Dear Gillette:


Dear Gillette:

I remember a time not that long ago Harriet would tell me how good I smelled after I shaved. Now? Silence. And for that, I am turning in my loyalty card to your Gillette Foamy shaving cream. I gotta tell you, that stuff stinks now. Whatever you did to the formula, you messed up badly.

In case you think I’m simply a disgruntled old drip who’s resistant to change, I’m not the only one feeling this way. I went on Reddit and on a shaving and razor forum (yes, that’s a thing) and read comments by other (former) Gillette Foamy customers:

“The new scent is incredibly rank and it lingers, too.”

“This just goes to show how disconnected Gillette is from its long-time users. They have so many other lines of modern gels and foams they could’ve just left the original alone!”

That’s a good point about the long-time users. I’ve used Foamy for twenty-plus years. It smelled just right to me (and Harriet). But like my forum friend said, you couldn’t leave well enough alone. You had to do something you thought would expand your market to the younger customers. But you struck out on that one too, as this commentator pointed out:

“Called the company-—they said that Gillette is always trying to “improve” their products. Told them that the new smell was NOT an improvement. Even my Millennial son thinks it stinks.”

Agreed. My own Millennial son, who I have bonded with in the past over a shared can of Foamy, also said the new scent sucked.

Side note: I love the corporate explanatory speak about how they’re always trying to improve their products. That’s a perfect response to almost any consumer complaint. You hate the new Foamy? Oh, don’t worry, we’re working to improve it.

Some users compared the new Foamy scent to minty chemicals. Another one said it smelled like insecticide. I’m leaning toward Dawn dishwashing liquid. Wait—do I smell a conspiracy? Dawn and Gillette are both Procter & Gamble product lines. I think they’re trying to save money, increase efficiency, and reinforce their brand essence by making all of their products smell the same.

It’s a terrible thing to mess with a scent. We all know how scent is the strongest trigger of memories. This poor guy wrote on the forum: “Many years ago one of my favorite girlfriends bought me a can of Gillette Foamy, and the warm, spicy scent always reminded me of her. I’m married now, girlfriend is out of the picture, and now I guess the shaving cream is gone, too. Rats.”

I’ve learned that disgruntled men who like foams more than gels are abandoning Gillette Foamy in droves and switching to Barbasol or Equate shaving creams. I will too, and I expect to smell better for it.

By David Klein

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, journalist, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.


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