The Scent of My Personal Brand

I preach to students all the time about the importance of establishing their own personal brand. It is crucial to build a digital footprint, establish consistent social media channels, and maintain a distinguishing in-person presence.

That is right, we can do more than hide behind our Twitter account to make others take note of us. When we have interactions with people, it is important to do what we can to reinforce who we are.

People use various “trademarks” or “calling cards” to make them stand out. It could be a watch, it could be a hair style, it could be constant gum chewing. Some folks have a toothpick dangling out of their mouths at all times. Some insist on wearing a cowboy hat. Some would never be caught dead not wearing a suit. These “accessories” all become part of that individual’s personal brand. Keep in mind I am saying all of this to try and justify one of my quirks…

There is something that I have worn every single day since I was 12. Each morning after I step out of the shower and get dressed I pull it out of my gym bag and give myself a quick spray. As it starts to dry on the front of my neck and the familiar scent reaches my nose, I know I am ready for the day.

I have worn the same cologne for almost 18 years. One Christmas, my grandma gave me a cologne kit from a department store that had four different scents in it. Made especially for teenage boys who wanted to feel cool by wearing cologne, you can probably guess the quality of the contents.

Mainly because of the name and the blue bottle, I started wearing a scent in the kit by Liz Claiborne called Candies. I wore it through the rest of middle school. A couple girls actually told me I smelled nice so I used it all the way through high school as well. Hey, the $20 price tag for a .5 fl oz bottle every six months wasn’t going to break my next to nothing budget.

This is the cologne I have worn practically my whole life.

This is the cologne I have worn practically my whole life.

By the time I reached college I didn’t want to stray from what I knew. After all, the occasional compliments kept rolling in. Those first couple years I would get new bottles in the summer and then at Christmas. Just as in high school, my college friends started to associate me with the citrus and spice scent. But then it happened. Candies was discontinued.

I didn’t want to believe it at first. I think I told my mom it was the only thing I wanted for Christmas. She helplessly looked at probably every store in Spokane (bless her heart). It was time for me to realize that I would never purchase Candies over a physical counter again.

Here I am holding a nearly empty bottle of my cologne while sitting behind one of the boxes that was shipped to me.

Here I am holding a nearly empty bottle of my cologne while sitting behind one of the boxes that contained my cologne and a random keychain.

I was introduced to the world of online shopping because of my need for my scent. At first it was easy to buy Candies. There was some large cologne/perfume online overseas company that I was able to buy bottles from that lasted me a couple years. But soon they went dry as well.

For the past couple years it has been an absolute struggle for me to find my prize. I have gone back and forth between Amazon and eBay to find the last few remaining bottles in the world. I am a little selective…I won’t buy anything except for the .5 fl oz bottles. This has caused me to purchase these weird packages. The past couple times the only way I could get my desired bottle was if I bought it in this combo box that came with a keychain. Last night I found a new grouping on eBay. For $50 I am getting my .5 fl oz bottle but it will also be coming with Candies skin cream and Candies deodorant! By looking at this package online, I am guessing it was probably produced 15 years ago.

This is the Candies cologne package I bought last night.

This is the Candies cologne package I bought last night.

Of course the comedy in this situation is that I am putting so much effort into buying a below average, discontinued cologne that was made for teens. It is like I have never heard the words Dolce & Gabbana before. But I want to hold on as long as possible. I feel the Candies scent could really be called Brent Reser Cologne. People associate the smell with me and it really has become a small part of my personal brand. Until the final bottle on this planet has been used, I have every intention of not letting go. Don’t Blink.

6 thoughts on “The Scent of My Personal Brand

  1. Pingback: A Thursday Rundown Offer | Don't Blink

  2. I feel you on this, it is one of my favorite scents in the world and I associate it of when I was a 15 year old girl, this was what guys received from me as Christmas/birthday gifts. I am truly devastated that I will no longer have any opportunities to enjoy this fragrance.

