Old people smell. This is nothing new. I mean my grandpa has always had his signature aroma of whiskey and aftershave but I wouldn’t say he needs a curb-side service to help him shower, shave, shine and sparkle. But if I had to endure the blue-collar Japanese bouquet of sweat, coffee, cigarettes and sake I might find the value of this service.
Menza’s service is set up in about 10 tiny booths where men pay 200 yen for a quick grooming check-up that follows a number of set items.
A grooming specialist will examine the salaryman’s posture, check out his suit for stains or wrinkles and find out if he’s wearing deodorant, then move on to testing whether he has a smiling face or powerful voice. The specialist will also spend time with the customer practicing smiles and pronunciation if he’s found wanting. When guys get nervous, female staff join in and go through the process together to help them on the way.
Each examination takes about 5 minutes and guys are free to leave once their time is over. But customers are also given the opportunity to partake in optional extras providing additional individual treatment, like the 300 yen Full Body Deodorizing Course, where the underarms, shoes, and socks are sprayed with a deodorant and the customer is given mouthwash to make his breath smell better. This optional extra takes about 10 minutes to complete.