“Ew!” ~ Touch by Fred Hayman

“Your advertising’s just dandy… folks would never guess you don’t have a thing to sell.” Bonnie Parker


     Faye Dunnaway might as well have been talking about Touch for Men by Fred Hayman when she said those lines to Warren Beatty in the classic 1967 film “Bonnie And Clyde”.

The bottle for Touch was so pretty and elegant that I was seduced by its classic apothecary bottle design. I bought it blind and on the promise of the notes it claimed to have. Three notes to be exact, Lavender, Spices, and Amber, a simple yet masculine Oriental Spicy, right up my alley. It sounded uncomplicated and elegant and like something that might hark back to the glamour of Beverly Hills in the 90’s when Fred Hayman was a big name people still remembered on Rodeo Drive.

Then it arrived….. I opened the package and took one look at the box.  Not good. It was rather gaudy… Oh well it was the 90’s after all.

I unboxed the bottle… Now it looked a little better with its oversized black cap and the red plastic “wax” seal with an H stamped on it in the center of the bottle… no name just the stamp. Well that was kind of classy; if you stood back a few feet and squinted. Then I opened the bottle.

I spayed it on and in a Newport Beach second I morphed into Summer Roberts from “The O.C.”

“It smells like Chino, Ew!!”

It stank like the inside of the plastic head of a Jerry Mahoney ventriloquist doll. I know because when I was 12 I smelled my cousin’s Jerry Mahoney Doll, and it smelled BAD. What is that, Lavender? I have never smelled lavender like that. Is it plastic flowers melting on a sidewalk in the summer?  The spices are from the back shelf of an old taco truck abandoned on the old I 5 just north of Gorman. Amber? No not amber but something akin to burning tires in a junk yard in the San Fernando Valley.


   It not only stank but it stank in the most obvious obnoxious way. IT WAS CHEAP!

Was this a joke? All I could think of was Divine in “Lust in the Dust.”

DIVINE: Yeah, I came here for the gold, because I’ve been poor all my life.
MAGRUERITA VENTURA: You’ve got it all wrong, honey. You’ve been cheap all your life.
DIVINE: Cheap?
[picks up a chair, and breaks it over Maguerita]
DIVINE: This furniture is cheap.

I have no idea how long it lasts because I had the hazmat team in here giving me the “Dr. No” decontamination scrub down about thirty minutes after the first spay.

Lets just put it this way, It had me, and not in a good way, at “Ew”.




  1. I love the snark, Lanier! And that mashup of “ew!” made my night.

    • ah…thanks I am so glad you enjoyed that! Snark has it’s place when fumes are foul, fetid and rank.

  2. You are too funny. I’m sorry you had to go through that experience though. Sometimes those blind buys are scary. You look at the notes and think it will be right up your alley and then you get it and wonder what the heck went wrong. I’m known to blind buy less expensive fragrances. When they go right it’s all worth it. “Ew” really sums it up for this one not to mention the no stars rating.

    • There is a certain thrill to a cheap blind buy. Oh…there is that word again… Cheap!

  3. Oh man. Sounds like you took one for the team!

    The bottle kind of reminds me of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, but after your review, I will take the Maker’s Mark instead!

    • Always happy to take one for the team! Go Team! Yes it does look like a M.M. Bourbon bottle. Over the lips and through the gums look out old gut for here it comes! Cheers!

  4. I’m almost sorry that you had to go through that. You understand my “almost”, right? 🙂

  5. Gosh! Glad I never sniffed this one. I actually kind of like the bottle though! 🙂

  6. Dear Lanier, good friend of mind. Cross with a child of mine? What have they done? Tell me please. I know they are misunderstood. At times I have to come out and defend my creations as they wander and stumble through the world. In 1994-1995 while I was at Parlux I created Fred Hayman’s Touch for Men. After 20 years I can’t recall which essential I house I worked with on it but at the time I Givaudan, IFF, Creations Aromatic, Florasyth and Takasago were all in and out of the office. Who knows where it is made now, or whether the scent has been tinkered with…I would think not. One of the first things to note is what a success this scent is – Touch for Men has its devotees. 20 years later and still selling. That is a lot of bottles. If I had to guess over 20 years somewhere between 200,00 and 250,00 bottles have been sold. The is a lot of spritzing, and fragrance on skin out in the world. Fragrances without a following die a quick and quiet death. No so with Touch for men. And back to the scent – the direction from Parlux management for this fragrance brief was very very specific – make a Brut for men. Take Brut and enrich it, make it stronger, more bold and Brutish. I can see myself in the hallway right now in a passioned all-male conversation about Brut for men, I hear the words as they were said.”the best scent ever for schtupping” There you have it. Go forth my child. The world is yours.

  7. Just reviewed this one. A strange case of where I can completely understand your criticisms, yet not share any of them. Except I must confess to not seeing the packaging as “gaudy.” Seems fairly restrained and classy to me, as someone with an educational background in graphic design. I take it you’re no fan of Brute?

    • Hi Bryan! Thanks for stopping by. I was a fan of Brute when I was 16. I think I should revisit it and see what I think of it today.

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