Pina Colada Pedicures & Gunpowder Body Lotion–The Difference Between the Sexes

So this past weekend I finally carved out the time to go and get a pedicure, which I used to do once every week and a half, pre-marriage-baby-being-a-serious-writer. Serious as in I write every day, not serious as in I am above Star Wars references and quoting Monty Python.

What you guys likely don’t know is that I have like the World’s Skinniest Feet. I wear a 9.5 AAA, which means nothing comes in my size…ever. It also means that I am condemned to living in flip-flops all year, clogs for the handful of really cold days in Texas. This means my feet are almost a perpetual train wreck of callous, which used to not be too bad before I got married and started valuing sleep over having a flower painted on my big toe nail.

Thus, this past weekend I drew the line and decided it was time to get a pedicure, and I really felt sorry for…Tina, because she had her work cut out for her (I am an excellent tipper).

So Tina hands me this menu so I can pick out what “flavor” I want. Now I know there are words that are easy to confuse and lose in translation. I once asked a Swiss woman if she was cooking dog for dinner and then later announced at dinner that I was sexually aroused.

Ich bin heiss apparently means you’re feeling randy and it’s Ich habe heiss if you mean that you are feeling hot, not HOT. “I am hot,” not “I am HOT.

…I’ll shut about that because you guys get the point.

Anyway on the pedicure “menu” I can choose such flavors as Chocolate Mint, Pina Colada, or Strawberry Margarita….like “dipping my toes in a margarita.”

WTH? I would honestly hope my husband loves me enough to cut me off before I stuck my feet in my cocktail.

But this made me think of an interesting point. Why do so many female products come in “flavors?” I can see how a foreigner could get confused when you see Strawberries and Cream Skintimate or chocolate body lotions or cucumber melon body scrub or cotton candy bubble bath.

Men don’t do this. Seriously…they don’t.

We don’t see body sprays that smell like barbecue or deodorants that smells like beer or a Philly cheese-steak. No bacon moisturizer or Cola Slurpee athlete’s foot powder.

Ew….might have gone too far with that last one.

Of course, after I noticed this, I had to mentally work out various hypotheses to explain this differences between the sexes.

And my third grade teacher said I didn’t use time wisely. *rolls eyes*

Theory #1

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, are we just lathering ourselves with man-bait? Sort of like spraying on deer urine to attract a 12-point buck.

This seemed like the best explanation, but upon further rigors of the Scientific Method the hypothesis fell apart. I know! Seemed solid to me, too. Then, I realized that most of the “flavors” are foods women like. Chocolate aside, I will never get my husband to eat a cucumber unless I grind it into his burger, and the melon better be garnish on an ice cream cone. If we ever see a man order any drink that comes with an umbrella, he is likely batting for the other side and apparently using the wrong deer urine because coconut attracts chicks.

Theory #2

Girls buy products that smell like all the stuff we’d love to eat if we weren’t trying to fit into something other than pregnancy pants.

This theory held up a bit better, but the cucumber is still the weird outlier. Although, granted, if one happens to be a Hollywood starlet I guess that anything with more calories than air might be seen as “forbidden.” And again this doesn’t account for the lack of a Cheese Enchilada body lotion or Movie Popcorn with Extra Butter shaving cream.

Theory #3

Proctor & Gamble has not yet realized the “deer urine aspect” of their products.

I tell ya, make a perfume that smells exactly like brisket? You’d have a line. Just sayin’.

Theory #4

Girls don’t mind smelling like Peaches and Cream, but we draw the line at Fried Chicken.

Hmmm. Plausible. But, if they’re single gals who want a man, they might want to up their game with some Cheese Coney hand cream. It’s a thought!

Theory #5

We are not above smelling like bacon, but we might attract more than men…like feral cats, raccoons, neighborhood dogs or potheads with the munchies.

Could end badly.

A Glaring Hole in the Marketplace

Yet, the fact remains that there remains a wide-open gap in the marketplace. Clearly P&G could get some competition if an up-and-coming entrepreneur wished to exploit said weakness. While P&G focuses on making women smell like Berries & Cream, a start-up company could develop some body sprays and bath oils that might work better as man-bait. I found an image with some great suggestions. My favorites are Rattlesnake and Panther, though Freedom was a close third.

Photo via

I now see why it took me to age 35 to find a husband (weirdness and possible insanity aside). We women have been doing this wrong. We didn’t need Raspberry body wash, we needed “Gun,” “Duct Tape” or “Shrapnel.”

