Sunday, March 05, 2006

Scent of the outdoors

I just walked past the coffee table in my house where I had stacked a bunch of magazines, and was struck by a strong scent. Since there wasn't a fashion magazine in the bunch - just Newsweek, Backpacker and Outside - I was curious about which one was perfumed. To my dismay, it was Outside, a magazine regularly criticized by hardcore outdoor types for its fashion spreads. There, in the March issue, I found a fragrance ad for Davidoff Cool Water. Granted, the fragrance poster boy was hunky surfer Laird Hamilton, but the overpowering scent still distracted me from the cover story on "The NEW Trips of a Lifetime," which featured such epic adventures as tracking snow leopards in the Himalayas, climbing in the Andes and hiking and rafting in a remote part of China. Thankfully, my other favorite outdoor magazine, Backpacker, hasn't started stuffing its pages with distracting and eye-watering fragrance ads yet. The closest it gets is to offer suggestions for bathing on the trail so your hiking partners will let you in the tent at night.

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