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Forget Obsession: A dab of Tide and Cheer behind the ear just makes scents

A quick glance through any recent fashion magazine reveals that Americans have an obsession with the senses.

Cologne manufacturers, in their constant efforts to better society at large, graciously offer readers the opportunity to arouse multiple senses at every turn of a page. Usually, the well planned ad features a half-naked couple rolling around on a remote island or on a barren beach or under a tree, oblivious to the crashing waves or the rough sand or the fallen acorns because they both smell so good.

They are getting it on, of course, because they are wearing Obsession or Romance or Animal Heat or Sweet Sweet Love or Buck Naked or something -- names cleverly conceived and extremely subtle about the underlying intention of the cologne. While I commend the advertisers for recognizing America's affinity for such base advertising, the perfume designers should reevaluate the actual scents marketed therein.

If perfume manufacturers were really smart, they would stop trying to tap into our collective sexual psyches and pick a scent that appeals to everyone, eroticism aside. Yup, if these moneymaking agencies were wise, they'd bottle a new scent that everyone enjoys. The newest perfume, available in standard formula for both genders, would be called Clean Laundry.

Of all the scents in the world, I can't think of one that thrills me like the smell of clean laundry. I spent four hours in a laundromat this weekend delighting in fabric softener and liquid detergent, reveling in the sweet scents of hygiene and purity. I would have stayed longer, too, if the employees hadn't been staring at me the whole time. I had no problem pressing my flushed cheeks against the shaking glass of the dryer as my linens spun round and round. Why should they care?

If only the perfume designers could appreciate how I tingle at the very mention of phrases like "static-free" and "contains no dye." If only they knew how the smell of Bounce on worn flannel shirts makes my knees week. Maybe then they'd give me what I crave. I don't want soft porn advertisements titled with catchy euphemisms. I want something natural, something standard, something clean. I want clean laundry, and I want lots of it.

See, a man who wears something called "Obsession" begs the questions, "With what, exactly, are you obsessed? And why, then, would I want to be with you?"

Same problem with Polo Sport. I know he hasn't played a day of polo in his life. And if he did, do you really think I'd want to smell him afterward?

No, I want a man who smells like clean laundry. After hearing my male friends explain how they can go for weeks without doing laundry (thanks to their finely honed underwear-recycling techniques), I want a man who smells clean, even if he's faking it.

Sure, he could impress me with his Drakkar Noir and Clear Water. And I might enjoy his company even more if he's sporting Woods or Curve. But if he really wants to win me over, my man will splash on some Tide before he heads out the door.

It's been said that nothing says loving like a few loads of laundry. Or maybe it's just been said by me. Either way, it's the truth. If cologne manufacturers want to make a killing, all they need to do is capture the essence of billowing sheets on a spring day and cotton t-shirts freshly washed. Yes, there's a fortune to be had out there, and its name is Clean Laundry.

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