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Minor Differences

Acclaimed humor site The Oatmeal has a running series of comics called “Minor Differences” wherein situations go from great to gruesome with the addition or omission of some small factor.

Examples are: the cuteness of a woman wearing just a tee-shirt versus the creepiness of a man wearing just a tee-shirt or the difference in office behavior in meetings held just before or just after lunch.

Without further ado, I wish to add my contribution to Minor Differences and also a sort of halfassed review of an old product.

The Challenger and the Champion.

Behold, the venerable ladies cologne, and one of my all-time favorite “everyday” scents, Jovan Musk. Or rather, I should say, behold, on the right hand side of the photo, my all time favorite everyday scent, Jovan Musk for Women Cologne Spray.

Behold, on the left-hand-side, the pale and shitty challenger Jovan Musk for Women Cologne Concentrate Spray. I’m not sure how concentrating a cologne makes it insipid and retiring, but somehow Coty managed to crapfulate what’s normally a fantastic all-day subtle scent.

I bought the so called Cologne Concentrate Spray by accident – I was in Target and remembered that my bottle of perfume was getting pretty low, and I don’t go to Target that often, so I figured I’d just get ahead of the game and pick up a backup bottle. I popped a familiar orange box into my shopping cart and went on with my errands. Only when I got home, did I realize that instead of the orange-capped, ribbed rectangular bottle, it was a round bottle with a gold cap. I knew this pale impostor – my Mom had been taken in this way once, too.

What’s the big deal, you might ask? I’ll tell you what’s the big deal. For some reason, although both of these bottles of scent start out with “Jovan Musk For Women,” the one on the left purports itself to be “cologne concentrate spray,” while the one on the right is simply called “cologne spray.” However, the two formulations smell completely different. Even odder still, the “concentrate” is actually somehow less potent. The scent is faint once the perfume dries, and is virtually gone after an hour or two, especially if you sweat at all. If I put some on before I leave for work and ride my bicycle in to the office, as is my habit, my perfume is completely gone by the time I get there!

Now the Jovan Musk for Women Cologne Spray, which I’ve worn fairly regularly since my teenage years, is a great, subtle, all day scent. I spritz on a little on the back of my neck, the center of my chest, and the crook of my arms, and I am good to go. By the end of the day, the scent is very faint and has gone from floral to earthy/spicy, because of how it interacts with my body chemistry. I feel that it is a very sexy, feminine, old-school scent and it goes particularly well with this sort of 1970s trashy-glam look I’ve been really into lately.

So anyway, the moral of the story is that minor differences can result in seriously divergent results. Also, check inside the box if you’re not sure, because the good perfume comes in a ribbed, rectangular bottle with an orange lid, while the crappy perfume is in a smooth round bottle with a goldtone lid.

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