packing it in Camay Clasico instead of ground coffee: my five bars were $10 and will no doubt have a scented half-life of plutonium. I doubt even the cheapest of Juan Valdez’ beans will beat either the price or the performance if covering the scent of questionable substances is your goal..
As for the performance as soap, well it’s soap. It happily didn’t leave me smelling like I’d been pickled like one of Mr Heering’s fruits but if it had ¼ cleansing cream I didn’t notice that translated to softer skin. I bought it. So I will use it, maybe keeping one bar around for when I cook fish to see if it will banish the cooking smell, or whether it just makes the place smell like Salmon Jubilee.
So what are the scents that bring you back? Let us know in the comments.
I purchased my bottles of Canoe and Love’s Baby Soft off of eBay. The Camay was bought on Amazon. Photo by me.