So what are your thoughts? Any suggestions for manly fragrances? Any other hypotheses about the reason for this clear difference in the sexes and their toiletries? Or maybe my reasoning was flawed and you’d love to spend your precious time applying the Scientific Method to a random theory by a crazy blogger. If you are a writer, yes it counts as work.

I love hearing from you!

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  1. We want our girls to smell like girls. We’ll do the motor oil cologne. (girlz love it)

    and girly or not, all men secretly love the smell of blueberries and peaches and other foods on a girl. The man-bait theory is much more plausible.

    If we want to smell WD-40 and duct tape, we’ll go to our garage, not our girl


    1. Yes, but what about…brisket? Hmmm? Maybe that’s why men love women who can cook. They smell like steak.

  2. As a joke, I made some Bacon-scented hand lotion for a friend’s son. I grimaced when making it, but he LOVED it. Am wondering if this is a new product …

    And … although you say men won’t drink cocktails with umbrellas, they – or at least my husband will imbibe those garnished with orchids. As in a Mai Tai on the beach on Maui. I think he probably would’ve drank them even if they’d had an umbrella. Then again, hubby *is* “in touch with his feminine side”!

  3. Wonderful! You’ve made my day with this one. I really love to laugh! I’m making my husband read this when he comes home today.

  4. How did you find out the secret? One scent you missed, new car scent. Another might be chili kitchen.

  5. And this leads me to an even more disturbing question: Why does my toilet bowl cleaner smell so minty delicious???

    1. If they made it non-toxic it could be like Scope for the family dog, LOL.

    • prudencemacleod on June 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm
    • Reply

    A perfume that smells like a new pick up truck would draw the boys I’ll bet.

    1. Hmmm, this is a possibility. . .

    • Genny Lynch on June 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm
    • Reply

    I remember a time when shampoos and soaps smelled like flowers not food. I hate smelling like food and have dropped several products when they started smelling like cucumbers and kiwi. The melon scents are particularly appealing to flies and yellow jackets. Not who I want to attract.

  6. The AXE men’s line sort of started that trend of specific men’s scents and products – they are really strongly scented, but you’re right that they aren’t food related, they are the typical vague scents like Ocean Drift or Fresh Edge or something.

    I personally don’t like food scented lotions, most have more of a chemical scent (since they are actually chemicals!) and I’m sensitive to scents. I had a frosted cupcake lotion once that reminded me more of a cupcake mixed with shoe tread. I’d rather have plain old Aveeno or Jergens and then use a light body mist for a scent.

    I love the idea of pedicures but I ended up with a foot issue that came from SOMEWHERE and I always had the sneaking suspicion it came from the pedicure place. I just do my own toes now 🙂

  7. Super fun post, Kristen. I got a big kick out of the “Headbutt” flavor! Let’s see, fishermen might go for a Rainbow Trout cologne. Golfers – Freshly Manicured Lawn. Body builders – Armpit Juice. Carpenters – Shaved Wood. Lots of subcategories for men, I’d guess. I thought my sister had the skinniest feet in the world, but your Triple AAA tops hers. But you can wear boots, right, add some cushioning to fill them in? Thanks for the giggles. Perfect for Friday fun. Have a great weekend!

    • Chris Redding on June 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm
    • Reply

    From my DH who is a perfumer, but did not answer your questions when I proposed it to him.

  8. I am just an average guy, but chanel #5 seems to work well….

  9. *snort laugh* guffaw, *snort laugh, guffaw. Thanks, Kristen, for giving me that much needed laugh break in my day. It will be blowing a desert sandstorm in the Great White North before I waste a prime margarita on my feet. Not even a manly Guinness (my fave) would I use for a pedi. Love the Jelly Belly Manly Flavors.

      • Donna on June 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm
      • Reply

      Well…break out the tequila, tipple sec, and lime juice, salt optional Elen…wiggle those toes for the experience of a lifetime because right now, as I write, the sands are blowing in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland at the foot of the shrinking Russel Glacier…I LOVE the post too Kristen!

      1. ZOMG! Too funny, Donna. I had to Google!! Well, then. One margarita for me; one margarita for the bare-naked ladies.

      2. Wow, Donna! I feel so honored…and exotic. Enjoy!

  10. plant products, which act as aphrodisiacs on men should work. Example is here

  11. I’d be all over that Brisket perfume.

  12. Didn’t Kramer come up with a scent on “Sienfeld” like “beach” or “sand?” Myself, I’d favor a cologne that smelled like a new book…

    Funny stuff, Kristen!

