Brut (French pronunciation: [bʁyt]) is the brand name for a line of men's grooming and fragrance products first launched in 1964 by Fabergé. The Brut line would grow to include aftershave, balms, and deodorant. Packaged in a green glass bottle with a silver-coloured medallion, it is still sold as of 2015.
In 1968, a budget range was marketed as Brut 33 because it contained 33% of the fragrance of the original product. Packaged in cheaper plastic bottles, it was described by the company as a "lighter fragrance." Fabergé was taken over by Unilever in 1989, and transferred to the Chesebrough-Pond's division in 1989. There the Brut 33 range took over the name Brut. The Fabergé version became "Brut Classic by Fabergé" and retained its distinctive packaging. In 2003, the rights to the brand were purchased for some regions by Idelle Laboratories, a division of Helen of Troy Limited. Apart from some regions, Unilever sells Brut around the world with big markets in the United Kingdom, France and Far East. Australia produces its own Brut aftershave which is purported to have a slightly different scent. In Brazil, there is a Brut branded lather shaving cream in tube with the classic Brut fragrance.
Called "The Essence of Man" in its advertising, Brut is marketed in the United States as representing traditional masculine strength of character. Sponsorship of the NHRA and of driver Ron Capps highlights fatherhood, teamwork, and courage as hallmarks of the user. It is sold in drugstores.
Athletes have traditionally represented the brand, including, in the United States, American football player Joe Namath, baseball player Hank Aaron, basketball player Wilt Chamberlain, boxer Muhammad Ali, and tennis great Vitas Gerulaitis. The star of the 1970s United Kingdom advertising campaign was boxer Henry Cooper who used the slogan "splash it all over". Motor Cycle World Champion Barry Sheene, athlete David Hemery, show-jumper Harvey Smith and footballer Kevin Keegan also appeared in the campaigns. In Germany the brand was endorsed in the 1970s by famous football player Franz Beckenbauer. The footballer Paul Gascoigne also starred in an advertising campaign although he was later dropped amid domestic violence allegations made by his ex-wife. In 1973, Allan Moffat drove a Brut 33 sponsored Ford Mustang in the Australian Touring Car Championship followed by a Brut 33 sponsored XB Ford Falcon GT in 1974. The West Indies Cricket Team in the 1970s also did a commercial for Brut. After receiving Brut as a secret santa gift, Dean Connaughton is quoted as saying "all I want for Christmas is Brut".
Elvis Presley was known to have used this cologne (his former bodyguard Sonny West actually explained in the E! True Hollywood Story episode The Last Days of Elvis that Presley would spray so much of it on himself that "you could smell him coming"). When he acted out the role of James Bond, Roger Moore once used an aerosol version similar to this deodorant for self-defence in Live and Let Die by touching the ignited end of a cigar he was smoking to the aerosol spray and thus improvising a crude flamethrower, since the propellant chemicals are flammable. In 2015, Jim Harbaugh was quoted saying "I've been a Brut man since I was 10 years old."
In 2006, after acquiring partial ownership of the Brut copyright and patents, Idelle Laboratories launched Brut Revolution, an "ozonic" variant on the core fragrance. "As Different As You Are" is the theme of the fragrance, which is housed in a blue and silver bottle, breaking with the traditional green of the original.
Apart from Brut original, the range has grown in recent years with new fragrances such as Oceans, Identity, Revolution, Instinct, Musk, and Passion. The whole range is available in Roll on, spray, after shave, splash on, shower gel, and Eau De Toilette.
- Brut World | Official website
- Brut by Fabergé (1964) | Basenotes Fragrance Directory
- IMBD Database | Vitas Gerulaitis
- Domestic violence 'not recognised' | BBC News
- Trans Am Mustangs | Allan Moffat