Ads #18: Men Can't Forgive Mephitis

men can't forgive mephitis
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Okay, this is just plain gross. I understand this sort of thing happens; nonetheless, I didn't expect to find this in a 1942 issue of Woman's Day. Besides, feminine mephitis isn't really a technical or scientific term - it was probably made up for this ad. "Mephitis" is either a genus of skunk or simply a term for a foul emination.

Also, Zonite is "Dakin's solution" (sodium hypochlorite) which is essentially weak bleach. The product is still sold to this day.


  1. Ads like this creep me out to no end. The worst are the Lysol ones, because where you might not know exactly what ingredients are in Zonite, everybody still knows that Lysol is something that go on floors, not on delicate tissues. But regardless of brand, they all have the same theme: OMG, you STINK! PLS put caustic chemicals on your stinky naughty bits!

    1. For the first half of the 20th century, Lysol WAS sold as a feminine hygiene product that also cleaned the house (the unspoken claim was being a contraceptive)

  2. You've got to hand it to them for coming up with such a horrific name. The best I could come up with was Stankitis and Foulitosis.

  3. Thank you, Zonite!

  4. ewww *quietly vomits* there's a better one on flickr that's an ad for female douching from 1950s

  5. Somewhere at home I have an ad from the late 60s where a woman is sitting alone at a party - all the other guests are across the room from her. All I could think of was "how bad must you smell if the entire room is avoiding you at all cost?"