Jason Carr: Are Millennials killing cologne/eau de toilette/after shave?


DETROITJason Carr: So in the course of newsroom banter it was noticed that a veteran colleague who is decidedly not a Millennial was sporting a top of the morning cologne -scented aura. Perhaps after shave? Definitely a man’s man classic aroma in the Brut/Old Spice/Skin Bracer assortment one might find in abundance at your finer country clubs. Or in Brian Fantana’s smell-good cabinet next to Sex Panther by Odeon. He would not tell us the label and has no plans to. Much good-natured laughter ensued.

English Leather

Anyway, as these topics go, a conversation was soon started among myself (a reformed Polo/Obsession/Hugo enthusiast) and Local 4’s motley crew of younger bro’s, and it was centered on one key question: are Millennials killing cologne/eau de toilette/after shave?

One by one the fellas— all 30-ish and younger— allowed casually that they never took to wearing cologne and still don’t. Sure there were some admissions of having gone through an Axe body spray phase in their teens, but I may as well have asked them if they wear perfume (also a firm no).

When I was a kid it was practically a rite of passage, like sprouting whiskers. We watched our dads and grandfathers splash (or vigorously slap on) veritable palm ponds of English Leather or Pierre Cardin, usually after a close shave. My father went for the Pierre Cardin, which— combined with always-burning Marlboro Reds and his auto body work— made for a distinct aromatic blend in the close confines of his never-ending series of Corvettes. Add some exhaust fumes from the car’s side pipes and he could have bottled his own scent and called it Blue Collar Rick or Eau de Richard.

Now there are outliers. Our morning show technical director proudly wears the Millennial uniform of hat, plaid shirt, skinny jeans, boots and a belt loop key chain. And a carefully curated beard. He also confidently informed us he wears Sexy For Him from Victoria’s Secret. At least I think that’s what he called it. It’s just not noticeable like, say, Drakkar used to be at its peak.

Ugh, Drakkar.

Funny thing is, Millennial men seem so enamored of ye olde days (vinyl, mustaches, vintage anything) you’d think any potion made by Mennen would be right in their wheelhouse. Maybe it’s that, like my older colleague who wears his mystery cologne, it just has to go away as a thing first.

Only then will the air again be alight with pipe smoke, Blackbeard’s Delight, and the smell of machismo. But it won’t be Millennial men. They’ll be too old.

Am I right, all you Gen Z hipsters?

Here’s what we’re working on for Friday, February 28th on Local 4 News Today --

All Morning – Chilly Carbon Copy

Paul Gross: Friday (TGIF!) will be a carbon copy of Thursday, with mostly cloudy skies and the possibility for some afternoon snow showers. Breezy highs once again in the mid 20s (-3 degrees Celsius). By the way, do you younger folks even know what an actual carbon copy was “back in the day?” If not, tweet me at @PGLocal4, and I’ll be happy to explain. Yes, I lived “back in the day.” Becoming partly cloudy Friday night, with lows in the mid to upper teens (-8 degrees Celsius). We’ll also have the full weekend forecast.

All Morning – Weekend Construction

Another weekend in Metro Detroit means more orange barrels. We’ll help you get around the projects.

  • Check traffic conditions in your neighborhood here

6:15 a.m. - Fitness Friday

Looking to peel off the pounds, but hate working out alone? Rhonda Walker takes you inside Orange Theory Fitness for a unique approach at exercise.

6:45 a.m. – Black History Month

This month on Local 4 News Today, we are celebrating Black History Month with some really great stories. Profiles on amazing people and incredible places. Be sure to tune in each morning for a new story. Friday, Evrod Cassimy talks with the man behind the iconic Detroit sports phrase - “DEEEEEEEEEEEEEETROIT BASKETBALL!”


Today’s Trivia Retake

Every weekday morning at 6 a.m., we ask you a trivia question on Local 4 for a chance to win a prize.

  • Friday Question: What is the name of the Detroit Zoo’s newest polar bear?
  • Answer: Anana
  • Be sure to watch daily at 6 a.m. and click this link to enter for a chance to win.

National Days: February 28th

  • National Chocolate Souffle Day
  • National Floral Design Day
  • National Public Sleeping Day
  • Skip the Straw Day
  • Tartar Sauce Day
  • National Tooth Fairy Day

History Highlights: February 28th

  • In 1849, the California gold rush began in earnest as regular steamship service started bringing gold-seekers to San Francisco.
  • In 1911, President William Howard Taft nominated William H. Lewis to be the first black Assistant Attorney General of the United States.
  • In 1953, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick announced they had discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.
  • In 1988, the 15th Olympic Winter Games held its closing ceremony in Calgary, Canada.
  • In 1996, Britain’s Princess Diana agreed to divorce Prince Charles. (Their 15-year marriage officially ended in August 1996; Diana died in a car crash in Paris a year after that.)
  • In 2013, Benedict XVI became the first pope in 600 years to resign, ending an eight-year pontificate. (Benedict was succeeded the following month by Pope Francis.)
  • In 2018, Walmart announced that it would no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21 and would remove items resembling assault-style rifles from its website. Dick’s Sporting Goods said it would stop selling assault-style rifles, and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21.

Celebrity Birthdays: February 28th

Celebrating a birthday Friday? Submit a Sunshine Award here and we could say your name on Local 4 News Today during our 6 a.m. show.

Here’s who you’re sharing a birthday with –

  • Actress Kelly Bishop (“Gilmore Girls”) is 76.
  • Actress Mercedes Ruehl is 72.
  • Actress Bernadette Peters is 72.
  • Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is 65.
  • Singer Cindy Wilson of The B-52’s is 63.
  • Actress Rae Dawn Chong (“The Color Purple”) is 59.
  • Singer Pat Monahan of Train is 51.
  • Actress Ali Larter is 44.
  • Country singer Jason Aldean is 43.
  • Actress True O’Brien (“Days of Our Lives”) is 26.

Local 4 News Today links

About the Authors:

Matt is the Executive Producer for Local 4 News Today. He's a graduate of Wayne State University and has been with Local 4 for more than a decade.