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Actually you got that backwards, the literal translation for eau de toilette is "water of toilette" and the general translation is "perfume." When you have a literal translation you take each word and translate it. So for example, "le livre de francais" is "the book of French" whereas the general translation would be "French book."
I am savouring this moment... Ok done. Being french, I can correct some of you :D Truth is, when talking about toilets, there's only the plural form in french ("les" or "aux toilettes") saying "la" or "le" toilette are both mistakes. As for the other meaning, "toilette" is still used today when talking about washing oneself, and can be used to mean arranging oneself as well (example: brushing hair, applying creams, etc.)
#179 Bonjour! I'm French, and I live in France. French from France, French Canadian, or Belgium French are sometimes different. Saying "le toilette" or "la toilette" are not incorrect, "le toilette" is the object (yes, we can also say "les toilettes"), and "la toilette" is cleaning yourself, as we said. But it's considered a bit old to say it, at least in France, but maybe not in Québec. Sorry to bother everyone on this thread with this!
@ wrwrestler8 -> Here's another thing though - we've gone from being clean to completely masking our natural scents. Scent is just as important as other senses when it comes to attraction in humans, as we are just another animal after all. In fact, I remember reading that people who find each other's body odor at least tolerable or even slightly pleasant are more likely to be romantically compatible. Don't get me wrong, of course personal hygiene is important - it's just something to think about. Even more so because of the fact that in other countries (as in, not America), people generally don't shower as often, and manage to do so without any noticeable bad smell.
@ wrwrestler8 -> I'd just like to point out that you're all lucky you have access to and can afford clean water to shower with whenever you like as often as you like. Most of the world does not have that privilege. Also, while evolutionary science can explain many characteristics of our behavior even today, there is such a thing as taking it farther than intended by nature. And no, none of us have the authority to say where to draw the line. We can only think about it and discuss it. For example, from an evolutiony standpoint, men favor hourglass figures and ample breasts. But what have we taken this to today? Plastic surgery, exaggerating this to cartoonish proportions, which need I remind you, men still do enjoy more than they care to admit. Of course, the case of showering is a bit different, but I'm just reminding everyone to give it some thought. Just because men/women favored being popular, rich, charismatic etc. does not mean we can overlook the drawbacks.