What's That Smell?
One reason hippies have a reputation for smelling a bit fresh might, I now realise, be because they are traditionally more likely to be vegan, which means they choose not to use deodorants full of powerful cover-up smells and antiperspirant chemicals. They are the true scent of humans and us Sure / Dove / Mitchum fans aren't used to humans smelling that way.
Now that I'm singing from the same hymn sheet as ye olde hippies, one product I'm having to prise out of my own hands is Mitchum Deodorant. For the first few months of my vegan life I carried on using the stock I already had and hoped that when I did have to address repurchase, Mitchum might be an accidentally vegan product, despite no bunny logo or big V sign on the packaging.
No other deodorant I'd ever tried before discovering Mitchum worked quite like Mitchum, oh wonder product that it is. No sweat, no smell, no thoughts about why that might be or which rabbit's eyes may have been rubbed and smudged for my benefit. Ignorantly, blissfully, unsmelly.
The time has come to look at the Mitchum label and do some Googling.
At first, I thought I'd got away with it. I found this:
Dated 2014, a part of me wanted to take that as fact and buy 20 bottles. But the new me tries a bit harder. Revlon, I found out, sell in China. And for unfathomable reasons, China INSISTS BY LAW that ALL products are tested on animals. WT fuck, China.
I filled out the contact form on the Mitchum UK website to ask of their vegan credentials, because I think even if you can find out by Googling that a company ain't vegan friendly, you should still ask them directly just so that they know they're losing customers. I like to imagine the admin guy printing my email off and taking it up to head office, where he knocks wearily on the door of the Big Man. 'We've got another one, Clive,' he says. A tally of vegan customers demanding better goes up by one on a counter on the wall. 'Jeez,' says Clive. 'We better make this product vegan, the people have spoken.'
They didn't reply. So I sent another message, because I'm fun like that.
Meanwhile, it's time to find another deodorant. I bought these hopeful beauties from Holland & Barrett. After some trials one deodorant will be declared winner. Who knew I could make even picking a deodorant into a competition!
H&B enclosed this freebie sachet in my order. Not sure what it was about buying three vegan deodorants that made them think I'd like a sachet of snail jiz.
Back to my deodorant review, I'll be judging on how I smell and sweat over the course of the day. It's going to be really fun for people near me when I gesticulate.
Smells amazing, if you like coconuts as much as I do. If it was up to me everything would smell of coconuts.
This smells like sipping a pina colada on a summer's day while rubbing Hawaiian Tropic* on your shoulders. I bet Hawaian Tropic isn't vegan either. Waaaaah!
I like the roll-on application. My armpit is not sticky and my clothing is not marked white.
*It took me a lot of digging to find out but Hawaiian Tropic is owned by a company called Edgewell who have a lovely website where they talk about their integrity, values and passion. I eventually found this. So it's another company with integrity and values, unless they're trying to make money in China.
Depending how strict a vegan you are, Dr Organic are not, as the snail trail gifted to me above illustrates, a vegan company. They use honey in some products too.
This one smells clean and fresh. I have a lavender eye-beanbag that I put on the windows of my soul when I'm doing Savasana (corpse pose in yoga) and I love it, it makes me feel peaceful.
The spray on application seems quite novel when it's not shooting out of an aerosol and I keep spraying too much and getting a dribble down my ribs. But, with continued usage I learn how to apply it like a grown up.
Do chamomile and aloe vera smell? I can't really smell anything. Perhaps they are subtle scents, lost on me.
The big question is, do I smell like a dirty teenager by the end of the day. Because that is not ideal. And sadly with this chappie, I did. So he's out of the running.
With Dr Organic and Salt of the Earth competing to be crowned, I realised my scientific experiment was unfair because sometimes I'd do something extravagant like exercise. Then I had the frankly genius idea, ladies and gees, of keeping all variables the same and yet testing both products at the same time. I've got two armpits haven't I? Yes sir!
My right pit got sprayed with Salt of the Earth and my left with Dr O. On the same day! I was a right cocktail of smells. My left was winning at first because I always want coconuts to win any competitions they're in, but as the days went on, I had to admit that Salt of the Earth was absolutely smashing it. My left armpit - bleugh! My right - hello fair maiden!
So there you have it - I'd recommend Salt of the Earth if you want to save the world and smell good doing it.