The Accidental Experiment

That one time I stopped wearing deodorant


  This is actually pretty recent but I swear I didn’t do this on purpose. It started about two, maybe three years ago.  We were still in the early stages of recovering financially from my stroke (4 years later we’re still in the early stages).  We had to start cutting corners.  It was easy at first; you start by skipping name brands as much as possible.  You actually do the math on volume/servings vs. price between brands.  Then you start thinning out things like adding a drip or two of water to your shampoo bottles so you can loosen up the dried globs stuck to the inside wall of the bottle.  Things get reduced like you stop brushing your teeth two times a day.  Then you stretch things out like replacing your toothbrush every 6 months instead of three or waiting until your sponges have completely changed color before throwing them out.  And then you stop buying things like paper towels all together. A few dollars here, a few nickels there can add up to a half tank of gas every month…

   One of the things I decided to thin out was my deodorant.  I have a very strange body.  I don’t sweat.  On the  rare occasion that I do sweat, you know it is unbearably hot. My skin doesn’t sweat drops like normal people but I get sweat stains. I get sticky and clammy but I don’t actually get wet from my sweat.  I have to wear specific types of deodorant that I can’t afford because of the non-sweat odor that mixes with fragranced deodorants.  My body chemistry is like…my early teen years were a nightmare. To save money, I bought this not-so-cheap roll-on that I thought would help me conserve.  But it was so expensive that I started to get really pinche with its use. I stopped wearing it if I was just going to hang out in the house.  And then I stopped leaving my house because my anxiety was getting me or I always had one reason or excuse to stay behind.

    Soaps never clung to me much and neither has perfume or body sprays. I’m a clean person, I take my showers even on days I don’t wash my hair (I stopped washing my hair every day to save on shampoo, my hair is healthier for it). My odor isn’t powerful unless it developed from hard labor but just walking around isn’t grounds for that rank musk to appear in a yellow fog from beneath my arms. But eventually, I started going days without deodorant.  I’m not a big person so there’s no deep crevasses for odor to come wafting out from; but if I did work up a stink from cooking dinner or cleaning, Kasper wouldn’t notice because he has the worst olfaction of anyone I’ve ever met.  He’s not likely to know if I used water without soap in the shower or only rose petals.


  I wouldn’t recommend anyone to stop wearing deodorant.  That’s not what this post is about.  I still wear deodorant when I leave my house or when I’m doing things I know might build a little something not appealing to the nose.  But what I found interesting, and maybe gross to some, is that my natural odor is actually kind of peppery.  Sure, on days after I ate green onion with my dinner I notice a bit of a stronger presence beneath my arms by the end of the day but overall, I’d have to say I have a little spice to my raw aroma.

  I would have given credit to eating peppers with dinner but the bell peppers had become too expensive so I stopped cooking with them and never restarted even after prices went back down; and Kasper stole a black pepper grinder from his work (line cook) so we wouldn’t have to buy more pepper and I have a lot of difficulty using it with my left hand.  The stem of the grinder is too slim for my left hand to grip it (gripping is about all that hand is good for) so I only use it if Kasper is around while I’m cooking– he usually goes to the gym while I cook dinner.  These two facts lead me to believe that the peppery tingle to my nose when I catch a whiff of myself in motion is all me.  It’s been an interesting little “experiment,” for lack of a better word. Who would have thought I’d have a hint of pepper in my glands?! Ha!

I wonder…if you could imagine yourself “accidentally” experimenting life without daily use of deodorant, do you think it would be a horrifying experience for everyone or do you think there might be an odd discovery about yourself?



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