I’d like to think my combination of good health and youth gives my sweat a desirable, fresh-smelling quality. Something marketable and reminiscent of late spring. Something pink. But I’m no Sarah Jessica Parker. If I don’t use deodorant, I stink like cooked onions by the end of the day. So I use the stuff liberally.
I also have lots of environmentally conscious, do-gooder healthy friends whose status I am constantly trying to achieve. They do things like make their own compost and wear aluminum-free deodorant. My apartment limits my compost capacity, so I recently tried all-natural deodorant to achieve that hip, organic-girl quality. Deodorants with aluminum have been blamed for everything from alzheimers disease to breast cancer.
First I tried Tom’s of Maine in a stick form. I picked it up from a grocery store on my bus route one afternoon and applied it as I walked to class. By the end of class I had that embarrassing onion and chives odor. I figured that was just because I hadn’t showered right before applying Tom, so the next few days I slopped the stuff on as soon as I got out of the tub. It worked the first two days, but on the third, fourth and fifth days it was powerless.
So I combed online reviews of more expensive aluminum-free deodorants (like Lush products) and didn’t gain any confidence from reviewers about the products’ odor-blocking abilities. At least, not enough confidence to pay $12 for a blob of product that doesn’t appear to have proper packaging and can only be applied in a delicate fashion. I went to a drug store instead and scanned the shelves for aluminum-free sticks. All I found was a type named after the gym shoe Adidas. I was doubtful, but the price was right and it came in a familiar style of packaging. And while it didn’t smell like sneakers, it also didn’t work. I tried it for four days, but on the morning of the fifth day the prospect of wearing failed deodorant on a crowded bus was too much to face. I bought my familiar, aluminum-packed stick of alzheimers’n cancer and have been happily odor-free ever since.