Friday, October 13, 2006


Sometime this past summer while at my parents house, I made a remark about itchy armpits. Partner and I both seemed plagued by them. I don't know how this topic got brought up, but hey, with family you can talk about anything, right? So my father chimed in on the topic. His hypothesis? The antiperspirants we were using.

"I haven't used an antiperspirant in probably over 30 years," he said proudly.

Really? 30 or more years? It didn't seem quite right. My dad is not particularly sweaty-- And he smells just fine. Good, in fact. And he's not a sedentary kind of guy. He's usually out of the house before seven in the morning to work, and his job? Not such a desk kind of job. In fact, one might even say it's a stressful kind of job being a surgeon. And for a certain part of my life, he used to run about eight miles or so a day. A day, people. A day. I couldn't run eight miles to save my own damn life right now. And thinking back about my life with Dad, I don't remember him ever causing a turn-up of the nose. Not one day of stinky dad.

So Partner and I decided maybe we were poisoning ourselves with Secret and we gave it up. We made the trek to Whole(ly overpriced) Foods and got us some natural deodorants. Partner choose one brand, and I picked another. The first morning I used it, I felt smug and self-righteous. Look at me and my natural deodorant. Yes, it was a little more slimy feeling than I was used to. But, it was natural. And wholesome.

Wholesome indeed. That may be one way to describe how I smelled at the end of the day. Whew. I didn't give up though. I consulted the old pater, and he noted that probably my body needed to get rid of a lot of toxins after putting on the AP for years. Okay, I thought, I can run with that theory. And to tell you the truth, Partner didn't smell quite as bad as I did, so perhaps he was right. Partner, you see, hadn't been wearing the AP forever and ever, amen. When I met her, she used the crystal.

We still laugh about this. And while it may work for some of you, it did not work for my girl. One my dearest friends, Irish, uses the crystal, and she doesn't smell at all. In fact, usually when people meet her, they remark about how good she smells. And she does smell very good. Yet for my beautiful partner, well-- At the end of the day, she stunk. Phew. Sometimes it may have even been off-putting for me. So she stopped and I gave her my Secret. So maybe the natural stuff worked better for her because she hadn't been plugging up her sweat glands for as long as I had.

But yet maybe that wasn't it. Maybe it was because she choose a different brand, so I tried hers. Maybe the stink the was a little better? I decided to try it. And yes, I loved the way I smelled in the morning, like a Provencal lavander field. I bought my own. I couldn't decided if it was really working. In chemistry, when I usually break out into a cold sweat, I'd wonder if I could smell myself. I didn't like to raise my hand to ask a question, because you know, you only raise your hand if you're Sure. But maybe I was hypersenstive? Maybe it wasn't the deodorant, maybe it was pregnancy. Perhaps one my pregnancy symptons was smelling like a barnyard and whatever I smeared under my arms would yeild similar (un)results. So I kept trying. And I used it right up until last week.

Last week, when it was still fallish and warmish and not snowing (damnit), we had the windows above our bed open at night. It may have been a little crisp, but when you can snuggle, why not let the room get a little chilly? We had our bedside lights on, a little calming music, and we were reading our respective books. And then I thought to myself, is that a skunk? Because that happens sometimes-- a skunk wanders very near our house and lets off a bomb. The skunk has sprayed Partner's truck for no apparent reason. So maybe the skunk was skulking nearby? Because-- damn! There was a rank smell! And then for some reason I thought, "Is that a skunk, or is it me?" I couldn't answer the question. Skunk? Or me? Over and over again until I fell asleep. Like some sick form of counting sheep. And when you ask yourself a question like that, my friends, it's time to do something about it. I was sick of smelling like a goat. I have never been a stinky person. I'm obsessed with smell. Smell is probably my strongest sense.

I'm back to Secret. Plugging up my pores and loving it. I smell good now, all day long. Goatish smelling natural Katie-- good riddance! I'm synthetic under my arms all the way now, baby. So, if you've been avoiding me because I stink, it's all okay now. You can come back.

(The entire time I was writing this post I had "Secret" by OMD running through my head. Now I fear it will be with me all day, but hey, at least I don't smell!)


Anonymous Meramoo said...

I have itchy pits, too, and the only one that doesn't give me hives is Almay 'cause it's hypoallergenic. It works pretty well, although not quite as well as the other stuff. The local stores have some, but drugstore.c0m has a better selection.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Something no one told me: After giving birth your deodorant might stop working.

Yeah, fun.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Secret quit working for me shortly after I got pg. I went through numerous different kinds before I found something that made me smell decent.

I hope what Jenn posted isn't true or I'm screwed! LOL

3:25 PM  
Blogger Emilin said...

I've had luck with a salt stick. I still keep a stick of anti-perspirant at work in case I need some help, but I've used it fewer than five times. I do wear anti-perspirant on special occasions, but if I use it more than a few days in a row, I get a rash.

4:43 PM  
Blogger agoodlistener said...

Two words: Mennen Unscented. Works for me.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous mg said...

One thing that worked for me might work for you, but you have to shower/bathe/whatever at night instead of in the morning. Namely, shower/bathe/whatever at night, sleep with totally untouched armpits, and then put on AP/deodarent in the morning. I use Mitchum roll-on - really really stops the sweat - but I'm sure that this would work equally well with whatever. Anyway, ever since I started doing this, no more itchy pits, but no more 'pit sweat either.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if you have a Trader Joe's in your area but I get these facial cleaner pads (think Oxy medicated discs) that are Tea Tree Oil. I clean my pits with those in the morning and they do a great job! I stopped wearing deodorant several years ago and it did take a while to get past that initial stink.

I still stink sometimes though. :D

10:43 PM  
Blogger Nico said...

skunk? or me?

Too funny!

I stink sometimes WITH ap/deodorant on, so there's NO WAY I could go without!!

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(sorry- just went all 8th grade there)
I have a friend that used the cyrstal and smells great & I kind of hate her for that.
I have to use TWO things to keep me from stinking. I use certain-dri at night and secret in the morning.

I once asked a dermotologist in LA how celebs deal with BO & sweating. His honest answer: botox in the pits!


11:38 AM  
Anonymous Army's Girl said...

I have extremely sensitive skin and everything made me itchy until my dermotologist suggest Dove.

It works for me!

2:33 AM  
Blogger lagiulia said...

This is the funniest post ever! Skunk or me. Funny.
I found that especially during pregnancy my armpits itched VERY badly. Odd.

10:18 PM  

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