Businessmen come out smelling like roses

February 2nd, 2011 by Felicity Hughes

The Otoko Kaoru Fragrance Shirt emits a subtle scent of menthol and roses

Some Japanese men will be smelling of roses just in time for Valentine’s day. The Otoko Kaoru (good-smelling man) Fragrant Shirt was released for sale in Japan just last month and is attracting a lot of attention from retailers who have snapped up the first run of these sweetly smelling garments. A tie-in with Otoko Kaoru chewing gum, the collar of the shirt releases the same rose and menthol fragrance as the gum when rubbed against the skin.

Rose-scented micro-capsules are embedded in the shirt’s collar and if they’re rubbed or put under pressure they explode, releasing a liquid that evaporates into the air around. The scent is designed to be subtle rather than overpowering and can only be smelled when the shirt is worn. It will also gradually lose its potency over time and manufacturer’s claim its good for around 10 washes, after which the smell fades completely.

Part of the buzz around this product is down to the original Otoko Kaoru gum made by Kracie. The rose and menthol fragrance of the gum was said to be absorbed through the mouth and digestive tract after which your skin allegedly secretes the same delectable scent. Yum!  Launched back in 2006, the limited-edition gum proved so popular that it sold out and had to be slowly re-released region by region to prevent shortages. Kracie stopped producing the gum in August 2010 and has since been working with textile manufacturer Shikibo to produce the shirt. If all goes well they’re planning to produce a polo shirt and pajamas with the same properties.

The range of shirts, which cost around ¥3,000, could well prove a hit. Deodorizing shirts and suits have been popular in the last decade with middle-aged businessmen worried about subjecting others to their bad BO. We’re also thinking that the menthol rose smell will appeal to the new breed of herbivorous men who take personal grooming and hygene extremely seriously.

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