arm pit collage
What’s the Best Deodorant to Wear Under a Sweater?
10.07.19

I’m not a big sweater, but I do love sweaters.

I’ve been sitting here for 54 minutes and so far that sentence is all I have come up with. This story pitch has been seated upright at the top of my pitch list — besting out such imminent hits as “A Deep Dive: Why Are People Obsessed with Cats?” and a feature-length profile on this one magician who regularly performs at Washington Square Park — since this one day in July, when after a streak of very hot days, it dropped down rather suddenly to 60 and I needed to wear a sweater.

Here I’d spent all summer boasting, “Ra ra, I don’t wear deodorant because I don’t smell” every time I excused myself from a conversation on the topic until that fateful 60-degree day, when I lifted my arm while wearing that sweater to pull a book (Twizzler) from a shelf (bag) and got so distracted by the french onion soup someone was heating up next to me that I forgot the Twizzler.

deodorant collage

As it turned out, no one was in near proximity. There was no french onion soup. I was the french onion soup and so it went that on that day that I learned the truth: I smell too. Which, I mean, I know. I have always known, but the odor — a faint whiff, really, has never been so pungent as to require that I add the laborious step of lifting my right arm and swiping, then my left arm and swiping again to any form of a beauty routine.

Apparently, it is the lethal combination of skin-to-knit that elicits this stench and with both sweater season upon us and my pursuit of The Very Best One (this one, maybe? More on the pursuit soon) to carry me through the entirety of fall and winter (more on this soon), I could use the unlikely accessory of not a gold chain (but I’ll take it), or unexpected coral necklace (I think I have it!), but a very good deodorant. And yeah, I know, there are shit tons of lists that exist in spades across the Internet and even on this site, but I am looking for the very specific combination of deodorant that is sheer enough to not fuck up my sweater with streaks every time I put it on, smooth enough to not make me feel like I glue-sticked my armpits together and am trying to separate them, and durable enough to freeze out, if you will, the onion soup.

I’d like it to be aluminum-free, and I suppose it can be lightly scented, but I’m not sure it needs to smell like a pumpkin spice latte. Because I’m of the generation of selfies and shelfies and curated stuffsies, I wouldn’t mind if the packaging was cute and “aligned” with my medicine cabinet, but this criterion is low on the list. So, can you help me find the best one? I’ll pay you back with words on whatever you want.

Graphics by Coco Lashar.

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