Like many in my generation, I was an Axe body spray kid. But through excessive testing in the early 00s, I came to the conclusion that body spray does not cancel out dirty laundry and weed smoke—at least not in the quantities I was pitting it against. I think many people came to this conclusion around that time, and thus a significant stigma formed against body spray and a certain kind of person who used it. Body spray can be a crutch, but it can also be highly effective when used correctly; it’s not a substitute for good self care, but it’s an important hygienic tool when wielded by the right person.
Your image of “body spray guy” might be different than 18-year-old me—you could be thinking of the dude who always looks like he’s going to or coming from the gym, or, later in the day, is dressed up in his nicest polo-and-khaki-shorts combo to go out on the town with the boys. Or maybe you’re thinking of the guy who’s wearing a suit to work, but subbing body spray for cologne; or it’s the man in front of you at the grocery store buying a case or two of hard seltzer. And guess what? Those dudes—which make up many of the dudes in this country—look and smell pretty good most of the time, because they’ve mastered the art of body spray. And you can, too, because body spray is actually for everyone.
When I had the opportunity to test OffCourt, the newest and most hype body spray on the streets right now, I took it seriously; maybe on some level I wanted to reclaim body spray for myself and overcome my (our?) painful history with the stuff. In any case, OffCourt’s main draw is that it’s a performance-oriented body spray that intentionally doubles as both an aluminum-free deodorant and a cologne, bridging the gap between sweaty time and suit-wearing time, and allowing sporty people to make a transition from their gametime funk to smelling good “off” the “court,” if you will, with ease. Added prebiotics purport to promote the growth of good bacteria, while antibacterial solution attacks the bad stuff, so you’re getting protection on multiple fronts.
But you’re not a scientist—you just want to know if it smells good. Right? Luckily for you, I’ve smelled all of it.
On a recent evening—wanting to recreate the authentic, historical moment of body spray—I decided to blast some Linkin Park (Meteora still rules, don’t @ me) and test these bad boys out. I went outside behind my apartment and sprayed them on everything, including my own body, so I could really consider and appreciate their nuances. Trying to discern the delicate citrus and fruit notes and airs of different woods in the three offerings of OffCourt, I felt like a body spray sommelier. The next day, wanting to test this stuff in the real world, I wore the Coconut Water and Sandalwood scent out to dinner with a friend that I always suspected wanted to sleep with me. They didn’t hit on me once, but dinner was great and I think I smelled pretty good, so I still consider it a success. Anyway, here are my “tasting notes” for the three OffCourt iterations.
Fresh Citron and Driftwood
The Fresh Citron and Driftwood flavor smelled great, like a designer-style cologne made for famous athletes. It’s bright and woodsy, not like cedarwood-lumberjack-beard oil woodsy, but like what you might think the Polo section at Saks Fifth Avenue would smell like. It did make me want to go chop down a tree for Christmas, though.
Fig Leaves and White Musk
Getting into the Fig Leaves and White Musk can, I had no idea what to expect. For some reason, I envisioned an indie rocker’s green room. This was the most discerning and unique flavor—it smelled like a nice cocktail enjoyed in a spa (in a good way). This scent just screamed, “I just decimated my friend in handball and don’t have time to shower before going to the opera tonight.” It’s specific, but that’s what it smells like to me. You’ll love it.
Coconut Water and Sandalwood
This one was probably my favorite. It reminded me of being in a swimming pool near the equator, or the kind of scent you’d expect when you sit down for brunch with your friend who says he just came from a yoga class but somehow smells very good. It had a really nice, light citrus vibe. I remember thinking it would be the one I would wear if I decided to incorporate OffCourt into my daily life.
So my friend didn’t hit on me at dinner. Who cares? I truly believe that eventually, maybe—with enough Offcourt—someone else will.