Hydratant redux

Red-faced Paul

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool
than to speak and remove all doubt

I have such literate and helpful friends. Take the immediate response to yesterday's screed about Gillette Foamy "moisturizing hydratant."

The FTP connection to upload the page to the website had hardly closed when Larry weighed in with an email. Subject: As in HYDRO


Please check this:



Oh, oh. I saw my life begin to flash before my eyes. I don't think I want to look, I thought. But of course I had to.

Kerstin Florian clarifying hydrotant rehydratant

"Spalook.com" (which I was prepared to rhyme with spook) turned out to be SpaLook. And sure enough, there was a little bottle of "Kerstin Florian Clarifying Hydrotant," a closer look at the label of which revealed that it was a "rehydratant."


Similarly, a look at Ecologique.com produced another bottle of something called a "balancing hydrotant."

I was beginning to get the picture: By associating Foamy shaving cream with these tony spa products, Gillette was clearly laying the foundation for a price increase!

Then Bret called in from Vancouver to leave a concise message on my answering machine:

By the way, "hydratant" is French for "moisturizing."

Bret went on to say that he knew this trivium because of the bilingual labels on products in Canada.

Well, color me embarassed! This morning I returned to Google and performed an advanced search, requesting only documents in French. Sure enough!

Google results Gel hydratant

Fifteen thousand hits on hydratant on pages written in French! And there for any damned fool to see was page after page of products designed to moisturize and protect my peau, such as this gel hydratant from Clarins.

Clarins Men

Clarins Men home page is adorned with this homme. Is that a stereotype, or what?

Damn! I hate it when I screw up on a word!