Over lunch recently, a high school classmate reminded me that one thing she remembered of a date we shared back in the early 1960s was that “you were only boy I knew at Floyd County High School who wore English Leather.”
English Leather? The cologne? Lord, I had forgotten about that until she mentioned it. Owning a bottle of English Leather cologne was a big deal when one was 16. I had to drive down to Davidson’s men’s clothing store in Roanoke to get a bottle and it cost a little over $5 then.
“I loved the smell of English Leather,” she said. “It smelled good on you too.”
English Leather used racy ads (for the times), aimed at women, in magazines like Seventeen in the late 1960s and 70s. The slogans were “All of my men wear English Leather…or they wear nothing at all” and “You know that girl who says ‘All my men wear English Leather, every one of them?’ Well, I’m one of her men.”
The 70s were a different time with different rules and safer habits when it come to relationships between opposite sexes. I continued to wear English Leather until a young woman in my life gave me Aramis, because, she said, it was “sexier.” Enough said.
The 70s might be long gone, but English Leather is still around. It is now available for discount at Walmart for about five bucks for a .5 oz bottle. The 8 oz. bottle cost about that in 1964 but now retails for $29.95 but you can get it for $15.39 discount online.
Maybe I should go back to wearing English Leather. Aramis, the choice of women in the 1970s, cost more. Lagerfeld, which wife Amy prefers I smell of nowadays, is $24.91 for five oz. at Walmart. Whatever happened to Old Spice?
The memories of a fragrance I wore 51 years ago makes one realize that a lot of time has passed since high school dates at the Starlight Drive-In, hamburgers at Stones and making out on the Saddle Overlook of Rocky Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Ah, they were mostly pleasant memories and perhaps some that should not be discussed here, but other memories remind me that I longed to graduate from high school as quickly as I could so that I could leave Floyd County and get out to see and experience the world.
So much time has passed. Too many of the people I knew at Floyd County High School are no longer among us. Some died in wars, others from cancer or other ailments and some from old age itself. The Grim Reaper took several shots at me over the years but, somehow, I have survived.
Memories become much of life as one ages. Recapturing lost memories is part of the therapy I still go through each week after that encounter with a black cow on my motorcycle. It’s odd that I can remember, in enjoyable detail, something that happened 50 plus years ago but have to struggle to recall something that happened yesterday.
That, the doctors well me, come about both from old age and the cow encounter.
At least I still remember the English Leather and other nice things of that time of life. However saucy some of those memories may be, they bring a smile.