I’m writing this review in the middle of a heat wave. I’ve been a bit obsessed lately with products that make me feel cooler and calmer in sticky summer weather, and if it’s not a “too much information” topic, I’d like to talk about deodorant.
I’ve used mainstream anti-perspirant for most of my adult life (with Almay Fragrance-Free Clear Gel reigning as my favorite for the past decade), until a few years ago, when I thought I’d give natural deodorant a try. I rotated through more aluminum-free varieties of deo than I care to count. I browsed the shelves at Whole Foods, I read reviews on green-beauty message boards, I tested one product after another. Nothing worked, at least for more than a few hours. And I’m not an abnormally sweaty person, but I do need to get through a full work-day and a mass-transit commute without having to worry about my deodorant failing me. So I went back to Duane Reade and its potentially harmful, but unfailingly reliable, selections.
Then, a few months ago, I came across Jean Godfrey-June’s recommendation of Lavanila’s The Healthy Deodorant in the April 2012 issue of Lucky magazine. I’ve read Jean’s column religiously since Lucky was launched and I’m sure that I’ve tried many products just because she mentioned them. I also remembered that my friend Trish at Scent Hive had praised Lavanila’s deodorant on her blog and in person, so I made a trip to Sephora, sniffed out the Lavanilas (literally), and took the plunge.
Now it’s early July, and I’ve just finished my Vanilla Grapefruit deodorant and purchased a fresh stick in Vanilla Passion Fruit, which probably tells you all you need to know. Lavanila’s formula works better for me than any other I’ve tried. It applies smoothly (it’s a twist-up solid), and I tend to apply it generously. (As long as I use it on thoroughly dry skin, it doesn’t leave any white residue.) Even though it doesn’t seal off the pores the way a conventional anti-perspirant would, it seems to lessen wetness. And it really does keep away unwanted smells for an entire day. I’ve worn it in all kinds of weather by now, under all kinds of clothing, and never once have I paused in the middle of the day and thought, “Uh oh.” (As I often did in my previous natural-deo experiments.)
Even though I’m not a big vanilla fan, I’ve found more than one Lavanila blend that suits me. The Vanilla Grapefruit seemed more strongly scented; I occasionally noticed its tart-sweet fragrance when I was wearing it. The Vanilla Passion Fruit (think of Calvin Klein’s Euphoria, but much softer and lighter) seems more subtly fragranced.
The only downside of Lavanila’s Healthy Deodorant is the cost: I never thought I’d spend this much money ($18!) on a deodorant. I used a Sephora gift card for the first one, but I ended up going back for the second one on my own. It’s that good. (Lavanila also offers a $10 travel-size version, only in its Vanilla Lavender scent.) Because it’s so effective, not to mention good-smelling and attractively packaged, I somehow didn’t mind paying the price.
Victoria at EauMG has also used and enjoyed Lavanila’s deodorant, although she wasn’t crazy about the Vanilla Grapefruit scent; you can read her thoughts here.
Disclaimer: I purchased these products at Sephora.
Images: Été (Summer) by Alfonse Mucha (1900); all photographs by Tinsel Creation.