When it comes to razors, I only buy what’s on sale. One day I got a coupon for these Schick Quattro disposables. It wasn’t until I had them in my hands that I realized they were Raspberry-Rain scented. I bought them anyway since they were cheap, but it got me wondering. What is the point of a scented handle? It doesn’t make your legs smell nice. It’s clearly just a marketing ploy because we all know women will buy anything scented like flowers and fruit, am I right, ladies? (insert sarcasm) They had absolutely no function, but the packaging was feminine and childish. I’m sure some teens may gravitate towards them, but it certainly didn’t factor into my decision-making. Besides what does a raspberry raindrop smell like anyway? When I got them home and sniffed, I still couldn’t tell ya. The odor was faint and was more along the lines of a scratch and sniff sticker (remember those?).
When I went home and did a little research, and by research, I mean Googled it. I discovered Schick wasn’t the only brand to carry scented handle razors. Gillette also makes a line of them. Theirs are tropical scents that come in a variety of pastel colors. Both brands are tying them in with their shave gels of the same fragrance, but if I’m buying a smelly shave gel why would I need a scented handle? I’m as perplexed by this blatantly sexist marketing as Ellen DeGeneres is about pens for women.
This made me love Ellen even more. Thanks for calling this crap out for what it is!
One could write an entire thesis on how packaging reaffirms traditional gender constructs, but this isn’t even functional or subtle at all. Scent marketing isn’t a new concept, but from what I’ve encountered, it actually works. For example, Main Street at Disneyland pipes in the smell of fresh-baked cookies, to drive you to buy them. Or how many times have you walked into a movie theater full, but still had to buy that popcorn? So, why fruits and flowers when it comes to removing hair? Is it just to attract a new-to-shaving market of tweens or is it to reinforce the fruit-gathering role of women? It seems products want brand loyalty from an early age and one way to get it is to market younger and younger. No doubt, these razors, like any other product on the market, went through testing. Who were they surveying? Clearly, girls who like pink, purple and light orange. While I’m not one of those girls, I will continue to buy them because they keep giving me coupons. I’m a cheap skate, what can I say. My feminism only runs so far. While I think this form of gender-comodifying is wrong, I know taking away my $10 isn’t going to make any difference. And heck, it is still a functional razor even if the scent doesn’t do anything. Does it make me a bad feminist if I put my wallet before my principles? I’m a starving artist, functional is functional and if there’s cheap and functional, I’ll take it! I’ve seen these razors on clearance, so I am confident this is just another passing fad. Let’s hope the next one isn’t this stupid.