Tag Archives: old spice after shave lotion

Cruising (1980)

I really like the arrangement in Nancy’s bathroom: it’s a small space, so the toiletries are displayed on a metal shelving unit facing a window.

oldspice_originalcologne_bornunicornThe first product I’ve noticed is on the second top shelf (just above Steve’s shoulder): it’s a bottle of the ever-present Old Spice after shave. On the same shelf there’s another interesting product, but more about it later.


pondspeachcoldcream_bornunicornOn the bottom shelf there are Rise shaving foam and a jar of Pond’s peach cold cream.

One of the last scenes of the film is set in the bathroom again, and we can get a better look at the product previously mentioned. It’s a black bottle of Après Soleil by Bain de Soleil, an after-tan lotion which can be seen in a 1977 advert featuring Rene Russo.

Red Dragon (2002)

reddragon_bornunicorn (1)reddragon_bornunicorn (2)reddragon_bornunicorn (3)reddragon_bornunicorn (4)Has anyone ever listed the ways Dr. Lecter hates Old Spice after-shave? The popular shaving lotion is mentioned in the 1981 novel by Thomas Harris and ever since. All the Hannibals we’ve seen on tv or on the silver screen have expressed their hatred for it: the one played by Brian Cox in Manhunter (1985) by Michael Mann, Anthony Hopkins in the 2002 film and Mads Mikkelsen in the NBC tv show.

oldspiceaftershavelotion_bornunicornFor such a refined character, Old Spice is a symbol of uncouthness and carelessness. “Something a child would select,” the doctor remarks with what I think is a pinch of envy: Will has a family; someone who loves him always selects this perfume for him, even if it’s atrocious, something that Lecter will never experience.

Manhunter (1986)

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manhunter_bornunicorn (4)When Will Graham (William Petersen) visits Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox) in prison, the doctor doesn’t miss out on commenting on his perfume. Thanks to his exceptional sense of smell, he knows Will is wearing the “atrocious aftershave” he wore in court three years before, something which “has a ship on the bottle”, that is Old Spice.

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manhunter_bornunicorn (6)Soon after commenting on the aftershave, Hannibal moves the conversation on a more personal level. Will is the one who caught Lecktor: despite appearances, they’re “just alike”, which excites Hannibal and scares Will. The doctor goes on: “You came here to look at me, to get the old scent back again”, referring to the thrill of being able to enter someone’s mind and think like him/her, something that Will does, being an empath.

manhunter_bornunicorn (7)When Will leaves the cell in a hurry, Hannibal is disappointed: his remark (“Smell yourself”) is spiteful but also refers to Will’s power. To get “the old scent back again”, he just has to smell himself, to look inside of himself.

The same conversation appears in Hannibal S03E09.