The Scent Of a Man


I love the smell of horse on a man.  But you know what?  Old Spice ain’t half bad, either.

I’m supposed to be pitching a book.  COWBOY, TAKE ME AWAY came out this week, and I’ve visited a couple of blogs to help get the ball rolling, but truthfully, I’m not much of a pitchman.  Promotion is my least favorite part of this business.  I write “commercial” fiction, but I tend to tune out commercials.

Except this one. 

In my not so humble opinion, this is the best commercial out there.  I saw Isaiah Mustafa—Old Spice Man—on one of the morning news shows recently.  First time I’ve seen him as himself.  He’s soft spoken.  He turned on “the voice” for Savannah or Susannah or whoever was interviewing him—who noticed?—but otherwise he seemed quite down-to-earth and genuinely blown away by his newfound celebrity.  Apparently the first of his Old Spice commercials was a Super Bowl feature, but how would I know? On Super Bowl Sunday I generally have good intentions of flipping back and forth between Super Bowl commercials and anything else that might be on another channel.  Say something about people drowning in cats or a war over cupcakes.  But I always get caught up in the race to get the cupcakes made into a life-size kitty before the rival bakers finish their cupcake cupola, and I miss most of the halftime show. 

But I gotta say, Old Spice man is an achievement.  By the time I heard him say “I’m on a horse,” I was sold.  Partly because I was knew I was laughing with Old Spice Man, which is a big part of the attraction.  The commercial is breathtakingly funny.  I was ready to give my own cowboy a bath in Old Spice. 

cowboy take me away

I really do love the scent of horse on a man.  Leather says man to me.  Wood smoke and fresh cut prairie hay and cedar—very masculine.  Scent and sex are inextricably entwined, so I think the Old Spice campaign is genius.  “Cowboy, Take Me Away” is both a song title and homage to the old Calgon commercial, which is about scent and warmth and giving yourself over for a brief getaway.  That’s what Skyler Quinn thinks she’s doing at the outset of the book.  Skyler needs a break.  A young widow who’s dealing with a mountain of debt and a stepson who refuses to grow up, Skyler meets rodeo cowboy Trace Wolf Track, a younger man who makes her an irresistible offer.  Read the first chapter and give in to the temptation to get away for a little while, too.

A few of diverse questions for you:  What’s the best commercial on TV right now?  What’s the worst?  What kind of advertising piques your interest in a product?  What prompts you to choose a book, either for purchase or check-out?  And what’s your idea of manly scent?

I’ll sent one commenter her chose of one of the earlier “Wild Horse Sanctuary” books along with a “Riding With the Top Down T-shirt.  Check back Sunday night for the winner’s name.  And don’t forget to look me up on Facebook.

4 covers yel Celebrate Spring!


About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in books, Cowboys, giveaway, Kathleen Eagle, new book, Old Spice man and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to The Scent Of a Man

  1. Betina says:

    I’m with you, Kathy. Horses and leather and sweat. . . add to that grasses/hay and it’s primal male deluxe. However there’s clean sweat and there. . . ugg-funk sweat. Know what I mean? But heroes only produce the first kind, right?

    Ever notice how many male toiletry products play on the “leather” theme? Starting with the venerable old “English Leather.” Hey do they still make that stuff? Anybody know? And do you remember when the guys in your classes at school discovered. . . scents? They’re still doing it– the Axe generation is right on time!

  2. cindy gerard says:

    I LOVE that guy, Kathy and the commercial still makes me grin. There’s a “making of the old spice commercial” video on Utube somewhere. It shows how they shot the entire commercial in ONE continuous filming. Including him getting on the horse. It’s pretty amazing how they pulled it off. No camera tricks or cuts. Just one continuous shot.

    And after reading your first chapter, I’m totally in love:o) What a cowboy. I can’t wait to buy this book!!

  3. Laney4 says:

    I saw the makings of that commercial as well – I think on the Ellen DeGeneres show. She had him on as a guest way back when the commercial first aired. I have enjoyed the numerous take-offs/parodies done since then too.

    One commercial that stands out in my mind is the ad that started Betty White’s “comeback” – the Snickers commercial that aired during the 2010 Super Bowl where she gets knocked down to the ground in a football game. I like how Abe Vigoda is also in the commercial (although his career didn’t have a resurgence like Betty’s did) – so hopefully people realize that reports of his death MANY years ago have been greatly exaggerated, so to speak.

