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Sweet smell of success

Unilever Vice-President Russel Taylor certainly has a nose for it. Asians, he sniffs, are not self-conscious about body odour.

india Updated: May 29, 2008 20:55 IST

Unilever Vice-President Russel Taylor certainly has a nose for it. Asians, he sniffs, are not self-conscious about body odour. In other words, they shun Unilever deodorants. Before we get ourselves into a sweat over his remarks, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. The poor man is raising such a stink to try and get us to buy his products so that he comes out smelling of roses with his bosses. Now clearly, he is not quite conversant with our unique methods of keeping ourselves from exuding that pong. It’s called bathing, something that many in the developed world don’t really feel holds any water when it comes to hygiene.

Indians, for example, probably rate as the world’s foremost bathers. Not for us a quick squirt of deo and off to work. Let’s not work ourselves up into a lather about his slightly off pronouncements. But a pertinent point is how we ourselves did not detect that we are malodorous all these years. How could we have lived with each other in relatively harmony without being olfactorily crippled? Is one man’s odour another’s perfume?

These are the many existential questions that Taylor’s under-the-arm remarks will generate. They will set us thinking and even maybe help us work up a sweat. And let’s spray that we find a few answers before Taylor raises yet another stink. But the bottomline, Unilever’s, not ours, is that we will not be allowed to breathe easy until we have rushed out smell pell and bought a bottle of one of its heaven-scent products. Then, we will find that our trouble will vanish in a mist of eau d’Lever. And we can all sing the praises of Taylor’s can-deo spirit with which has tried so hard to spritz up our lives.