Two 18yo Kiwi mates made their own deodorant brand and a Kiwi cricketing great rates their work
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Two 18yo Kiwi mates made their own deodorant brand and a Kiwi cricketing great rates their work

They locked in after being fed up with getting Lynx for Christmas.

Young Kiwi fellas know all about the absolute build-ups that is unwrapping a present only to find a Lynx deodorant can. 

Mates Toby Downs and Floyd Langdon, both 18, were tired of the disappointment and the same ol’ smells, so they decided to venture into the men’s hygiene market and fix the problem we’ve all thought about but never really talked about. 

Two 18yo Kiwi mates made their own deodorant brand and a Kiwi cricketing great rates their work Floyd Langdon (left) and Toby Downs (right) in the lab.

It all started after the fellas - who have been friends since year 2 - got fed up with the lack of options when it came to men's fragrances. They would hunt for alternatives but soon found all the options were “humdrum”, “immature” or “ordinary”. 

Rather than accepting the mediocre smells available to them, they did the research while consulting experts and hearing what consumers were saying. They found out that blokes really do want to smell more “sophisticated” and the colognes that offer that are too pricey. 

“Men struggle to find personal hygiene products that work well with each other and provide balanced, pleasant fragrances that don’t break the bank,” said Downs. 

So, they hopped in the lab and came up with ‘Funk’ - their business which currently offers a deodorant and cologne combo pack at an affordable price. 

Two 18yo Kiwi mates made their own deodorant brand and a Kiwi cricketing great rates their work Funk's cologne and deodorant.

They now have the financial backing of big-time players and were even mentored by an expert in the field. Dion Nash, former BlackCap and founder of men’s hygiene brand Triumph and Disaster, saw something special in the fellas from day one. 

“I first met Toby and Floyd over a coffee at a local Ponsonby cafe, full of questions and energy. It was clear these two were going places,” he said. “I loved their enthusiasm for business and the work and insights they had put into their proposal.” 

"They have been young men of action. It's not easy getting a product to market and it takes time and resources to bring a business to life. Already, these guys are winners.”

The 15ml cologne is called ‘Add Ya Funk No. 1’ and it has “green, marine, citrus and cedar notes.” Now, that doesn’t mean much to me, but I can say that it’s a clean and mean-smelling cologne. 

It's not a luxurious aroma that would have me turning more heads than John Cena’s rig at the Oscars, but I still rate it because I feel like I’ve scrubbed up well when I wear it and it stays with me the whole day. With other affordable colognes I’ve used, the scent fades away after a few hours. 

The Anti Skunk No. 1 deodorant has a “clean, marine fragrance with light green, citrus top notes; mid notes of violet leaf and kanuka; and a smooth sandalwood base”. Again, that doesn’t compute too much in my brain but I do prefer its smell over other roll-ons I’ve used. 

It’s still very deodorant-ey but it’s a more natural smell - less harsh on the old nostrils.

Anti Skunk No. 1 is also aluminium-free, which means it blocks yucky smells instead of stopping your sweat - an important bodily function. I played basketball with it on and was a very sweaty boy afterwards, but found that the BO smell that is usually there wasn’t as distinct as it’s been in the past. 

Besides the actual products, Downs and Langdon seem to genuinely care about the problem they’re trying to solve. The Funk website lists all the ingredients in the cologne and deodorant, plus there’s a whole page giving you tips to get you smelling better. 

I don’t know why it’s taken so long for Kiwi blokes to have a reliable and affordable cologne, but I’m glad the Funk fellas are stepping up for the boys.