  4. leannebanks says:

    Love this commercial! LOVE your cowboys! Oh, goody! Another book by Kathleen! I like the smell of man and leather too. As Betina said, funky sweat not so much. But I do love the new “Old Spice” guys. He’s so hot, yet has no trouble making fun of himself. What is NOT to love about that! Great blog Kathleen! xo, Leanne

  5. kris says:

    yup, dudes and horses….a delish combo! i don’t really watch TV or pay attention to commercials when I do, but the Old Spice guy….man, I just love him!!! I’ve even gone on youtube and watched some of the other stuff he’s done. It’s all funny!

  6. So far we’re in agreement about leather and horse and man being a great olfacory mix. Remember the lyric: “Give to me your leather–take from me my lace”? I’ve seen a few romance book covers that channeled that line.

  7. Oh, shoot. That would be olfactory.
    Wonder what it is about the smell of leather. Back in our courtship days I actually made Clyde a leather vest. And he actually wore it a couple of times even though it was a little small, which made it look a little silly. I knitted him a sweater, too. A cardigan, if you can imagine. It had leather buttons, but otherwise it was so not him. He wore it for me maybe once, but I’m sure he didn’t let friends or family catch him in it.

  8. michelehauf says:

    Bad news, they’re replacing Mustafah as the Old Spice man. They have a new commercial right now. I’m a little sad, but also glad because the latest commercials with Isaac M were getting beyond ridiculous and jumping the shark. The Komodo dragon made me shake my head in shame for him. And the ads in magazines? Stupid. I looked for a link for the new guy, but couldn’t find it. Not bad, though.

    Worst commercial? The Doritos one where the guy licks the other guy’s finger. Seriously? Aggh!

    And I love the one with the talking baby. Some kind of investing service?

    Man smell. I love ’em spicy. Probably Old Spice would be a favorite of mine, but if clove or vanilla rise to the top, oh, baby. 🙂

    • I heard IM was moving on. I thought rising from the sand was terrific, but the dragon was a little much. But we part company on the talking baby.

    • The e*trade baby! I love those commercials. They had me hooked from the first “girl can I hit’chu back?” line. So funny! Right now I literally laugh out loud when I see the new Sims Medieval commercials. Turk from Scrubs is in it and at one point he’s like “Now I’m a bard! That’s medieval for lady killer.” Oh love it! My roomie thought it was so funny she bought the game.

      Humor it gets me every time! (from romances to commercials)

  9. Hellion says:

    I’m with you on the horse and man scent. *swoons*

    Best commercial: the insurance “Mayhem” commercials (esp the one about the teenage driver); and the Sprint unlimited data plan “why did you text me? I’m sitting right here” “don’t worry, it’s included in my plan.” “Did you just break up with me?”

    Worst commercial: anything that makes me to turn to the person next to me and go, “What were they even advertising?”

    Kind of advertising?: Not sure. The Old Spice ad is genius; I love to laugh (which is why I love the Mayhem and Sprint commercials). But I do know if you play dramatic music in your commercials, that gets my attention too. What’s up with that?

    Books: Pretty covers in colors I like. (Reds, blues, green. I tend to avoid yellow or purple covers unless I know the author and like the blurb.) Titles that don’t sound too Harlequin. I realize when you have a title “The Playboy Sheik’s Virgin Mistress” you know exactly what you’re getting, but I prefer catchier titles. Puns and plays on words. *grins* Horses on the covers tend to get my attention; always like a horse in a book. But generally speaking, I’ll end up reading the blurb and/or first pages to see if I’ll actually bring it home with me. I’ve been reading far too long to go by cover alone.

    Manly scent: the things you listed ring bells. 🙂 Horse, leather, cedar, et al. My favorite scent when I was younger was Drakkar Noir. If men wore this, I would follow them anywhere. It was like catnip. I did some research at Basenotes to figure out why Drakkar Noir and Aspen seemed to have similar effect on me. They have notes of oakmoss and lavender. Which makes sense because they do smell like earth and soap mixed together. Like the guy had just showered and then rolled in the grass. Actually I’ve recently found a dishsoap by Gain that has a lavender scent to it. It smells a lot like Drakkar Noir. Not kidding. I actually ENJOY doing dishes now. I just pile on the soap and smile as I scrub. It’s the weirdest thing.

    • I like Mahem, too. The Mac-PC commercials were great. Is Joh,–oh, you know, the guy from the Daily Show–is he still doing them? That one was perfectly cast.

