15 Aug REAL – A Detergent For Men
Real: Laundry Detergent for Men is a company with a goal similar to PRZMAN – to make men feel attractive and confident by providing them with the tools — in this case, laundry detergent — made specifically for the trials and tribulations the everyday man endures.
The company was founded by southern Maryland gents, Leif and Erin Frey in 2014, with an additional member, Pat Keshishian, brought on in early 2015. After graduating from Dartmouth College and Georgetown University, the Frey brothers decided to change the way men clean by creating a laundry detergent strong enough for a man with a scent made for a man.
We picked Leif’s brain to garner insight behind Real: Laundry Detergent for Men.
We at PRZMAN believe grooming entails all aspects of life, from cleaning your clothes, to cleaning your face and body. What prompted you to create Real: Laundry Detergent for Men?
It really began as the result of a bit of a sore spot for us. The modern man is honestly privileged in his grooming options, with countless products, how-to’s, and styles to choose from. It’s awesome. But as you say, grooming entails all aspects of life. And despite the fact that millions of men, from bachelors to married men, do their own laundry, there isn’t a laundry detergent for men. Sure, a lot of detergents are supposedly “uni-sex”, but when you think about these brightly colored bottles with scent names like “spring meadows”, “lavender”, etc, they’re actually tailored towards women. So, we wanted to give guys a product of their own. And, of course, helping to break down some of the old stereotypes about household chores is a goal as well.
How did you create, test, and modify your product to turn a result you were pleased with?
Arriving at a product we were pleased took close to half a year, and the process is never finished. We are ecstatic about the reviews and results we are seeing right now, but I’m a firm believer there’s always something to improve upon.
As to the actual process, I can’t even begin to count the number of different product iterations we tried and tests we did. The two major aspects of Real are, of course, the detergent itself, and the scent. The lengthier process was creating the right scent. But we also tried dozens of different detergents, and honestly had some fun testing them. It essentially boiled down to “how messed up can we make this shirt and still get it clean”. We found a detergent that cleaned the test shirt basically no matter what we did to it. We spilled oil, wine, beer, BBQ sauce, meat juice, rubbed it in the mud and grass, just about anything and everything you can think of. Yet still came out clean, within some reason of course (we actually tried completely submerging the shirt in a tub of dirty car oil we had just changed. Surprisingly, it didn’t come out completely clean). The detergent was also HE compatible as well as cold-water capable, two aspects we were set on from the beginning. So that manufacturer was the clear choice. We then added the scent, washed load after load of laundry at different ratios of scent-to-detergent, and arrived at a concentration that leaves our scent on your clothes in a subtle way. It smells like men’s detergent, but doesn’t interfere with your normal cologne.
Your detergent currently comes in the Classic scent made up of musk and sandalwood. How did you come up with this scent?
So musk is our prominent base and sandalwood definitely plays a role, but the scent itself actually has well over a dozen individual ingredients. This was one of the lengthiest parts of our set-up process; we must have tested hundreds of different scent combinations. We started by looking at the individual ingredients of the top 20 men’s colognes and used those to inspire us. But it was basically just endless trials with dozens of different scents for months. We’d weed out the worst scents on our own, but every time we thought we were onto something, we’d get as many people to sniff it as possible. I’m sure our friends thought it was obnoxious, not being able to hang out with us without having something shoved under their nose. And then rinse and repeat. Literally.
Do you have plans of diversifying your collections?
Absolutely. We are of course looking forward to introducing new scents in our line. But we also plan on introducing completely new products, with the same idea of adding a more masculine twist to standard household products.
What’s your view of the modern man?
The modern man, as I said, is extremely privileged. With the opportunities today, each individual has the potential to embody the ideal of the Renaissance man, and much more. There is a ridiculous amount of knowledge literally at our fingertips. You can do everything from learn instruments to improve sports performance to basically become an expert in a field. Social media and tools like meet-up.com allow us to find groups of people we relate to best, helping to limit social pressure to conform. And that’s just covering the essentially free knowledge and opportunities you can find online. The modern man can learn almost anything and be almost anyone. So if you find yourself playing a lot of Angry Birds instead of trying to improve yourself in some way, you might want to reevaluate how you spend your time. With the opportunities for personal growth available to us, we as modern man must hold ourselves to a high standard.