  3. Hahaha I’m late to this party but man I wish I could find this cologne. I have a couple of really nice scents but I still pine for Candies. (Sigh) One day, maybe when I’m 90.

      • Brent,

        I am a lot like you in this regard. I fell in love with Liz Claiborne’s Candies for Men back in late middle school/early high school around 1999-2002. I also loved the scent so much then and now it, along with that, it has a nostalgic stranglehold on my brain. I also have bought many small bottles off of eBay, and have been on the same search since 2002 (I think that is when it was disco’d. I did find a really good clone from a really good clone house (DUA fragrances. The name of the clone is #Candy, and it smells a lot like the original. The only problem is it is a tad expensive. It is like $50-$55 for a 30ml bottle. This is what I have been wearing for the past year or so, and I literally just bought 3 bottles from DUA because it was out of stock on their website for a bit and I got nervous and had flashbacks of the disco, so when it came back I bought 3 bottles. I just bought these a few days ago and they have not even been delivered to be yet and just now, a few minutes ago actually, I JUST came across what appears to be a relaunch of Candies for Men on, which is a fragrance discounter who only sells authentic fragrances. They have a 3.4oz (100ml) bottle of what looks to be the relaunch in a different bottle from the OG, but it is only $25 with the %15 off code FX15. So I just ordered that and we will see if it compares to the OG. I would give the FragranceX one a shot if I were you, and if this does not do it for you, and is not the same as the original, I highly recommend the DUA fragrances #Candy clone, it is very close to the original, I would say %90+ accurate. Sorry for the novel, hope this helps.

        Ps-if you ever come across any bottles that are the real thing or a very close similarity try to remember me and let me know if you can….

        James Junior

  4. My brother and I have a funny story. When we were teenagers (2000) we used to go to a flea market, in Mexico it is common for all kinds of items to be sold in those places including originals and piracy, he bought the Candies perfume in its After Shave version, used, without box, in that place, the essence was of a beautiful and fresh watermelon smell, everyone asked us what perfume it was and we kept that secret.
    We finished the entire bottle and then we grew.
    We didn’t get it anymore (we didn’t look for it either), about 3 years ago I started looking for it to recover a very peculiar moment of my brother and I, of our youth. I discovered then that it was discontinued and that it was very expensive and only available in the USA, we live in the north of Mexico, in a city full of wealth and commerce where we have EVERYTHING but no more Candies. So I started researching in perfume groups with experts, I discovered that DUA FRAGANCES made the clone so I requested it, incredible as it may seem I found an old post on Facebook here in Mexico of someone who was selling an original perfume, the perfume was CANDIES in 100 ml version and 30 ml including a CANDIES! brand deodorant, I bought it immediately for the laughable amount of $1700 pesos (around 80 usd).
    Dua #candy arrived first so I was so excited to open it, I tried it and what was my surprise: IT DIDN’T SMELL LIKE WATERMELON, it smells like a herbal smell, fresh like coriander, a slight grapefruit and with spices, the drying even more spicy, and It is not the CANDIES that I remember, I thought: “they did a dirty trick on me”, so I waited for the package with original CANDIES in 100ml and 30ml that I had bought to arrive so I could have fun comparing.
    My surprise was even greater when I opened the package with the original Candies perfumes, BOTH SMELLED THE SAME AS DUA’S (with slight differences let’s say 90% similar) BUT NOT LIKE THAT PERFUME I REMEMBER MY BROTHER BUYED IN OUR YOUTH. I thought that maybe because that was the version of AFTER SHAVE maybe it smelled more like WATERMELON and these are the versions of CANDIES EDT, I am deeply disappointed, it seems that the perfume we enjoyed in our youth was a pirate perfume that smelled BEAUTIFUL and not the original version of CANDIES that I now really own that smells A LOT OF CILANTRO, HERBAL, FRESH, smells good but NOT LIKE I REMEMBER IT. It should be added that it did not undergo reformulation because it was discontinued before that happened.

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