It’s beautiful in NYC this time of year. Central Park is lush and green after some recent rain, it’s finally warming up and with that many of us are coming to the realization that our deodorant may not be cutting it. I recently ran into my friend Julie who had just purchased a new natural deodorant and a conversation ensued about the effectiveness of these products. Julie is really funny and one of those people everyone falls in love with. I asked her to test drive a few products and report back. I wanted to know if it is possible to be natural and odor free. Here is Julie’s Deodorant Diary.
Julie and I (with elderflower martinis) at my jewelry party, she smelled great.
Over the past few years, I have been a faithful Foodtrainers blog reader. I can’t tell you how many times I have connected with the advice offered here. I am digging my E3 LIVE shot and, as of Mother’s Day, I am now the proud owner of my first juicer. Lauren is a dear friend who has helped me tackle major food issues. I now exercise regularly and really try to put good things in and on my body, so I am excited to share my quest for a natural deodorant here.
This subject is along the same lines as poop, sorry if you are squirming. About a year ago, I noticed that my current deodorant clearly wasn’t cutting it. Whether in a business meeting, social situation or an intimate setting, whenever I would get a good whiff of my underarm BAM it would hit me that something didn’t smell good, sadly that something was me. I am extremely picky about hygiene so for this to be happening to me was a challenge I was not going to back down from. 
First, I started with every toxic brand you can think of.  For the money I spent on this venture, I could be walking around with a fabulous handbag.  I tried Degree, Kiehls, Dove, Secret “Clinical Formula”, Mitchum and the list goes on. Aside from being ineffective, I realized how horrible these were for me ingredient-wise.  To add insult to odor, deodorant residue was on my clothes and I itched constantly; I didn’t even realize I was scratching myself at inappropriate times. My trips to Duane Reade were almost daily and the garbage filled with nasty brands and then my husband switched from a toxic deodorant to an au naturel one. He would say “why are you putting a death trap under your arms?” I don’t always listen to him but, out of desperation, this time I did.
 I was so excited to find this brand. I read about it and learned it was good for me.  It has no Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Dyes, or Phthalates. It’s also aluminum free (Lauren informed me aluminum in antiperspirants  has potential links to both breast cancer and Alzheimer’s). I dragged my 10-year-old daughter to Sephora and ended up with The Pure Vanilla/Lavender Scent. I’ve always been the person who wears something new out of the store but decided to wait to get home. Sure enough, we ran into Lauren and her boys across the street at Whole Foods. I shared my recent find and even whipped it out of my bag and said, “ smell it”.  Good friends can do these things.
The next day, I woke up and applied Lavanila before my Fly Wheel spin class.
It has a creamy texture, goes on easily and smells fresh. I came out of the class drenched. As I walked to Fairway, when no one was looking, I did the QWAPIT (Quick Whiff Armpit Inhale Test). Directions: head to the left, raise left arm ever so slightly so no one notices and inhale.  All things considered, I smelled quite delicious. I was in love with Lavanila. Our affair lasted for about a week and was great, no itching or scratching, and my clothes were thrilled not to have deo-hickies on them. But it was time to move on and see if there were other non-smelly fish in the deodorant sea.
This selection awoke my inner hippy.  The description reads, “Crystal Body Deodorant is made of 100% natural mineral salts which eliminate odor. It is fragrance free, non-staining, leaves no white residue and can be used by both men and women.” The directions say wet it before use. I wet the crystal and tried to apply it but the crystal dried out as I rolled it on. It felt as though I was rubbing a stone on my armpit. I wet it again and attempted the other side. There’s no girly, fresh smell. Undeterred, I went to work and didn’t notice any overpowering odor or itching.  That night, I had my annual mammogram. The nice technician put me in position and then it hit me.  I said to myself that can’t be me who smells like this; I did the QWAPIT and was mortified. My inner hippy had become an outer hippy and clearly this one is not for me. Dumped.
This is Certified Organic and there is a list of ingredients that are all recognizable. I decided to try it on a date night.  I rushed to get dressed, took the cap off and sprayed away.  I did the QWAPIT and was overwhelmed by the smell; I emailed Lauren that I smelled like a Christmas tree. The smell is Origin-y, this is not a “50 Shades” sexy scent.  I put on a silk blouse; silk is a fabric sure to test any deodorant. I will tell you that this works for body odor because the smell of the product is so overpowering that it would mask anything.  It was good but we just weren’t right for each other. This one is going to my husband.

For my last test, I bought Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant.  
I found it at Ricky’s lined up next to all my other flings. This is a pump spray that was hard to get used to and position correctly. I felt like I was spraying perfume under my arms. On my first QWAPIT, I was transported to the rose garden my Granny had in her back yard in St Simons Island, GA so I already had a sentimental connection to this spray (funny how scent can do that). The rose scent dissipated and I didn’t have BO or any overly rosey odor. This scent felt feminine and was one that I will definitely continue to use. I just packed it in my suitcase for a business trip.
If I had to rank my test results, it would pan out this way…
  1. Lavanila Laboritories –first overall for texture, scent and staying power.
  2. Weleda Rose Spray – a very close second.
  3. Origins Totally Pure Deodorant – scent is personal and this worked just not for me.
  4. Crystal Deodorant by Swanson — YUCK!
For now, I am satisfied with my case study and I have two options that will keep me happy on all fronts. Until we meet again to tackle another fun challenge, keep up the QWAPIT! You can be natural and odor free. -Julie
Ever failed a QWAPIT? Do you use natural deodorant? Which brand?


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