back to top

I Wore Lynx For A Week Even Though It's Not Meant For Ladies

It gave everyone intense flashbacks.

Posted on

Men wear Lynx (or Axe, as it's known in the US) to attract ladies and to be intensely manly. Here is an average-looking man attracting a swarm of women with just a few sprays of Lynx:


The adverts promise that women will be drawn to the Lynx wearer like hairs to a balloon. It’s a cheap magic potion for younger guys who want to be prowling, rippled hunks. And I have to admit I’ve always found the smell of Lynx weirdly attractive. I might catch a whiff on the tube or in a pub, and it grabs me. It’s like freshly baked man (but Tesco Value range).

I already wear a men's deodorant (Dove Men Care Clean Comfort stick – would recommend), and so I was curious...

I wanted to know what would happen if I wore Lynx.

Would I fancy me? Would women run to me? Would I be treated differently? I set myself a challenge to wear a different Lynx body spray to work every day for a week. The body spray also claims to be a deodorant, so as well as rating my sexiness and my manly prowess while wearing Lynx, I'll rate its deodorant skills.


Why do they call it Africa? When I squirt the shower gel into my hand, I’m transported straight to Streatham, circa 1996. Caesars nightclub, ladies drink free. Men and boys in white shirts, moving through the darkness followed by heady gusts of Lynx.

Now it’s like I married one of those guys and I’ve got in the shower after him. I kind of like it. It’s manly. I rub my body with my Lynx ManwasherTM – a grey, corporate-looking scrubbing implement. My lady skin is too delicate for such roughness.

Next, two big blasts of Africa body spray: Ahh, there it is – that old, familiar reek of dashing young studmuffins. I feel like I’m getting ready for a big night out at an under-18s party. My other half says it takes him right back "to the tough kids at school smoking up top of the field, then trying to mask the smell with Lynx Africa".

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

I sit next to a pretty girl on the tube, even though there's loads of other spare seats. Maybe she’ll smell the Lynx and look around for the hot guy nearby? She doesn’t even register me. Disappointing.

At work my armpits are sticky, like they’re covered in half-set glue. I can already smell my own BO merging with Africa: an unpleasant fusion. But I’m getting lots of attention. The Lynx is making everyone nostalgic. “The boys’ changing room, ages 13 to 17,” says Luke. Tabatha and Gena admit they always slightly fancied boys in Lynx Africa, and yes, OK, they fancy me a bit now.

But after a while the smell becomes exhausting. "It's pongy," says Ailbhe, nailing it. Every time I reach for a pen, I catch the stench of cheap male desire. I feel like a guy who’d come fifth on The Apprentice. I want to break up with me.

Lynx Africa body spray

Sexiness factor: 7/10

Manliness: 8/10

Deodorant skills: 3/10


Today I’m scent layering. According to the bottle, Lynx Excite has a “fragrance so tempting that even angels will sin for its heavenly masculinity”" I’m stoked to have angels sin for me, but when I squirt the dark purple goop on to my ManwasherTM it smells sugary and childish, like bubblebath.

After the overwhelming manliness of Africa I’m disappointed. I don’t feel like a hunky builder’s just got out of my shower. I’m just me with some sickly sweet shower gel all over my body. No angels will sin for this.

Can the Peace body spray turn things around? No. I spray it on to my pits, bracing myself for a tsunami of man scent, but it just smells kind of...nice. A bit floral, a bit fragrant. Frankly, girly.

I have to run to catch the train and surprisingly Peace keeps me dry. At least it’s doing something right.

At work, I ask my colleague Remee to smell my armpits. We compromise with an awkward hug where I try to shove my armpit surreptitiously in her face. She says I smell like “deodorant”. I push her for something more specific. Apparently I smell like one of her face creams. But what did I expect? What could be less manly than peace?

Lynx Peace body spray

Sexiness factor: 2/10

Manliness: 0/10

Deodorant skills: 7/10

My expectations are lowered after the disappointment of Peace. But Lynx Attract shower gel (orange goop) is back on extremely manly form. It’s like a classier version of Africa. It’s what the teenager that wore Africa would smell like when he grew up and ran his own business. It reminds me of silver foxes in light blue shirts in suburban Barratt Homes.

