My boyfriend uses a lot of Axe products, including the Axe Shower Gel body wash and cleanser, and Axe Deodorant Stick. I can’t stand the smell and have gotten so sensitive to it I now can pick it up on guys at work. How do I get them to stop using it without causing them to be offended? –Sherry, VA
I had been alerted to the strong smell of Axe when my daughter Lily wrote about it in one of her Green Girl blogs. She talks of having to walk through clouds of Axe on the guys end of the hall as she went to and from her dorm room last year. I also know Axe products are incredibly popular.
So I started investigating. First, I had to get over my impression that I had mistakenly landed on a pornography site when I first went to the Axe site. All the sexual innuendo surrounding the product line caused me to expect that they contain hormone disrupting chemicals because the advertising notes about their deodorant stick that it has “hook-up friendly scents,” and their body spray is “available in nine powerful scents.” That language doesn’t sound good at all to someone like me who has an eagle eye for toxics, because it appears as if the products contain synthetic scents designed to affect your hormones (I can’t find evidence that they contain pheromones although many suspect this is the case). Who needs that in the cubicle next to you at work? Somebody should look into whether or not such products can be considered sexual harassment!
I put Axe into the cosmetics chemical safety database Skin Deep. Low and behold, 66 products showed up and they fell into a range of moderately hazardous to the most highly hazardous categories. Axe Shower Gel Recovery, the bodywash/cleanser, had a highly hazardous score because the ingredients in the product are linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity , violations, restrictions and warnings, allergies/immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, bioaccumulation, organ system toxicity, and more. Need I go on? Your body is telling you the truth. This stuff isn’t good for you.
I came across this quote on the Internet from a woman who wrote about nestling up to her husband who was wearing an Axe equivalent. She wrote, “My husband wore this several times. If I was around when he first put it on I got a headache and became nauseous. But after it wore off so I couldn’t smell it anymore, I definitely felt some loving feelings stir.” Someone should tell the guy that if he had a shower with plain, real soap his wife would find him more attractive.
Sherry, you might be doing your boyfriend a favor to let him know that his Axe is hurting, not helping, his cause. You might even make him this DIY formula for Bay Rum Aftershave and give it to him for the holidays. It smells divine. Or try learning about natural perfumes.
As for the office, while searching around the internet I came across a few stories of male managers asking guys wearing Axe to cut back because the entire office was affected. Maybe find a male manager and ask them to take the issue into their hands.
I’d like to open this up to our readers. What is the best thing for Sherry to do about this situation at work?