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Kolynos was the name of a line of oral care products created by Newell Sill Jenkins in 1908 and acquired by Colgate-Palmolive in 1995.

The products were very popular in the thirties and forties, and sponsored several well-known radio programs, including Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons.[1]

Although not now readily available in the US, the brand remains strong in Latin America, and also manufactured in Hungary, Slovenia (Henkel). In Brazil, Kolynos was the second best- selling product, after Colgate itself. Because of antitrust concerns at the time of the acquisition, Colgate-Palmolive agreed to suspend marketing Kolynos-branded toothpaste in Brazil for a number of years, but Colgate-Palmolive shortly began selling what was essentially the same product, with very similar packaging and marketing, under a new brand called Sorriso ("Smile" in Portuguese), successfully transferring most of the customer loyalty to the new line of toothpaste. Kolynos jingles have been written in several languages. In Peru, Kolynos is synonymous with toothpaste and a big smile can be called a Kolynos smile.

The Kolynos brand is mentioned in a passage in The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J. D. Salinger:

Everybody was asleep or out or home for the week end, and it was very, very quiet and depressing in the corridor. There was this empty box of Kolynos toothpaste outside Leahy and Hoffman's door, and while I walked down towards the stairs, I kept giving it a boot with this sheep-lined slipper I had on.

In the novel Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie there is a chapter titled "The Kolynos Kid".

The brand is also mentioned in The Black Gang by Herman Cyril McNeile:

By the way, my boy, you skimped your teeth pretty badly to-night. You'll have to do better to-morrow. Most of your molars must be sitting up and begging for Kolynos if that's your normal effort.

It also finds a mention in Vikram Seth's celebrated novel A Suitable Boy:

"Then why don't you go there and ask him about himself', said Malati, who believed in the Approach Audacious. "Whether he brushes his teeth with Kolynos, for instance. "There's magic in a Kolynos smile"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Interesting Info". December 21, 2004. Archived from the original on 2004-12-21.