Perspective: Message in a Bottle

Men's cologne ads have always been about sex on some level

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For a long time now, the advertising of men’s colognes has featured two key ingredients: men, plus that universally presumed (if not scientifically proven) wisdom that a nice-smelling fella’s going to get the ladies. But while these two components can be found in the cologne ads on these pages, the ads themselves are nothing alike. And that, according to Marian Bendeth, founder of fragrance consultancy Sixth Scents, points to another truism in men’s fragrance marketing: It’s devolved from a knowing cleverness about sex to the rawness of a porn shoot.



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