SmellFest 2008: Clinical Strength Deo Fails Me

In the Mom vs. Dad Genetic Lottery, I take after my Dad. Most of this I’m OK with. I’ll take short. I’ll take stocky. That’s all a small price to pay for moderate intelligence and a killer Scrabble instinct. But since the July to late September D.C. phenomenon known as Swamp Weather Humidity has arrived, I have realized that my Dad also passed on some unusually productive sweat glands. Not something I appreciate. At all.

I think it’s the Dad’s Family Curse: nobody mildly glistens, nobody perspires; it’s Maximum Production Sweat all the time. There’s no other way to put it. And as a girl, I’m not exactly over the moon about the situation. Sweating is Manly. It’s not in the least bit dainty or cute or anything associated with feminine. It ruins makeup. It wreaks hell on flowing, white summer tops. I’ve been an unhappy camper regarding my underarm situation for years, but this, my first summer in DC, I have embarked on a Defeat Sweat Mission. In years past, I’ve been an anti-perspirant and deodorant connoisseur. I’ve tried everything; especially stuff that claims to be mega, maximum, or ultra. I need it and it usually keeps the situation sort of acceptable. Not so when DC heat, the Metro and my armpits come together. So imagine my state of elation when I saw Secret had come out with a clinical strength deodorant thing that helps fight wetness and keeps smelling fresh. I was all, “Come to Mama!” Clearly, somebody at Secret felt my pain. It was like somebody stamped target market on my forehead and I happily went out to the Safeway in Rosslyn That Never Has Anything to buy me a big ol’stick.

Yeah, well, big shock. USSR Safeway doesn’t have it. So I searched for weeks, trying to find the Wonder Deo at my assorted CVSes, Giants, and Harris Teeters. Nada. Finally, FINALLY, a week ago, I located a precious tube. About $9 plus tax for a third of the usual stick size. Pricey, yes, but oh so worth it if I was no longer That Questionably Smelly Person On The Metro. I bought it, took it home, and opened the box.

Dude, the stuff came with directions. I guess when The Miracle of Science is involved, consumers need to learn proper application techniques. That was the point where I decided to make this Official. If I had to follow directions to put on $9 deodorant, I was darn well going to keep track of my pit moisture levels. Welcome to SmellFest 2008.

What Secret needed detailed instructions to explain is that you put it on at night. Yes, really. Apparently, by doing this, the super-deo is taking advantage of nifty triple-action technology and becomes one with my body’s natural temperature variations or something. Oh, and it plugs up sweat pores in a perfectly natural, non-harmy way so dryness prevails in the pit region. Also, it can tell when I am Normal Body Temp versus Mildly Flushed versus Metro Hot and it adjusts and protects accordingly. I love advances in science!

Secret further claims this Deodorant Miracle stays on during the shower and I’m good and non-icky for the day. That sort of skeeved me out. I like to feel thoroughly lathered in my underarm region when I leave the house. I view this as a courtesy to humanity. Upon further instruction reading, I learned that Secret’s directions acknowledged 10 plus years of a.m. deodorant application might be a hard habit to break. They assured that while I did not have to put on anything more than the nightly application, if I chose to put on more in the morning that was OK.

So I tried the new deodorant this weekend. I put some on at night and during the morning. Just to be safe. More is better, blah blah blah. Anyway, things seemed to be decent in the pit area. No obvious funky smell, some mild sweat spots, but no major cause for alarm. Those little plug sweat things the directions cite were beginning to working their magic and I was a fairly happy girl. Then came the trust test: the work week. It’s been Run Around Like My Ass Is On Fire Week. My environment and body have been going through massive temperature swings as I jaunt around town in suit, in the Sweltering Heat, and basically, I have been giving this stuff a work out. And I noticed my armpits weren’t kosher.

On Monday the sweat/smell factor was a little iffy after I finished blow drying my hair (note there was a fan pointed at me and 71 on my thermostat). By the morning Metro ride (I had to wait through three trains before I managed to squeeze on one), I was a wee bit sweltering. The Amazing Secret in no way held up, despite a bedtime and post-shower application. My Lawyer Blouse has big-old spots on the under arms (but nowhere else was sweating). About midday, I knew for sure it wasn’t working and went and sponged myself off in the bathroom. An admin saw me and we made awkward conversation while I reapplied. On my way home, it was awful. Miracle Deo let me down in a big way. Nice, big spots-o-wet under my arms, stinky odor, and a slightly slimy feeling I’d never experienced before. Still, being uber-scientific, I decided to keep wearing the stuff for the entire week. Maybe there was an adjustment period or something?

Over the week, I took into account different variables: going to the gym, the heat index, cotton or a rayon dresses, nighttime only versus double application, all that jazz. Didn’t matter. Each day, between 10:00ish and noon, there would be a funk around me. Dutifully, I would go to the restroom and raise my arm just to be sure it was me. Once I’d established I was the Bad Smell, I would wash and sometimes reapply, but by quitting time, I was again out and out smell-o-riffic. Still, I refused to be let down by something so promising. There had to be some mystical way the triple-action technology of Secret could overcome the Dad Genetic Code. I wanted to Believe! And the stuff was $9 so, based on a price to effectiveness algebraic logic thing, it must be three times more wonderful than my regular deo.

But here I am, a week later. The reality is the stuff isn’t working for me. I am still funk-tastic. I have not found the Sweat Cure. And it’s time to go back to my old deodorant regime. It’s for the greater Metro riding good.

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2 Responses to “SmellFest 2008: Clinical Strength Deo Fails Me”

  1. Pithy Says:

    Sounds like you have Hyperhydrosis. The only thing that works for me is a prescribed roll-on like Drysol or Hypercare. After a few days of using those, I was nice and dry. After a while you only need to use them every couple of months and can use regular deo and still be dry. It’s the best stuff ever.

  2. Katherine Says:

    I must explore!

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