It’s A Matter Of Degree. Of Bullpoopy

Josh is mad because they took away his favorite Degree ‘Shower Cleaner’ Unisex Deodorant. It smelled clean and fresh and the world was right. In its place are two different deodorants, one for men and one for women, each of which have their gender-specific smells. They stink.

He wrote Unilever, inquiring why they can’t, “stick with the products that don’t suck donkey sack?”

Uniliver, in its response, contends that the Women’s version is the same as the unisex one Josh loved. But Josh has tried that one, and his nose knows different.

The heated exchange between the erstwhile lovers, inside.

Related: Sure Deodorant Is The Same As Secret

    “Hi. I had been buying the Degree ‘shower clean’ unisex deodorant for over seven years up until it’s sudden replacement with “new and improved” men and women specific products several months ago. As a male I appreciated the simplicity of the original product. It didn’t smell like spices or cleaning products like every other deodorant marketed towards men. It smelled good.

    Ever since the disappearance of the original unisex product from every known store, I first tried the similar looking ‘shower clean’ now labeled ‘Women”. I took it home, and it smelled awful in my opinion so I threw it away. I have a small stockpile of the travel-sized sticks of the original ‘shower clean’ (as the stores still have those in stock), as well as a full stick that some neglected convenience store still had in stock.

    More recently I was excited to see what appeared to be the original unisex ‘shower clean’ (not labeled with what sex you had to be in order to purchase!) in a new click-wheel container. While it is close to the original, it is also not quite right. While certainly better than the horrible Degree ‘Men’ ones I smelled at the store, it is still not the original. When I compare the ingredient lists on the back of the original ‘shower clean’ I have, and the new inferior one, there are differences, which I assume is responsible for the different smell. My question then is, why tinker with a good product?

    Furthermore, when I went to just now to find out how to, well, complain, I instead found some nice comic relief in your new marketing campaign.

    The homepage is divided into ‘women’ and ‘men’, to polarize the consumer immediately into women, who simply need only to observe the product, rest assured that it’s “Ultra Clear” and the men, who are invited to “Take Risks”, such as blasting through a storefront window with a motorcycle.

    Clicking on each, the women site appears to be a fashion ad offering a free sample. The men site opens with an animation claiming the product “Protects Men Who Take Risks” as the words break through more glass, and inside: “Welcome to Stunt City” and “Risk Taking Poker Tips”. Right, yes, the stunts and the poker and the shitty spice smells. I know you need to hook the 13 year olds with your product as they start to stink, but can’t you at least do that with some skateboarding rebels with kneepads and stick with the products that don’t suck donkey sack?

    Thank you for you time,

    – Josh Polly”

Unliver’s response:

Hi Josh,

Thanks for writing!

We apologize for the difficulty you are having in locating the product. It is still manufactured and can be made available to any store willing to carry it in the Women’s line only. According to our records, we have not changed the formula.

We have now designed our Degree Women products specifically for Women, and our Degree Men products specifically for men. This is also true of our fragrances. While we design Degree Women fragrances for women and vice versa, there is nothing preventing a Women from using a Degree Men product or a Man from using a Degree Women product.

Please inform your store managers that you are interested in the product. Urge them to contact their distributor, so they can carry it on their shelves and make it available to you and other consumers.

Thanks for your interest!
Your friends at Degree


Moral of the story: Marketers are liars. Josh either needs to buy his deoderant from random people with cache piles on Ebay, or find a new product to cleanse his armpits.


Edit Your Comment

  1. MattyMatt says:

    I don’t think Unilever’s saying that the women’s is the same as the unisex. They’re saying that the unisex is the same as it’s always been; and when a store carries it, it’s in the women’s aisle.

    It’s a little creepy to see them capitalizing Women and Men, like they’re making deodorant for deities.

    My advice: go with Tom’s of Maine’s unscented stuff. It’s very inoffensive, and doesn’t give you ideas about leaping around on motorcycles.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Right, that’s what Unilver says, but Josh thinks the Women branded version smells differently.

    More recently I was excited to see what appeared to be the original unisex ‘shower clean’ (not labeled with what sex you had to be in order to purchase!) in a new click-wheel container. While it is close to the original, it is also not quite right.

  3. johnmerb says:

    Splash rubbing alcohol under pits daily. No powder. No chemicals. No stains on clothes. No odor. Cheap.

  4. x23 says:

    the womens brand “Shower Clean” really does have a rank smell to it.

    the older non-womens unisex “Shower Clean” is only in an overpriced and short-lasting travel size. it’s pretty annoying actually.

    the formula is VERY CLEARLY changed. since you can buy the womens AND unisex models still you can EASILY do a side-by-side comparo.

  5. kerry says:

    Man, I’m glad someone asked Unilever about this, I’ve been meaning to for months. So they contend that a unisex version is still available? Or just that they relabeled the original as women’s? I agree that it’s not the same smell, even if it’s the same formula. Unilever already has a great women’s deodorant product out there (Dove), why did they have to take the best unisex product off the market? The man smells are too eXXXtreme sporty, the woman smells are too girly, and now people who like to smell a little less gender-specific are screwed.

    johnmerb: Last I checked a little alcohol didn’t prevent one from sweating. Also, it’s doesn’t keep the stink away once you start sweating, either.

    Oh, and Matty: I think they’re doing Men and Women thing because that’s actually part of the brand name. Extending it to referring to actual humans is decidedly creepy, though.

  6. dotyoureyes says:

    I was also a fan of the unisex shower clean scent.

    The closest I’ve found to a non-offensive male deodorant is Speed Stick’s “Sport Talc” scent. It basically smells like baby powder, which works for me.

    Sure’s “Regular” and “Unscented” are also pretty good.

  7. Kangarara says:

    The thing about antiperspirant that’s been pissing me off lately is the ‘invisible’ label.

    Several years ago (10?) they made a big deal about producing ‘invisible’ antiperspirant for women that wouldn’t leave white marks on clothing (there tends to be deodorant available for men – clear, but women mostly end up with antiperspirant, which tends to be chalky).

    It was wonderful! However, over the years, they kept the ‘invisible’ label but reverted to the damned chalky stuff – leaving marks all over my favourite black shirts again.

    Now, they come out with “Ultra Clear” again. How long before that’s opaque like the rest of it? Or is Josh’s issue the first sign of that inevitable progression?


  8. Chairman-Meow says:

    I do find it mildly disturbing that we all have the energy to be talking about deodorant when there are far more important evils like AOL or Comcast.

    In fact, it stinks.

  9. Ultravox says:

    I found the Toms of Maine “unscented” smelled like Froot Loops. So I gave it to my 10 year old daughter to use. (Yes, she needs it)

    I’m currently using Kiss My Face Fragrance Free Active Enzyme deodorant and it works great (and doesn’t stink.)

  10. Lesley says:

    I, too am a fan of Shower Clean and am dismayed at this development. It explains why I found a bargain 4-pack of Shower Clean Degree at Big Lots for $5 (I was thrilled!). I must go back post-haste and buy the remaining inventory!

  11. Can’t he just switch to unscented?

  12. formergr says:

    Ugh, it’s like the stupid Sony Bravia HDTV ads, where men and women will like it for different reasons (men because it’s so cool, and women because it brings the pretty in a nice pink glow). Please.