At one time personal care products were homegrown and homemade. I know we live in a different age and our 9-5 lifestyle doesn’t allow time for much of anything outside of work, let alone making your own personal care products. So my first batch of experiments are about these products and what I can let go of using and what I can also make on my own. First up to bat: Deodorant.
Lets cut right to it, shall we? I stopped wearing deodorant on my road trip out here. Now before you literally turn your nose up in utter disgust. Please hear me out and try to understand what I’m up to here and why.
Reason 1: Wasteful Thinking
2 years ago, when I found out chemicals weren’t the best thing to be applying nor putting into my body, I stopped wearing chemically based antiperspirants/deodorants: Ban, Secret, Degree, etc. I began trying out different all-natural ones: Toms, Jason, Clear Cystal.
The truth is no deodorant has ever worked on me for very long. After at least 2 months tops they stopped “working” so I would switch to another brand and the cycle would repeat itself. It never occurred to me that my body might be working against the application of each deodorant to resume it’s natural process of perspiring and releasing certain toxins and bacteria based odors as a result. After switching to all-natural, my usual habit of going from one brand to the next didn’t change. Buying one after another is a waste – period. However, I was also getting the feeling that even using deodorant altogether is a waste as well. I mean where do all those random, plastic holders for deodorant go anyway? Landfills and Garbage Island. That’s where.
A friend suggested I not shave my armpits. He had heard from other women that this helped them. I tested this for 9 months – no go. I was actually much more potent because the perspiration clings to the hair causing the scent to stick with me. Whereas with shaving, as I perspire on and off throughout the day, the potency comes and goes. So after a good long trial, I am back to shaving about once a week.
Reason 2: Sensual Intelligence
The Germans have a saying, “Ich kann Dich gut reichen”. It means – I can smell you well – and makes reference to being aware of someone’s presence. The phrase is still used regularly, but the origin has been lost through the years of industrialization and emphasis on buying more and more personal care products.
Speaking with my German friend, Daniel, this winter, he proceeds to tell me about this phrase and that he believes we have really lost touch with our senses and knowing one another’s unique, natural scent. He found it funny that they still use this saying to this day, but never think about where it came from – a time when we did rely on the intelligence of our senses to get by and be aware of our surroundings. He claimed that instead of owning our own natural scents, we try to cover them up with perfumes, colognes, lotions and of course, deodorants or anti-persprants. I couldn’t help but agree with him and wonder if our use of these products reflect our lack of being in touch with our natural selves and what it means to truly be human.
In an attempt to own and feel comfortable with my own natural scent, I began using my Jason Apricot deodorant less and less and eventually discarded it altogether.
Reason 3: I love my scent!
I have come to really love my own natural scent:) On top of that, I really love or don’t mind other people’s scents as well. Lets face it – for most of us – deodorants/anti-perspirants don’t cover up our scent. Nor do they really keep us from perspiring out our natural fumes into our pheromone hungry world. So, we either smell ALL of YOU or some perfumed version of YOU. To be honest, I rather smell you and decide to breath through my mouth if it’s too much to handle than smell some highly potent, chemical based perfume, cologne, lotion, hair product or deodorant that nauseates me no matter which way I choose to breathe.
I know not all of you agree and maybe even most of you don’t. I’d bet money that 9 out of 10 people reading this thought of a situation when you were surrounded by very potent B.O. – a crowded bus on a hot day, traveling in other parts of the world where deodorant/anti-perspirant usage isn’t as highly emphasized or even hugging someone who just happened to be potent for whatever reason. Either way, I have come to terms with the fact that although I may love my scent, not everyone will. So what to do?
Gathering Information: About 2 weeks into my no-deoderant experiment, I ran into a friend on the street. It was a hot day and I had been out walking around for most of it. Needless to say, I was highly potent. We embraced, talked a little and went on our ways. I found out later she could smell me in the embrace and even on herself later that day. To use the German phrase, “Ich kann Dich gut reichen” here is an understatement. She was not only very aware of my presence when we met, but my presence stayed with her hours after we parted. Now, it’s really flattering to know when I’ve made a lasting impression, but leaving my scent on another isn’t exactly the way I want to go about it. I felt a bit sheepish when I found out, but took it as good feedback for my experiment. I’ve come to this –
The Great Compromise: I’ve rekindled my relationship with Jason Apricot (ok so I didn’t discard the stuff, when you’re experimenting and on a budget, you just put something like this away for safe keeping) until you come to your conclusion. If I am going out in public, after a nice pit-wash if I need it, I put on deodorant for all you fine people. For me, in the comfort of my own home, lets just say that if you come over or happen to drop by – you will be graced with the full essence of my presence. Now, that’s just common scents. 😉
Alright people, I know you all have you’re own “Common Scents” stories to share, SO DO IT! This can be a fun, embarrassing and hilarious sharing if we want it to be.
***Case closed? No. It’ll be up for reevaluation when I run out of my Jason. As I began, I’d like to stop buying so many products to stop producing so much waste. It’ll be back to the drawing board on this one, but I’m working on how to make my own shampoo, maybe I’ll check into a homemade deodorant as well.