Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hai Karate Cologne & Aftershave c1967

Hai Karate was a budget cologne on sale in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1960s through the 1980s. The fragrance was developed by the Leeming Pacquin division of Pfizer and launched in 1967 as their answer to the popular Jade East scent made by Swank.


Hai Karate encompassed products such as aftershave, cologne, talc, shaving cream, foaming cologne, body spray, shampoo, soap on a rope etc. for men.  The scent was described by Leeming as "Mistletoe in a bottle."




Fragrance Composition:


So what does it smell like? It is classified as a a floral-amber masculine fougère fragrance for men.

  • Top notes: lavender, bergamot, lemon, rosemary, anise
  • Middle notes: geranium, fern, carnation, cinnamon, cedar, heliotrope
  • Base notes: oakmoss, vanilla, tonka bean, amber, musk



Here are the scents of Hai Karate:
  • 1967 Hai Karate
  • 1968 Hai Karate Oriental Lime
  • 1968 Hai Karate Oriental Spice
  • 1968 Hai Karate Musk

 The brand was well-known for its advertisements; one particular commercial featured a guy who looked like a stereotypical nerd, wearing Hai Karate cologne. After putting the cologne on, he attracts a lot of female passersby, so much so that he has to fight them using karate. The Hai Karate aftershave also comes with an instruction manual on how men can, wearing the aftershave, defend themselves from women.

"Hai Karate aftershave is so powerful, it drives women right out of their minds. That's why we have to put instructions on self-defense in every package. Hai Karate, the brisk splash-on aftershave the smooths, and sooths, and cools. Hai Karate, aftershave, cologne, and gift sets. Hai Karate, be careful how you use it."

Hai Karate's popularity competed with such other brands as Aqua Velva, Trouble Cologne by Mennen, Jade East by Swank, English Leather, British Sterling, Old Spice by Shulton, Jaguar, Dante by Shields and Brut by Faberge. As a marketing ploy, in the early days each bottle of Hai Karate came with a small self-defense instruction booklet, to help wearers defend themselves against women. A record called The Sounds of Self Defense was put out by the company.

"This special seminar on self defense and scary sounding noises is brought to you by Hai Karate aftershave and cologne.

For those times in your life when you are heavy handed with your regular Hai Karate, careless with your Hai Karate Oriental Lime, or irresponsible with your Hai Karate Oriental Spice. Memorize them. They could be your last line of defense.

Suppose you've just splashed on Hai Karate. You’re sitting down. Reading your Boy Scout manual or working on your butterfly collection, and your girl or, even your wife attacks you from the rear. Here's what you do.

First scream "KAAAL-SHALLA!" This is very important so try it again, "KAAAL-SHALA!" Immediately after screaming, spring backwards, turning a somersault in mid-air and trapping your attacker's head with your ankles. This will break the hold and should get her flustered. At this time, a counter attack is immanent. So be prepared.

As your girl launches a new offensive and leaps at you, hold your ground to the last possible second and shout "FIORRR- HA!" Once again "FIORRR-HA!" Then quickly drop to the floor. As she passes you in the air, give her a stern lecture on the importance of self-control.

By this time your attacker is subdued.. Give her warm milk or a sedative. And try to be understanding. Remember, she's just experience a severe emotional upheaval."


The brand was well-known for its advertisements; one particular commercial featured a guy who looked like a stereotypical nerd, wearing Hai Karate cologne. After putting the cologne on, he goes for a walk or to the hospital, dentist, library, he attracts a lot of female passersby, and being seduced by the same female passer-by played by busty brunette British starlet Valerie Leon, accompanied by the advertising catch phrase "Be careful how you use it".

Today these types of advertisements still exist, you are all familiar with the Axe and TAG brands of toiletries....

For you guys and gals who remember Hai Karate and were disappointed it was discontinued, Hai Karate is back!  Marketing International says in an article: "The brand, originally owned by Unicliffe, was withdrawn a number of years ago but has been revived by cosmetics company Miners International.

A spokeswoman for Miners says: “We thought ‘we haven’t seen Hai Karate for years’ and decided to buy it. It was very popular in the Seventies as was its TV campaign. There is enough residual memory about the brand to make it popular again.”


The brand has been updated with new packaging and a new fragrance. The company says it may run an ad campaign “which will star a Nineties version of the woman and the karate imagery”.


Miners International was set up two years ago when managing director Stewart Chambers bought the Miners cosmetics brand from Procter & Gamble. Miners will also be relaunching Censored aftershave and Kiku and Xanadu for women."

Hai Karate products have now been discontinued and are quite rare. The vintage examples of Hai Karate cologne and Hai Karate gift sets are available on ebay. Some gift sets included a towel with a Japanese character on it and soap on a rope. You can now purchase the new Hai Karate at places like the Vermont Country Store.


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