Compulsive Armpit Sniffing

I’ve become a compulsive armpit sniffer, and it’s all Rikki’s fault.

Let me start at the very beginning so you can understand how this compulsion developed…


Ever since I was old enough to know what B.O. was I used antiperspirant so I wouldn’t be stinky.

As far as I know, Teacher has always used deodorant, and spent many years trying to get me to switch. He told me that it wasn’t healthy to keep your body from sweating but I didn’t care – I didn’t want to be stinky. Antiperspirant keeps you from perspiring; deodorant keeps you from being stinky when you perspire.

Time passed and I stuck to my guns.

I don’t do stinky.


One day Teacher came back from a grocery shopping expedition with Kiss my Face deodorant for me instead of the Lady’s Choice antiperspirant I’d put on the list. At first I wasn’t very happy, but I loved him enough to give it a try instead of making a huge deal over it. Besides, I’d heard rumors about the dangers of chemical-laden antiperspirants and deodorants and was touched that he was so concerned about my health.

I wish I could say that I loved Kiss my Face, but I didn’t. Despite washing and drying my armpits thoroughly every day and generously applying the deodorant, I was stinky. But I’d read and heard enough research that I realized natural products are better for my health than chemicals, so when Kiss my Face was gone I tried Tom’s of Maine Lemongrass. It didn’t work any better than Kiss my Face, so when it was gone I tried Jason Natural Apricot, then Jason Natural Tea Tree. Since tea tree oil has natural antibacterial properties I thought for sure it would work.

I was wrong.

And I was still stinky.


By this time I was tired of reapplying deodorant several times a day. I was tired of being careful not to raise my arms too high. Most of all, I was tired of being stinky.

I gave up on commercial natural products and started looking at small business, artisan-made products. I tried a natural deodorant from an Etsy seller that worked better than anything I’d tried before. I wasn’t totally unstinky, but I was less stinky.

Less stinky is better than more stinky, right?


Unfortunately the Etsy seller was closed when I needed to restock so I went back to Jason. Since there wasn’t that much of a difference between all the types of deodorant I tried I decided to just go with whatever was easiest at the time. I resigned myself to being somewhat stinky for the rest of my life, which would hopefully be longer and healthier since switching to natural deodorant.

Then I chanced upon a forum post by Rikki. She has a bath and body shop on Etsy, named Relax at Home, and was introducing a new deodorant recipe. She said it worked so well that she was stink-free despite not washing her armpits for two weeks.

Two weeks?! That caught my attention!


Relax DeodorantI hustled right over to her store and bought a stick deodorant – Citrus Mist scent. When it arrived I was a bit surprised by the swampy green color, but it smelled great!

I applied it after my morning shower, but because of my past disappointments I wasn’t expecting much. Once again I was wrong. At the end of the day I sniffed my armpits, and there was… nothing!

I wasn’t stinky anymore!


I was too used to disappointment to believe it at first and figured it had to be a fluke. I told myself it was early April so I hadn’t sweated much. Besides, my shirt was 100% cotton, which rarely has B.O. build-up.

The next day I chose a cotton/lycra top that I’d had B.O. problems with in the past. As in, after half an hour I smelled like I was packing skunks under my arms. But once again, at the end of the day there was no stink. Even in the skunk shirt.

Hmmmm, could it be true? Could this be my dream deodorant?


I was still afraid it was too good to be true, so I decided to try an experiment. For a week I applied the Relax deodorant on my left armpit and my previous deodorant which happened to be Jason Apricot on my right.

I sniffed my armpits throughout the day… When I got dressed in the morning, when I was reaching up to put a clean glass on the shelf I actually lifted my arms!, when I was outside with the children, during nap time, doing dishes after supper, getting ready for bed at night, after teaching band Saturday morning, while gardening on Sunday… I couldn’t resist the urge to sniff.

And the result?

Every single sniff produced the same results: the right armpit (Jason) always had some odor, from very slight to “O.M.G. what died?” The left armpit (Relax) had either a citrus scent from the deodorant or nothing at all.


I was amazed.

I was in love.

Best of all, I wasn’t stinky.


