Beauty

Axe Goes All Out for Anarchy

It all started about a week ago when a messenger delivered a locked metal briefcase to my office and an invitation to an Axe event. I was told that, the day of the event, I would find out the code to the briefcase. As someone who loves marketing gimmicks, as far as I was concerned, no matter what was in the briefcase, this was going to go down as one of the best invitations I’ve ever received. When I did finally get the code I opened the case to find four just-launched Axe products.

Axe has been around for just over a decade, but until now they’ve been exclusively focused on targeting young men. With their new fragrance, Anarchy, they are looking to attract both men and women with separate iterations. The “for her” scent has notes of apple, blackberry, soft florals, sandalwood, amber, and vanilla, while the “for him” scent combines fruity notes with sweet woods like sandalwood and white amber. Fittingly, the commercial spot to promote the two scents depicts a chaotic scene in which two strangers lock eyes and walk towards each other before the words “Unleash the chaos” appear on the screen (the commercials are slated to begin broadcasting in the U.S. on January 29). “Chaos” is not unlike what took place at the launch event for Anarchy – albeit controlled chaos.

After being picked up in an Axe branded car, I was driven to the National Women’s Republican Club in New York City, which is just about the last place you’d think a beauty event would take place. After about an hour's worth of chatting and mingling, guests were invited to another room where scantily dressed dancers performed amidst blasting music and smoke (again, it was quite the scene considering where this was all taking place). Before I could figure out what in the world was going on, Fabolous and his entourage took to the center of the room and performed a handful of songs interweaving lines about Axe.

After the performance, I spoke with an Axe representative and asked her whether the event space was picked to show Axe bringing “anarchy” into a conservative location, but I was told that was purely coincidental, and that “Axe likes for things to be unexpected” — that it certainly was.

As for the scents themselves, I was impressed that despite being very feminine, the “for her” scent has the distinct and instantly recognizable Axe aroma. They’re both very strong, so while they’re meant for the whole body, I would limit each of them to no more than two spritzes. The women’s Axe Anarchy body spray is limited edition, but will possibly become permanent based on sales. For men, in addition to the body fragrance, there is Anarchy deodorant, antiperspirant, shower gel, and 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner. Given that everything in the line-up retails for $3.99-$5.29 and that research has shown women have been wanting their own Axe for years, I'd be very surprised if this is the last we hear about Axe for her. Check out some of the commercial spots that will be airing nationally here.

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