      Ditto the commercials that don’t identify the product. Sort of like the stores that don’t put out price tags. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it. Or you’re not one of us.

  10. Helen Brenna says:

    I love those Old Spice commercials. He’s hilarious. When they first came out they were so refreshing – nothing else out there like it.

    Humor is so tough to do, I think, and in a commercial where you have a minute or two? Wow. What one person thinks is funny, another thinks is silly. When they nail it, it’s amazing.

  11. Minna says:

    Now why do I think about a Muppet Show (or was it Sesame Street, after all?) when I look at this commercial? Oh, yeah, they had made a parody of this commercial.

  12. catslady says:

    I love that commerical too. I prefer commericals with humor or animals. There is one with a dog and his bone and he is trying to protect it and the commerical people will love this – I can’t remember what it’s for lol. Geico ads are some of my favorites too. Wasn’t there a cologne out there with the name leather in it? Darn, these old brain cells lol. As to books it’s hard to pin down to one thing. A cover will catch my eye and then I read the blurb. Of course there is always author recognition. And I find a lot of my books and authors from going to various blog like this one. Word of mouth is a great sell!

    • My favorites Geico ads were the cave man ones. Oh, and the woodchuck one!

      They say author recognition and word of mouth are the best promo. I look for key words in cover blurbs, but with online playing such a big role now, they want those key words in the title. Which is why some of the titles sound so silly.

  13. Peggy says:

    I have to agree with everyone else. I love the smell of leather, horses and spice, but they have to be subtle. I read the first Chapter of Cowboy Take Me Away and can’t wait to get the book!

  14. lois greiman says:

    🙂 Absolutely funniest commercial evvvvvvver!Thanks for reminding me. And best of luck with your latest, Kathy, though I’m sure you won’t need it.

  15. I love the title of your book and I love Old Spice Man! I even bought Surfer Guy some Old Spice body wash, so the commercial is working.

    Commercial I dislike: the insurance ones with “Flo.” She. Annoys. Me. Enough that I would never consider going with that company.

  16. Quilt Lady says:

    I am with everyone else I love the smell of leather, horses , and spice. Also love the smell of Old Spice.

  17. DebraDixon says:

    I remember buying Daddy “Old Spice” when I was a kid. God, love him. He didn’t particularly care but he acted like he liked it. It wasn’t until he was older that I realized I’d been the victim of advertising! LOL!

    • I was going to mention Daddy and Old Spice. He wasn’t much of an after shave guy, but there was always a bottle of Old Spice around, and he wore it sometimes. In those days there weren’t that many choices. The young guys wore English Leather.

  18. Linda Henderson says:

    My favorite commercial right now is the investment talking baby, I think it’s cute. I hate the Geico ones, and don’t care that much for Flo either. Although my 2 year old granddaughter loves Flo, I can’t figure out why. I like a good book cover but that won’t make me buy the book. I usually read the back blurb and go from there. My idea of a manly scent, I’ll really show my age now, I always liked Brut.

  19. Stephenia says:

    Man smell – i am all for the outdoorsy, clean, mysterious, earth soap with a hint of sandlewood man smell.

    A great cover or a favorite author is what usually prompts me to first pick up a book. Your cover is a great one – hot guy on a horse in tight jeans legs gripping the horse, can’t fully see his face, so I can imagine it while reading – yummo. He probably has work roughened hands and a good heart underneath. A book in my favorite genre/themes/my current mood is another trigger – romantic suspense, hot cia guy, man with a kilt, vampire.
    Cover art can also turn me away – I don’t usually pick up books with babies or men in suits (unless they look like CIA/COP types, no metrosexual well groomed businessmen for me). I also don’t like weird titles that remind me of virginal women/older men, governess gets sheik, etc, ugh, not my reading style at all.

    The Target ads are usually kind of kitchy and fun, the talking investment baby is funny too.

  20. Interesting stuff on your cover hot and cold button, Steph. And you and I go for the same sort of man scent. I must be the odd woman out on the talking baby.

  21. Kathleen says:

    Okay I gotta say this new Old Spice Guy is nice, but I really respond better to the old.. Old Spice Guy.. just more my type…

    I say the best commerical on Tv is for the baby product “GOOD START”, all those babies laughing and giggling. Who could not feel good. It puts a smile on my face everytime..
    The worst. OMG there are just too many to say.

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