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170925 September 25, 2017



English Leather

Aftershave or Cologne?

Tommy Towery

LHS '65

    Today's memories span some time a little after my Lee days, but only one  or two years, so that means you ‘65 grads like John Drummond, Skip Cook, and Craig Bannecke should be able to relate to them, as well as that wonderful group of 1965 Lee girls. So, I plan to wander along the keyboard for a few weeks dealing with the subject of scents. The above commercial was years later, but it stated what we guys wanted to think it did.

    In our discussions about smelling good for the opposite sex, we’ve generally stuck to a few of the most popular scents. I’m not sure if it was just the continuation of puberty growth or the British Invasion which gave birth to the awareness of aftershaves and colognes, but something did. Even though I still preferred English Leather, I was one who had to experiment with the different aromas designed for men to woe the girls into their arms. It is funny but many smells which I always associated with the British Invasion were actually more Far East smells and names, but the emergence of Bond, James Bond and his 007 fame made me think so. Since he knew all the oriental fight styles, the smells which eluded to those skills made me classify them in his category.

    I would not think it would be a surprise for some of you to learn I still have several bottles of aftershaves and colognes in my possession. Now if they actually have any resemblance to their original smells I will never know. For one thing, along with my eyesight and hearing, my sense of smell has also fell prey to the aging bug. 

    This thought path makes me remember the first time I was ever aware of a bottle of aftershave going bad. I was riding around with Tommy Thompson, LHS ‘64, one day in 1963 when he told me he had to make a stop before we went home. He reached over and took a bottle of English Leather out of the glove box and said he had to go in and exchange it for another one. This caught me off guard because the bottle was only three-fourths full and I wondered how he was going to take back a used bottle of English Leather. He continued the conversation answering my unasked, but obvious, question of what was wrong with it. He explained it had gone bad and did not smell the way it was supposed to smell. I always wondered if the fact he kept it in his glove box might be the reason, since locked cars can reach extreme temperatures which might cause such reaction. Anyway, he took it in the store, exchanged it and handed me the bottle to replace in the glove box. Before I did so I splashed some in my palm and rubbed it on my face. It was the first time I had ever smelled English Leather, and I was hooked from then on.

    From the internet I learned that the English Leather's official story begins in 1949, but the fragrance was actually born in the 1930’s in Vienna. Because the scent was similar to what Russian saddlers used to tan leather, it was originally called “Russian Leather” by the MEM Company®. Years later, English Leather made its U.S. debut—because of the Cold War with Russia, Russian Leather was changed to English Leather. Marketed with the classic trademark advertising campaign “Wear English Leather or wear nothing at all.” Classic and authentically masculine, this rich, sensual scent is the signature fragrance for those bold enough to express their own unique style.
    Citrus—fresh chypre fragrance that opens with citrus and develops into a fuller masculine scent composed of mossy, woody and leather notes.

    My final year at Lee I ran around with three primary friends - Bob Walker, David France, and Lewis Brewer. I was the first one to break up the group by moving away from Huntsville on the day after I graduated. Sometimes there are advantaged to being the first in anything, and this event was no exception. The three of them went together and bought me a big gift box of assorted English Leather products. I think it cost the group $10, which was a lot back then. The set was packaged in one of the big redwood boxes English Leather was famous for and consisted of a bottle of after shave lotion, a bottle of cologne, a bar of soap on a rope, and a bottle of talcum powder. It was a wonderful gift and I kept the box for a long time before I re-purposed it into a blinking light box in college - which I still have.

    Now I may be a little common, but I never for the life of me figured out the difference in purpose between aftershave lotion and cologne for sure. I always figured you just splashed cologne on right before a date (as described by John and Skip in earlier stories) and not necessarily right after a shave. To be honest, I have used them interchangeably all my life, and just splashed on the essence from the closest bottle to me regardless of its content. I figured if there was any real problem they would put a warning label on the bottle stating “Danger, failure to properly use this product my result in no good night kiss after a date.”

    Curious, I went online and found this information: 

    What is the difference between Aftershave and Cologne?

• Aftershave is used immediately after shaving as the name implies. However, cologne can be used after shaving or simply when you are going out in the day time or the night time.
• Main purpose of an aftershave is to soothe, moisturize, and scent the freshly shaved skin.
• Aftershave includes antiseptic agents that help to sooth the cuts made by the razor. Cologne does not have such antiseptic agents.
• When it comes to fragrance, cologne is more fragrant than an aftershave. The purpose of cologne is to add a pleasant scent to its wearer.
• Aftershave is applied to only face and chin. However, cologne is applied to other parts of the body such as wrists and chest too as it is aiming at giving out fragrance.
• More perfume oil is included in cologne than in aftershave. As a result, the perfume of the cologne is long lasting than aftershave.
• Cologne is more expensive than an aftershave.

    Still the British smelling scent in the bottle with the real wood top stayed my favorite, even though it has slipped in prestige from being behind the counter of a high end men’s store to just being on a shelf at a drug store. I go through phases of forgetting to use it sometimes, to being acutely aware of the memorable properties of this smell of my youth and the many cute girls I am sure were won over by the smell.

