Name: The Lynx effect.
Age: Mid-1990s to mid-2010s.
Can you be more specific? Are we talking about the Eurasian lynx, Canada lynx, Iberian lynx, perhaps even the bobcat, also a type of lynx? None of the above. We’re talking about Unilever’s range of scented male-grooming products, known as Lynx in the UK, Ireland, Australia and China, and Axe everywhere else.
I remember the adverts. It’s a potion that makes women fall in love with you. Like A Midsummer Night’s Dream? More like Carry On Deodorising. Anyway, Unilever decided that effect was getting a bit dated, so it now just says it is “on a mission to awaken guys to the limiting labels that hold them back”.
Are you sure it isn’t on a mission to get rich by flogging deodorant? It could have two missions. Anyway, a further Lynx effect has recently been discovered.
You can turn cans of body spray into flame throwers? You really shouldn’t do that. And no, it’s something new. A can of Lynx woke a 13-year-old boy from a coma.
What? The boy’s name is Kacper Krauze. In February, he fell into the River Eden in Cumbria, and was submerged for 25 minutes, according to witnesses, before he was pulled out and airlifted to hospital.
That sounds bad. It was. They restarted Kacper’s heart and kept him alive, but he remained in a coma for three weeks. His parents, Marek and Wioletta Krauze, spent hours talking to him and playing him music, but a can of Lynx was the turning point in the end.
Seriously? Oh yes. “It was a miracle,” says Wioletta. “We had tried everything to wake him up. A nurse had suggested I bring in some of his toiletries to wash him with. As soon as I sprayed the Lynx he opened his eyes immediately. He must have remembered that was his favourite smell.”
That’s a beautiful story. Do we know which variety of Lynx it was? We do not, but judging from the photographs of Kacper afterwards, it would have been either Lynx Black (“notes of watermelon, bergamot and frozen pear”) or Lynx Gold (“oud wood and dark vanilla”).
Interesting. And how’s Kacper now? Apparently he still struggles a little with speech, and with his right hand, but otherwise he’s fine. “I have always absolutely loved Lynx,” he says. “I will continue to wear it now, always. It’s my lucky charm.”
So he’s going to smell of Lynx for the rest of his life? I guess that’s a side-effect he’ll have to live with.
Do say: “Does Old Spice have any medical applications?”
Don’t say: “I suppose it might disinfect the floors.”