PRODUCTS: A Rumor That Keeps Buzzing

A Rumor That Keeps Buzzing

"Millions of people know the secret of Skin So Soft. Do you?" reads the advertisement. Avon, the door-to-door cosmetics giant, is coy about the bath oil's secret. But it seems to be this: when mixed in equal parts with water and applied to the body, Skin So Soft (price: $8.99 a pint) makes the wearer smell like a flower bed, but for some reason repels bugs. Avon claims to be baffled about why this is so, but the bath oil's reputation has spread by word of mouth. Among the devotees: former President Jimmy Carter, who uses it to keep away the...

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