Sunday, April 1, 2012

My View: Brut Doesn't Need Your Apologies

You know how in my review of Brut I said that it was a love-it-or-hate it fragrance?  Well, I just finished reading all of the reviews of Brut on, and it looks like I was wrong about that. 

I’ve never seen so many mamby-pamby reviews about one fragrance in my life.  At least half of the reviews go something like this, “Brut isn’t all that bad”, or “Brut might be considered okay as long as you remember that it was groundbreaking in its day”, or “Brut isn’t terrible, as long as you live alone and you don’t wear it outside of your house” or “It’s okay to wear Brut in public, as long as you explain to everyone that you’re only wearing it because it reminds you of your grandfather”, and other such baloney.  I have more respect for the negative reviews trashing Brut than this kind of nonsense.

Take Yves Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche Pour Homme as an example.  It’s an outstanding fragrance, and it consistently gets rave reviews from perfume enthusiasts.  It was released in 2003, but you all know what fragrance it most resembles, right?  Brut!  Both scents are direct, strong and brash, and both reek of the Seventies.  Yet Rive Gauche, being a designer fragrance from a chic designer house, gets all the accolades.  Brut, by contrast, inspires people to roll their eyeballs and scoff. 

The bottom line about Brut is this: either wear it or don’t wear it.  It’s okay to hate Brut.  That’s fine.  Just don’t apologize for it.  Brut doesn’t apologize for being what it is, so why are you apologizing for liking it?


  1. People are living in competition nowadays, perhaps even more so than ever before. My guess is that status symbolism has spread to the price point of whatever fragrance one uses, much like it has always been for the brand of car one drives, or the quality of suit one wears. With Brut, the issue isn't really the scent - it is no better or worse than anything else on the contemporary market, and in fact is much better than a majority of the latest drugstore releases. I think people are afraid to admit that something which costs a mere $6 at Walgreens could be better and more respectable than that $130 Lutens concoction. So it goes with Old Spice, Clubman, Skin Bracer, etc. Just cuz it's old don't mean it ain't cool. But it's cheap . . . yikes. Now we have to change the subject, deflect attention away from the fact that we're far from niche territory.

  2. I agree. I'll bet if Brut never went the plastic bottle 'n supermarket route, people wouldn't bash it as much. It's as if people think they SHOULDN'T like Brut.

    And regarding the Lutens comparison, I think Brut is a lot better than anything in the Serge Lutens line. There's a reason I don't own anything by Lutens, and it's not the high prices either.

    I wear Brut A LOT more than any of the expensive niche fragrances I own.

    1. The equation for sensible buyers is, you buy something you like, and if it's cheap, all the better.

      The odd thing about Lutens is that few of them seem to be actually wearable. Which begs the question, why would I cough up the big money to own one?

      At least with Brut, you get what you pay for, and not less. Actually, considerably more.

  3. Some of those old Brut commercials on youtube are funny(on purpose). I guess a lot of product ads from decades ago are going to be funny whether they're meant to be or not though.

    1. I love watching those old ads, especially the ones from the Seventies. Memories of my childhood, since I remember seeing those ads on TV, especially during football games!

      The funniest, most ridiculous one, which ended up being banned, was the one with the guy walking through the woods saying, "Brut should only be used by men who are REAL GUYS". In the background are a bunch of macho lumberjacks and construction workers cutting down trees. It was so absurd, it was hilarious.