  13. I love my pedicures and get one every four weeks. Admit I’d adore the chance of choosing different scents. But then you name the scent and it’s the bathroom. Consider me a hoarder of Philosophy, Body Bakery and other brands as long as they smell yummy. And I choose according to my mood.
    My husband had his first pedicure a week ago and he’s now hooked. Luckily, my manicurist used a green tea body lotion for the foot and leg massage part.
    I hope you’ll continue your pedis and try a different ‘flavor’ each time! And yikes on the foot size! I thought I had it rough being a 5B.

  14. Great post Kristen, thank you 😀
    I’ve never had a pedicure but I can relate to the problem with narrow feet. Mine are AA uk size (don’t know how that compares with US sizes) and I have always hated shoes because they never fit. I wear boots most of the time because they are the most comfortable things I’ve found to wear. It’s too cold and wet here to wear flip flops most of the year!!

  15. Thanks for the laughs this afternoon. I can’t have pedi’s because I can’t stand having my feet touched…but don’t worry, my sister has enough pedi’s to make up for me. Scent is one of the strongest of the senses. It can transport you to a place, to a person, to a memory better than anything else, in my opinion. Still can’t smell Shalimar withoutthinking of my grandmother. I’ve noticed a lot of the men in my area wear patchouli oil, or a fragrance that is mostly that. Kinda hippy retro. Have a great weekend!

  16. Now all I want is to go to the spa, or the jimjilbong in Korea, (Korean Bath house). $60 for a body scrub, full massage, facial and scalp massage and shampoo. Heaven!

    I like your theories. My honey’s favorite scents of mine all smell like cake, heavy on the vanilla. LOL. Maybe I could pull an Amy Sedaris and roll myself in sprinkles. Or an Evelyn Couch and answer the door wearing nothing but cellophane! Bringing back the ROMANCE! 😉

  17. “Now I know there are words that are easy to confuse and lose in translation. I once asked a Swiss woman if she was cooking dog for dinner and then later announced at dinner that I was sexually aroused.”

    First off, this line delivered by a flustered 20-something career woman would sell a million chick-lit books.

    Second: Theory Numero 1 is that Girl on Girl is HOT!

    Just saying!


  18. Great topic, and I reposted it on my blog,

  19. “Jerky”… lmao… I read the jelly bean chart & couldn’t stop laughing. Excellent post!

  20. LMAO. Do you know there’s a line out there (can’t remember what the name is for the life of me) that sells perfume in fragrances like “dirt”? You might try pitching brisket-scented products to them. 😀

    1. That’s Demeter. I love their Pink Lemonade and Baby Powder scents.

      1. Yes, Demeter! 😀

  21. I don’t know whether a woman smelling like fried chicken would be all that appealing to a man. I mean I am sure that my husband prefers his woman smelling like berries and cream more than he does me smelling like a deep fryer.

  22. This reminds me of the trouble the Body Shop got into when kids tried drinking body wash. They should never have made the bottles look like pop bottles. Fun post!

  23. Wonderfully funny post. Especially your title. I don’t care for food scented fragrances so I won’t comment–except to say they make me hungry, not amorous.

  24. LOL! Those are great! The guys in my family seem to be partial to “burnt rubber.” They don’t expect their women to smell like that, as long as we don’t mind the smell (and are into cars, LOL).

    • annerallen on June 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm
    • Reply

    My mom has size 12 AAAA feet that have always been a factor in family life. She had to have handmade shoes for much of her life. But now that she’s 91 and going strong, she’s got better feet than any of her friends who always wore fashionable shoes.

    Hmmm I wonder if that’s why I write chick lit–with shoes on the covers? .

    Personally, I don’t want to smell like food. I once got some cucumber-melon dish soap and the kitchen smelled like rotting cantaloupe until I tossed it..

  25. I love the vanilla scented perfume. My husband loves to eat and if I smell like vanilla, he follows me around.

  26. You always make me laugh, but today I chuckled longer than usual!! This line (and many others) cracked me up: We don’t see body sprays that smell like barbecue or deodorants that smells like beer or a Philly cheese-steak. No bacon moisturizer or Cola Slurpee athlete’s foot powder. Hilarious!
    I see what you’re talking about though. My favorite scent is rose. I have this lovely hand lotion from a french shop in NY. It smells glorious and even the packaging is beautiful…but my husband prefers this pecan pie lotion that i got free with a coupon from Bath & Body Works…go figure.
    Loved the 5 theories you came up with. I’d love to add to them, but I don’t think I can top yours:)
    Have a fantastic weekend!

