How Do Natural Deodorants Really Stack Up Against Strong B.O.?

Because there's stinky and then there's STANKY.

One of my mother’s favorite “embarrassing” stories to lovingly tell about me (aside from the numerous stories of me running into/falling off of things) is the story of when I first developed body odor.

We were at Disneyland, and about midday she noticed a peculiar odor in the air. “Phew, somebody has some funk going on!” she said as she grabbed my hand.

*smell increases*

“Oh my God.” She lifts my arm higher in the air and takes a whiff. “Phew, girl! How can you have B.O. already!? You’re only seven!”

And thus my battle against the stank began.

Some people are comfortable with their natural body odor, and if that is you, by all means, proceed with doing you, boo. Being that my armpit odor can get out of hand if left to its own devices, I am not one of those people. After trying antiperspirant after antiperspirant, I finally landed on the one that seemed to keep my underarm area dry and relatively funk-free. Recently however, I noticed that said antiperspirant was starting to cause me a bit of underarm irritation (noooooooooo!) so I thought, if I was going to have to switch things up anyways, I might as well give natural deodorant I try.

I picked up a couple of brands that I’d heard about here on xoVain (check out Kristina's recent review of Piperwai for one I'm not covering here), and then a couple I hadn’t read about yet and gave them a whirl. I started by using one for a few weeks to get my body used to going “natural” first and then I gave each one a try, here’s how they stack up to the stank.

Nubian Heritage Honey & Black Seed 24HR All Natural Deodorant

You know I’m down for the Nubian Heritage/Shea Moisture family, so I definitely had to give this a shot. When I opened up the cap, I immediately wished that I had this scent in lotion form because it is DIVINE. I’m in love with anything that smells like real honey, so it’s no surprise that I loved this scent.

As much as I loved the scent in the stick, it only lasted under my arms for a couple of hours (resting) before I started to get a hint of odor. I reapplied, but after a couple more hours, it was pretty apparent that this bar was no match for my underarm odor.

Rating: 2/5 whiffs

Captain Blankenship Lime & Vetiver Deodorant

This one came in a jar but had a more solid texture to it than other creamy jar deodorants. I was a little unsure if this was going to keep me dry because it had a wetter initial texture, but it did dry down well. It also made my armpits feel pretty soft.

As far as odor goes, the scent on this isn’t very strong, but it was about middle-of-the-pack as far how it mixed with my own natural scent. It faded within three hours, but my own funk didn’t come through as strongly as I feared it might.

Rating: 3/5 whiffs

Lush T’eo Deodorant

The scent is strong with this one, so if you are sensitive to fragrance this probably isn’t for you. I personally loved the strong citrus scent, and was hoping that it would outlast my own natural scent.

Even with the seal on the other side, I did find that this still got a bit messy on the fingers — nothing I’m not willing to deal with, though. As far as odor control, I got a solid four hours before I detected a change in smell. I can’t say that the scent was wholly unpleasant, but it wasn’t necessarily good either. It was pretty “earthy” for lack of a better description.

Rating: 3/5 whiffs

Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Grapefruit Deodorant Cream

A couple of the ladies here at xoVain have written good things about this deodorant cream, so I definitely had to give it a shot myself. I was pleasantly surprised by this; the grapefruit scent isn’t too overwhelming, and I managed to make it five hours before I started to get a little funky. Even with traditional antiperspirant/deodorant, I usually have to reapply at about this time so I was glad it held up with that respect.

My biggest issue is that it’s such a tiny little jar for what the price is (smaller than a jar of Vicks VapoRub).

Rating: 4/5 whiffs

Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant Lavender Vanilla

I was glad this came in a familiar twist-up formula because I was getting a little squicked out by rubbing stuff on with my fingers. I love the scent, and it did a great job of keeping me dry all day. Most importantly, this was the only deodorant I didn’t have to reapply throughout the day.

Rating: 5/5 whiffs

Sport Luxe (Vanilla Breeze)

I’m not a super-active person, so I basically just tested all of these throughout my day-to-day activities. Since this formula boasts being better suited for active lifestyles, I used it for my weekly walk, and I was pretty pleased with it. I got a little funky towards the end of the hour-and-a-half, but not any more so than I had with my regular deodorant.

Rating: 5/5 whiffs

  • How do you guys feel about natural deodorants?
  • Did your favorite make the list?
  • Have you had better luck with some of the ones that didn't fare to well for me?