    I highly request that any more of my male or female readers who want to join in on this topic to please do so. I know there are lots of more stories to be told.

        Memphis, TN -  Busy Saturday for me with a friend's 60th birthday early in the day and a Memphis Tigers football game last night. Lots to cover in this issue, so it took me a little longer to get it out - but still beating the deadline.

    I hope all of you are enjoying the beginning of Fall, but I personally did not expect it to stay this hot this late in the year. Reminds me of some of those August reunions which felt like July.

    I'm still accepting any stories you wish to share about your days at Lee and hope you all are enjoying the ones shared by your classmates.

Frances McQuay
Mother of  Darlene McQuay Garner
LHS '65

    On September 15, 2017, Mrs. Frances McQuay passed away from her earthly home to her heavenly home, surrounded by her daughter, Darlene, and her son-in-law, Jim Garner. Frances was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, the oldest of four children. She was predeceased by her husband of almost 57 years, Clayton McQuay (McQuay Realty); parents, Wallace and Kate McQuay; brother, Wallace Jr.; sister, Mrs. Helen Flack; and her nephew, Timothy McQuay. Mrs. McQuay is survived by her loving daughter, Mrs. Darlene McQuay Garner and her husband, Jim Garner; brother, Dr. Earl P. McQuay and wife, Rose, of Sarasota, Florida; and four nieces, Mrs. Brenda Fleeman (Bill) of Sarasota, Florida, Ms. Diane LaPoint of Charlotte, North Carolina, Ms. Pamela McQuay of Sarasota, Florida, and Ms. Susan Moore of Indian Train, North Carolina. Frances worked with her husband at McQuay Real Estate. She was his greatest asset. She was a Charter Member of Christ Presbyterian Church in Hampton Cove; former president of Westbury Garden Club; former president of Big Cove Women's Club; and former member of Huntsville Christian Women's Club. Mrs. McQuay was active in the community and church until her illness.Burial will beat Hampton Cove Cemetery. 

LHS Class of 1987
To Hold 50-Year Reunion
Max Kull
LHS '67

    The class of '67 reunion is two weeks from now.  We would welcome all classes from '64-'69 to join us.  We have a little slide show/video for you to enjoy.

Click below to view the Reunion Application

Thursday, October 26, 2017
11:00 a.m.


GALEN’S RESTAURANT (Formerly Mullin’s)
607 Jackson Way
Huntsville, AL 35801

    As we approach the eighth year for Lee Lunch Bunch (’64,’65,’66), it seems to be a good time for us to try a new location. We have all enjoyed these last seven years meeting at Logan’s Restaurant, and they have been very nice and accommodating. Perhaps we may go back there at some point, but for now, we are going to meet and hopefully enjoy a favorite old hangout for many of us.  I hope that you will save the date for Thursday, October 26, 2017, and let’s all meet at Galen’s.

    Galen’s has owned and operated a successful restaurant in the New Hope area for several years.  In June they opened a second location in Huntsville in the former Mullin’s location.  They are open for breakfast and lunch (until 2:00 PM) for now, but they do have plans to stay open for dinner in the near future.  Galen’s features a traditional meat and vegetable plate lunch with many side items to choose from.  They also have other 

    items on their extensive menu such as burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc.  Also, deserts!  There will certainly be something on the menu that will appeal to everyone.  Google Galen’s Restaurant and take a peek at their pictures and their menu.

    We must let Galen’s know by the day before how many plan to be there so they can arrange tables and have enough chairs ready.  Please contact either Judy Fedrowich Kincaid or me by that date if you plan to join us.   Hoping to see many of you there.

Thanks a Bunch!

Patsy Hughes Oldroyd, Class of ‘65
home (256)232-7583
cell (256)431-3396 or on FACEBOOK for 
either of us
Judy Fedrowich Kincaid, Class of ‘66
cell (256)656-3667


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Ambush

Patsy Hughes Oldroyd

LHS ‘65

    I liked the picture of the Ambush perfume bottles that you included with my brief story. I know that there must have been several styles that were used over the years, but the Ambush bottle used most during our teenage years was a rubber coated glass bottle. It was a bottom-heavy round bottle in hot pink maybe about eight inches tall with a gold top. I remember it as distinctly as I do the big fat wooden knob of a top on the English Leather bottle for the guys. Funny how I cannot remember what I did a few minutes ago, but I can remember something like that. It must be that everything about our time as teenagers was so very important to us and is indelibly stamped on our brains.

    Accusing you of keeping everything that you ever owned is just a way of saying that you are a true sentimental. Yes, I just made that a noun. Nostalgia is one of the sweetest memories that we have of our youth.


Subject:    Cologne
Eddie Burton
LHS ' 66

   Avon had a fragrance for men called Wild Country. That was one of my favorites. The band Alabama got their former band name from that cologne. They were previously called Wild Country.