    • DeeAnna Galbraith on June 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm
    • Reply

    gun oil, canvas tent and favorite baseball hat

  27. Heheh, the only flavor Hub needs is Bacon!

  28. Thanks for the laugh, Kristen. And my oldest sister had the same size foot as you. She shopped for shoes wherever she went and bought any pair that fit. She could always find a pair at this one store in Lubbock.
    I think we wear the scents we love and just hope our guy likes them too.

    • Yvette Carol on June 15, 2012 at 8:48 pm
    • Reply

    Personally I think the sexes are usually divided by where their minds reside most of the time. I think women want to smell of things that smell good to THEM so that they can feel good about themselves. Men want to smell of things that they think will attract a woman. There was a male scent a while back that was marketed as ‘a pheromone designed to drive women crazy with desire’. My teenage son naturally lathered himself in it by the bucketload. Thankfully he didn’t update me with the results!! Ha ha.

  29. Stripper Jelly Bean? I’d really rather not ponder what that might smell or taste like. 😛

    I’m still waiting for a Fresh Barkdust cologne for men. I love that smell.

  30. You left out Jet Pilot: combination of burned JP-8 fuel, nomex flight suit, hot electronics (Ich habe heiss, not the other one!) and a touch of sweat. Chicks dig it, at least the ones that hang out around airports!

    I’ve always had trouble with female characters going outside their socially-defined “normal” gender roles. I love my lady cops, chopper jocks, and starpilots — Kira “Starbuck” Thrace is my all-time favorite! — but somehow they always come out one- or at best two-dimensional. Something’s missing and I don’t know what it is. I even wrote a blog post (“Women Tough as Hell”) to try and figure it out.

    Heavy sigh. Maybe I just need some chocolate scent for my laptop keyboard.

  31. Reblogged this on tomburkhalter and commented:
    In the sense of defining female characters, the incredible Ms. Kristen Lamb has some interesting thoughts!

  32. I admit to wondering why so many guy fragrances smell like the woods. Is that supposed to turn me on? Because a big wiff of pine just makes me think of deer, raccoons, snakes, chiggers, mosquitos, etc. In a house full of guys, I’m just happy when everyone smells clean.

    Hilarious post, Kristen!

  33. Geting a great pedicure try papaya pineapple mask from OPI we love it come visit the Christine Reed Lash Salon and get a pedicure while your geting lash extensions so fun!!! You are so funny Kristen looking forward to seeing more posts

  34. Dear Kristen
    I really liked reading this blog,especially,the chat about the various reason that women,girls,and ladies seem to be instantly attracted to fragrances and scents the that smell like stuff we love to eat. Read more my response,in my monthly blog,entitled A Writer’s Response

  35. Hi Kristen I love your blog but I wanted to let you know I am reading your book – “Blog are you there” for the second time and have made even more changes to my own blog! Thank you so much for helping me to find my feet in blogging. I have a long way to go but I WILL get there! Best of luck in all you do…

    1. Blogging is a process. Do it more and you get better. Even this blog started small. I remember the days when I would get those really polite spam comments and I didn’t have the heart to delete them because at least it looked like people cared about my blog.

  36. I have to admit I love it when my husband comes in from grilling and he smells like steak 🙂 His favorite for me (I assume, because it is the only scent he comments on) is Amazing Grace by Philosophy. He never comments on any other scent I wear, but that one gets his attention.

  37. Having a husband that can’t breath around scented anything I don’t get to smell like fruit or flowers, which sometimes makes me sad. I do prefer scents like patchouli or sandalwood, but even they make him gasp like a fish out of water. I could get away with some pure vanilla or coconut, but they will attract the bees in the summer and he is allergic to those. Geez if I wanted to off him I could bathe in vanilla, call him over, and let the bees do their thing. Good thing I love him and limit myself to smelling like whatever my deodorant is scented with and the diesel exhaust from work.

  38. I actually love the smell of cucumber. Too me it is a fresh clean scent, but I think the men should wear scents like, chocolate, vanilla (my fave) and pina colada. If those are the scents we like to smell shouldn’t they be wearing them? Great post! But frankly I’m drawing the line at smelling like bacon!

  39. Reblogged this on A Garden of Delights and commented:
    An excellent (and hilarious) post about how the genders do the same things different… 🙂

    • Peter on July 3, 2012 at 12:22 am
    • Reply

    Just for the record, the second version of “being hot” is rather “Mir ist heiss”, because “Ich habe heiss” is not a valid sentence. (yahh.. a nit-picking comment. I know, I can’t help myself, .. just delete it [the comment])

  40. Lol RoF CGU Can’t help wondering if we were joined at the funny-bone in a former life. Scary to know there is someone else who thinks like I do…

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