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WASHINGTON (CAP) - A new study out of the Pew Research Center focusing on Axe body sprays found that, of 100 teenagers using the products, 99 of them smelled "like total crap," according to Pew spokesman Dr. Francis Spitznagel.
"And it turned out the other kid was actually wearing Old Spice," Spitznagel said.
Interestingly, the findings stand in direct contrast to what the teenagers themselves thought of their personal odors, with the vast majority of them saying that they thought they smelled "wicked good."
"Girls totally love it," said Josh Zwybeck, 18, apparently believing the ads that insinuate women will actually lose control of their inhibitions and "go wild" when presented with a teenage boy who has sprayed himself with Silver Fusion or Cool Metal.
"But of course those commercials depict women reacting to what must be a pleasant, even arousing smell, whereas in reality the scent is repulsive," noted Spitzagel, adding, "not unlike crap."
The study attributes the young men's belief that the smell is attractive to a sort of mass delusion, "the scale of which we haven't seen since the one we monitored in 2008, when we found that most teenage girls believed Twilight was a true story."
Spitznagel noted that in many cases, the teenagers in the study even willed themselves to believe that showering - after a long lacrosse practice, for instance - was not necessary as long as they were spraying themselves liberally with Axe.
"In those cases, the teenagers smelled of an almost debilitating combination of Axe and body odor," Spitznagel said, adding that several researchers had collapsed from exposure and begged to be removed from the project, even volunteering to return to the study counting pictures of cats on the Internet.
"In one case the odor almost removed the skin from a researcher's face," said Spitznagel, like "that Nazi at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark."
"Nothing sexy about that, nuh-uh," he added.
Unfortunately the disconnect between how the teenagers thought they smelled and their actual, much more crap-like odor has caused serious problems for some teens.
For instance, one Provincetown, Mass. high school student - whose relationship with his girlfriend was already strained after she almost became pregnant when he accidentally used a McDonald's Happy Meal toy instead of a condom - found things further complicated by the fact that when he wore Axe, which was constantly, she kept vomiting on him.
"Whenever I get within three feet of him I smell that smell and suddenly ... Wait a minute ... BLAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHH," said the girlfriend.
Fortunately, said Spitznagel, it appears that Axe users tend to come spontaneously to their senses in their mid- to late 20s and stop using the products before too much permanent damage occurs.
"The ones who still have faces, that is," Spitznagel added, noting that for the ones that don't, it doesn't really matter how they smell.
"Although they do smell like crap," he said.
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