Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pffffffttttt.......

Random, I know.  It's one of those items that hits me from time to time, and then I quickly forget about it.  But, after this afternoon, I decided it was worth recalling to mention:  aerosol deodorant!

Americans...when was the last time you saw someone use (never mind purchase...) a *can* of deodorant/anti-persperant?  Personally, I'm pretty sure it was sometime in the early 1980's, before the whole 'aerosol can/CFCs are destroying the ozone layer!' thing.

Well, if you ever wondered what must have happened to all of those aerosol cans, I can confirm that they are VERY MUCH alive and well in England.  Aerosol deodorant still occupies a good 50% of the shelf space I've ever seen in any pharmacy or grocery store.  And, unlike the stick/roll-on stuff most Americans buy-who you wouldn't see using in public if a gun were pointed to their heads...aerosol deodorant usage in England is very much in the public domain.  Literally!

More times than I can count at work, I've heard 'pffffftttt....' from some part of the floor.  Co-workers share a can.  There's frequently spare cans found in office loo's for anyone to use (much like lotion, kleenex...), and I'm pretty sure I saw someone using it on the tube the other day.

I kid you not.

19 comments:

  1. Spray DO freaks me out and I can't fathom buying it so I stocked up on many American DOs while I was home this past December. It's bizarre how popular it is here!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh no! I, too, thought those went out in the 80's. Mental note!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hahaha, I see the aerosol deodorants all the time here, and it is something I have wanted to write about too! Before moving here, the only person I have ever known to use spray-on deodorant was my grandmother, and I think even she has caught up with the times. The deodorant aisle in my local Waitrose, in contrast, is predominantly spray-ons. It's so weird!

    ReplyDelete
  4. There's a whole book to be written about workplace / public space hygiene. On the flip side I've always chuckled at the Americans that head to the office bathroom after lunch w/ their toothbrush.

    And then after the H1N1 crisis all the hand sanitizer in every conference room. Which is hilarious if they squirt some in their hands and then rub them under the table :-) I still think that was a coup by the make of that main sanitizer brand (name escapes me right now).

    Final thought: someone should come up with an international standard for workplace hygiene. Where's the UN when you need them? It's very much driven by cultural norms, and when you are in a global workforce that can create some unpleasant combinations to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Saw this at work the other day and I was MORTIFIED. Good to know that it isn't just my office. Can't wait to see it someday on the tube...I might die of laughter. I have 5 spare Dove solids and 1 spare Secret to get me through. I refuse to use the aerosol stuff here.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Having said that (and I hate to do this) but there was one can of non-aerosol hair spray in my local drugstore and about 20 spray varieties.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm pretty sure the spray deodorants don't have CFCs in them. I haven't seen spray deodorant in the stores since I don't know when - but that's because I don't look for it. It must be available here in the US because there's always a spray deodorant available in the mammography changing room at the hospital. You can't wear deodorant before the mammogram, and they kindly provide the spray in case you've forgotten to bring your own along for afterwards. I certainly wouldn't want to share a stick or roll-on!

    Once I've put my deodorant on, I"m set for the day - so what's with having to reapply it at work??

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Jan, great point about the american teeth-brushing phenom. I can say I do have a good number of friends who do it, and I keep a toothbrush at my desk-just in case.
    @Expat mum: good point too. Americans are certainly still guilty of their love of aerosol hair spray!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Is this specifically a woman thing? I never came across any public aerosol use in 20 years of working in an office.

    Our aerosols don't contain CFCs, they went ozone friendly back in the late 80s.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Shaun, I'm sorry to say I've seen both men & women using the spray can at work!

    ReplyDelete
  11. How funny, these little "random thought" posts though are great.
    In the States we have "travel-size" hygiene products. I keep small deodorant, baby powder, mouthwash, and "baby wipes" in my purse at all times for "cases of emergency", lol. I honestly don't remember using aerosol anything here. Seeing someone use it on the Tube, esp. on themselves, would have sent me into fits of laughter, I'm glad you pointed that out first. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. being english i find it extremely confusing that spray deodrant provokes such a reaction from americans. i mean, what's not to like? with roll-ons, which you can buy here easily if you want, you're rubbing armpit bacteria onto the roller. not very hygienic. and i wouldn't think twice about using deodrant on a train or bus or in the office. what's the big deal? its just spray, spray under the shirt, nothing weird about that

    ReplyDelete
  13. I find this really strange too, and yes, the sprays are absolutely everywhere. On a train to St. Pancras a girl gave herself a refresher and the spray filled the entire car. It was horrible, but she seemed to think it was perfectly normal and that no one would mind the fumigation.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm from Glasgow and on holiday in Boston right now. I was just in cws looking at the deodorants and was going 'where are the bloody cans?' Then googled and found your page ! Didn't realise sprays were a euro thing. I prefer sprays because I find the others tend to stain my clothes- I would never spray in a public place though , that is just total bad manners !

    ReplyDelete
  15. Spray deodorants should be banned - and room aerosol spray fresheners! (Try the solid ones, or the oil-and-sticks that look so pretty instead) It's one thing for people to smell pleasant, it's another to gas everybody else in the room in the process!
    It can't be healthy having to breathe in so many chemicals, regardless of the environmental impacts.
    And, yes, I'm English and yes, I know our aerosols haven't had CFCs in them for many years.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just moved to the US and I'm horrified to just have discovered that I can only find those horrid stick deodorants here. The kind that you actually need to *scrub* to get off of your skin, yuck. Not a single roll-on, which works so much better, not a single spray (which btw, do not contain CFCs in Europe for decades now, lol). I don't use spray, but I would have preferred it to the stick thing. I have to get it off the internet now, because Americans only like their...sticks.

    ReplyDelete
  17. There are no CFCs in aerosol deodorants any more, and there hasn't been for many years in the EU.. I am a Brit in the US and I prefer a spray to a stick. You Amercicans in the UK probably prefer the opposite. It is what you are used to I guess, Europe took CFC propellants out of the cans, US moved to sticks and suchlike.
    It is similar to the outrage a European feels when they hire an American car on a US vacation which turns out to have a 4.0 litre engine or above. It's what you are used to.

    ReplyDelete
  18. As an expat in Canada I always import some aerosol - how else to you stop having sweaty feet? Sticks and roll-ons just don't do it....

    ReplyDelete