A little social history: A relatively new idea appears in this ad, which I showed last week.
In Victorian England, poor women had to put their children to bed for a day in order to wash their clothes. The family huddled under a blanket while the only clothing they possessed was washed and dried. My uncle Bert, born around 1899, behaved like Garrison Keillor’s “Norwegian bachelor farmers;” believing that a bath “opened the pores” to harmful germs, he would have remained unwashed, wearing the same set of long underwear from fall until spring, if my parents had not required regular bathing and fresh clothes as a condition of his living with us in the 1960’s.
Our twentieth century American sensitivity to personal odors was developed by ad campaigns like this one.
Making women feel insecure about their breath worked wonders for Listerine….
That ad campaign was still going strong ten years later:
Why shouldn’t a similar ad campaign work for laundry soap?
(Incidentally, someone could make a study of the use of the word “dainty” in such ads.)