'Splash it on all over' - we were told.

'Nothing beats the great smell of Brut' - they claimed. We didn't disagree. Perhaps we should have done.

Brut, still available today, oddly enough, was the aftershave of the seventies, ruling the waves above Old Spice, Kung Fu, Hi-Karate and other nostril bashers. If you've ever smelt it, then, just by concentrating, you can probably recall the fragrance exactly. Down to the smallest detail.

Brut is what dads smell of, and grandads, and uncles - anybody so long as they're at least a generation above you. And it's not an unpleasant fragrance; it's reminiscent of locker rooms, and diesel oil, and Christmas (because that was when we smelt it the most). The problem with it, though, was that people were rather too keen to believe the advertising. Thinking that 'nothing beats the great smell of Brut' everyone had a tendency to 'splash it on all over' (Henry Cooper was the guy in the ads doing the splashing - macho, lean, hard, doing a good impression of being one stick short of a bundle); 'splashing it all over' was not the sort of thing to do with it - if any fragrance ever needed caution and tact, then this was it.

But we showed it none, and it became just one more aspect of the seventies (and the eighties actually) that was a little too bold, a little too brash, and a little too much.

Faberge are responsible for it (not, I would like to think, the same people that made the pretty little eggs). They tried, a little while back, to drag it kicking and screaming into the nineties. They rechristened it 'Brut - Aquatonic' - presumably to give it that sort of pseudo-scientific slant that was so prevalent at the time. It didn't work, I don't think. (And one of the reasons could well be that we couldn't separate it in our heads from 'Lucozade - Isotonic' a 'sports drink' with the same locker room connotations as the aftershave's forerunner.)

Kelly Le Brock was in the adverts. She annoyed the hell out of me. 'The essence of man? A real man? He has to be strong, and free (or something), and so alive.' (She was on a boat with a piece of beefcake who looked like he'd have real difficulty spelling 'man'.) The notion that Le Brock might consider some men to be real even if they were dead made me howl derisively.

She seemed to be doing a great impression, albeit a nineties, more refined, one of Henry Cooper... One stick, and all that?

If you see a bottle of it - buy it. The nostalgia value is, really, about as big as nostalgia gets. Relive a Christmas of twenty-five years ago. Go on. Splash it on all over. Nothing beats the great smell of Brut.

brut: BRIT

A brut is a Welsh word for a history of the Isle of Britain. Specifically, it is used when this history traces the origins of the island and its first inhabinates--the Britons, who we now call the Welsh--back to the eponymous legendary founder Brutus, grandson of Aeneas.

According to these histories, the island was settled by the followers of Brutus, who was exiled from Rome after accidentally killing his father. Upon arriving on the island, he killed the giant Albion, who previously had given his name to the island, and then named the island for himself--"Brut" becoming "Britannia" in Latin. The earliest known version is the Historia Brittonum, a Latin work. The first "brut" (IIRC), though, was the Welsh translations of Geoffrey of Monmouth's The History of the Kings of Britain, called the Brut y Brenhinned in Welsh. Geoffrey's history starts with the settlement of Brutus, up through the reigns of King Arthur and Cadwaladr Fendigaid.

The word brut was then applied to two epic poems--Robert Wace's Brut (in Anglo-Norman) and Layaman's Brut (in early Middle English), both of which begin their poems with the coming of Brutus, and end with the death of King Arthur. The word brut then began to be applied to the title of any history, not only those which refered to Brutus--such as the Brut y Tywysogion (Chronicle of the Princes) and the Brut y Saesson (Chronicle of the Saxons), both found in the Red Book of Hergest.

From what I can tell, though, the term brut specifically refers to a history of the Island, while the term hanes is more general, refering to people as well as nations.

Brut is also used to refer to wines, particularly sparkling wines (including champagne) that are maximally dry; champagne with very little added sugar.

Traditionally, sparkling wines are fermented in the regular fashion, but then bottled with a bit of extra yeast and a dash of sugar. This causes a second fermentation in the bottle, resulting in the famous carbonation that makes sparkling wines so bubbly. This second fermentation results in the production of undesirable lees, which must be removed; this is accomplished by slowly, over the course of a year, rotating the bottle until it is up-side-down, so that the lees settle in the neck, and then freezing the neck. The cap is removed, the pressure in the bottle pushes the frozen lees out of the bottle, and it is quickly recorked. But before it is recorked, a liqueur d'expédition is added; the exact composition of this liqueur is often a secret, but it is primarily comprised of the base wine and a bit of sugar. This last bit of sugar determines how dry/sweet the wine will be; in brut or nature wines very little is added.

There are a number of more specific terms to subdivide the brut classification; brut is very dry, extra brut is even more so, and brut nature (AKA brut zéro dosage or ultra brut) has no added sugar at all. The sugar content of a brut wine should always be between 0-15 grams per liter. It is worth noting that this sugar is not added just for sweetness, but to counteract the acidity of the wine.

The word brut means 'raw' or 'crude' in French; it comes from the Latin brutus, the same root from which we get the American word 'brute'.


Sweet :: doux, sec, brut :: Dry


Brut (?), v. i. [F. brouter, OF. brouster. See Browse, n.]

To browse.

[Obs.]

Evelyn.

 

© Webster 1913.


Brut, n. Zool.

See Birt.

 

© Webster 1913.

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