Site tells your friends they smell so you don't have to

Technically Incorrect: For a mere $1.99, says it'll send your smelly friend a cologne wipe. Anonymously, of course. (Spoiler: It's a marketing stunt.)

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Pollution is a major problem, it seems.

screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Your friend might be a mensch, but he also has a stench.

Do you tell him? Do you explain that he emits an odor more pungent than a politician's promises?

Often, you don't. This is because you're something of a coward. Now a website had stepped forward to assist you in your moral dilemma.

It's called Its purpose is to assist your friend in becoming less stinky. All you do is sign up, pay $1.99 and this site will send a cologne wipe from its collection to the person who's infecting your airspace.

Of course, this clearly magnanimous (and anonymous) gesture might also simply insult your friend. I know this because the note attached to the "gift" reads: "BRO: Someone thinks you SMELL BAD! Sincerely, Anonymous."

Who said lyricism was dead?

And who might be behind such an attempt at making the environment more friendly? It's a company called Swago, which has been in business since 2014. Startlingly, this company sells cologne wipes. It's also a company that claims it goes "where other colognes won't."


A company spokeswoman told me this is a "prank website."

She said of Swago's intentions: "Rather than be in the limelight, they addressed an everyday problem in a funny way by marketing it and sending the end-user their product. If the user likes it, inevitably they will check out SWAGO and buy more."

Inevitability is a tricky concept in marketing. Ask Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

Still, Swago has enormous confidence that this marketing will be successful. Bulk orders appear to be going well.

"If you choose a 4-pack," explained the spokeswoman, "the recipient of the prank gets one of each scent. In less than 24 hours, a few hundred prank transactions have already occurred, and the majority of them are for the 4-packs." Orders will be shipped in a couple days, she added.

Clearly we are supposed to believe that there are many highly smelly people in the world.

I worry, though, that telling someone they stink -- anonymously, of course -- carries with it a certain risk that it might, well, put the sender in bad odor, should the recipient work out who sent it.

"The 4-pack is for your friend who really stinks and that is funny for the anonymous sender," the Swago spokeswoman told me.

Ah, so this is for the amusement of the sender, not the salvation of the receiver.

And you thought altruism was still alive.

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