I returned to Relax at Home to pick up a second stick of deodorant, but she was sold out. Oh no – tragedy!!! Then I remembered that she had a Hyena Cart shop too, named simply “Relax,” so I popped in there. It was my lucky day – cream deodorant which comes in a pot was on sale! I couldn’t resist and bought two: Clean Laundry and Cucumber Melon. They both smell divine and work just as well as the stick deodorant, even though they’re a slightly different formula. I’m not thrilled about having to apply the cream deodorant with my fingertips, but enjoy have several scents to choose from in the morning. I’m kinda strange that way.


Unfortunately, even though I’ve found the perfect deodorant I haven’t been able to kick the compulsive sniffing habit. After so much disappointment I still find it hard to believe that I found a natural deodorant that really works, and find myself discreetly sniffing now and then – just to make sure. It’s probably a good thing I work from home; sometimes I’m not fit to go out in public.

I suppose there are worse things – at least I’m not stinky!


Now, how about a special offer for you? After writing this post I contacted Rikki to see if she would like to offer a special discount code for my readers. She was very happy to extend a special offer for you:

  • Hyena Cart shoppers, use the code ZZ15 for a 15% discount on your Relax purchase.
  • Etsy shoppers, use ZanyZ15 for a 15% discount on your Relax at Home purchase.


When you make your purchase be sure to tell her that Amy Sue sent you. šŸ˜‰

Amy Sue

PS – This isn’t one of your typical “send me a free sample and I”ll review your product” posts you see on all the blogs nowadays. I only asked her about a code because I believe in her product and want you to see how great it is, as well as support her business.


  1. Hi Amy Sue,

    Love this story, and have been down the same road with “natural” deoderants. Have compromised by using natural deoderants in cool weather seasons and sticking with my Secret during hot months. I live in CA… so more hot than cool here.

    Going to try Relax to see if it works for me!


  2. It is so nice to find blogs like this. Thank you so much for the time and consideration! I am so thrilled that you like the deodorant. šŸ™‚

    Ps….. I toned down the swampy green color šŸ™‚

    • Rikki,

      I hope my comment about the color didn’t offend you! I didn’t mind the color, I was just surprised. Is that from the chlorophyll?

      I was happy to write the post! When I find something I love I want others to know how great it is too; and I certainly love your deodorant! How many different scents would signal a serious obsession? šŸ˜‰

      Thanks for taking time to comment,
      ~Amy Sue

  3. Look at the ingredients – bentonite clay. I googled and found that Bentonite is an absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate. I have heard that the active ingredient in commercial antiperspirants is aluminum,which blocks sweat glands. I’m wondering if the deodorant you’re using is actually an antiperspirant, albeit a more natural formulation than the ones produced by P&G. All the waxes and oils and chlorophyll are in the formula to make it spread better and to help with the smell if any sweat does occur. But it’s the aluminum containing clay that’s working for you.
    Any scientific types out there who want to clarify for me?
    I have tried every type of “natural” deodorant and have been afraid to leave the house because I sweat so bad. I use Certain Dry, which burns like crazy when I put it on. My desire to be a social creature has won out over my fears of toxic chemicals.

    • Sylvia,

      I appreciate your concern, and to be perfectly honest, I never even took chemistry so I’m not one to ask about this. However, I did a little online research and found the following:

      Wikipedia states (as you pointed out) that bentonite clay is ” an absorbent aluminum phyllosilicate” and goes on to state that it consists “mostly of montmorillonite.”

      Since Wikipedia isn’t considered a valid source in most educational settings, I researched more and found almost the same description from Chemtotal, and more information at the Bulk Herb Store.

      On EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database montmorillonite is rated a low risk ingredient.

      I searched in vain for any reference to aluminum phyllosilicate being a health risk; most of what I found were articles describing how to use bentonite clay to promote health. Natural News lists bentonite clay as one of their ten natural ways to remove heavy metals. Healing Daily describes how to use bentonite clay for internal healing, and even LiveStrong has an article listing bentonite clay health benefits.

      Now I am certainly NOT recommending we start eating clay, however with so many sources advocating the ingestion of bentonite clay I personally feel comfortable using it on my armpits. You may feel differently, and I certainly won’t fault you if you do.

      I hope that shed some light on the subject. If any chemists or scientists want to chime in, we’re all ears!

      ~Amy Sue

  4. Thanks Amy Sue, for the reply. I’m curious too. My scientific powers are limited to google…

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