But all good things must come to an end, and unfortunately the Dark Temptation body spray obliterates the subtle macho scent of Attract. Lynx Dark Temptation is not nice. It smells sweet and fruity, like Sure women’s deodorant. I don’t feel manly in any way except for the amount I’m sweating. Luckily I’m wearing a white T-shirt so my colleagues can’t see my wet armpit patches.

Later that day, my husband reassures me that I do smell like a man, but I think he's just saying that to make me feel better.


Lynx Dark Temptation body spray

Sexiness factor: 0/10

Manliness: 2/10

Deodorant skills: 2/10

The Olympics start today, so I’m celebrating with Lynx’s sporty range. The Sport Blast shower gel is much like all the other Lynx shower gels. It smells of harsh chemical man particles, and citrus fruit; like a banker eating a grapefruit. I realise I’m becoming inured to these smells. They don’t mean anything anymore. It’s just the generic smell of Lynx.

The deodorant doesn’t fare much better. Lynx 2012 Final Edition body spray was probably created to help men pull during the London Olympics (do they still make it, or is the can four years old?). I take a long sniff off my armpits. I’ve become something of an armpit sommelier, but I have to admit I’m struggling to tell this Lynx apart from the rest. It smells...Lynxy.

2012 Final Edition barely raises a whisper of excitement in the office either. Tabatha says I smell “a bit like a teenage boy” and she “sort of fancies me”, but only says that when I ask her if she fancies me so she’s probably just being polite. Remee still just thinks I smell like deodorant. “It’s not as good as Africa,” she adds.

We all miss Africa.

The only exciting news is that Tolani came to get something from my desk and immediately asked why the area “smells like man”. It’s still working on Tolani – hey, Tolani! 😉

Lynx 2012 Final Edition body spray

Sexiness factor: 5/10

Manliness: 5/10

Deodorant skills: 5/10

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

It’s my last day in Lynx, and tbh I can’t wait to get this over with. I’ve already ruined four tops with the stink of overripe teenage boys and I don’t want to spoil any more.

Black Night promises to stimulate my senses “for a night of intrigue”. It’ll have to be a day of intrigue instead. My morning shower is definitely intriguing: Black Night shower gel smells exactly like ginger ale. Identical, like I’m showering in the stuff. Certainly an intriguing thing to do, but is it sexy?

Black Night body spray doesn’t smell like ginger ale – it smells like quite nice man perfume. I really like it at first actually, so much so that I’m momentarily transported in my imagination to a glamorous smoky bar. I shake my Rolex watch on my wrist, adjust my crisp white shirt, glance around for ladies. But do you want to be that guy? whispers a little voice in my head. No. Anyway, after a few minutes the sensual top note fades away to leave a generic, sickly sweet Lynxy aftermath.

“Tolani,” I say at the coffee point at work, seeking approval from the only person who said I smell like a man. “Do I smell good?”

“You remind me of the locker rooms at school, full of boys," she says. "I did always fancy boys that smelled of Lynx.”

But how about now? Do Tolani and the other ladies of the BuzzFeed office want to run towards me in bikinis?

“It’s just making me think of boys,” she says.

OK, nope.

Lynx Black Night body spray

Sexiness factor: 6/10

Manliness: 6/10

Deodorant skills: 3/10

Did wearing Lynx make me irresistible to women, or did I just smell like a teenage boy?

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed / Unilever

The girls I surveyed did still slightly fancy me in Lynx. It had a powerful nostalgic effect on them: everyone was transported either to a school locker room or an under-18s party. I reminded them of the guys they liked when they were teenagers. BUT EQUALLY, being reminded of school locker rooms and under-18s parties is slightly creepy. If I was an actual full-grown guy wearing Lynx, all the ladies said they'd be put off.

My clothes hated Lynx. At the end of the day the armpits in my tops smelled awful, and I had to wash everything immediately after wearing it.

If you want to attract female attention wear Lynx Africa. It was the most potent of all the Lynxes and everyone admitted it stirred a vague memory of once fancying someone wearing it.

But it’s not guaranteed to be good-quality female attention. It’ll probs just be the odd woman quietly remembering her school days, or nudging a friend and laughing, wondering why it smells like boys.