I knew a guy in college who regularly did heroin and took vodka shots through the rectum but wouldn’t use a microwave. I think about him every day. My own morning routine of smearing all-natural, aluminum-free deodorant into my armpits just before running out the door to get a bacon-egg-and-cheese from the deli is almost as irrational. But what is life if not an ongoing series of correctives to past miscalculations?
Soapwalla Deodorant Cream, which is made in Brooklyn from only vegetable powders, clay, and essential oils, has the consistency of gritty frosting, the vague scent of lavender, and the efficacy of substances usually formulated for the military. Each time I scoop out a dollop and dissolve the grain between my fingers, I am flooded with a feeling first of virtue and then of delinquency. Hmmm, I think to myself, rubbing in the fast-absorbing and now-lotion-like substance, what devious behaviors has this healthy choice earned me today?
The magical balm comes in a cobalt-blue tub, and the label promises moisture absorption, bacteria inhibition, and “effortless manual application,” all of which I can attest is patently true. Do note: Soapwalla Deodorant Cream won’t stop you from sweating, but it will stop you from stinking. I can honestly refrain from showering for a half-week at a time without ever smelling bad. I don’t smell like nothing, exactly, but faintly like lavender and mint (not BO). I don’t know how they do it. I suspect it has something to do with the addition of tea-tree oil, which has known antiseptic and antibacterial properties that likely go a long way toward killing odor. Since I first discovered Soapwalla at a home-goods shop in my neighborhood, I’ve taken to ordering it online, three to four tubs of it at a time. Because it contains no waxes or stabilizers, it sometimes liquefies and becomes runny — all I do is mix it up and pop it in the freezer to bring it back to a solid. I then relish gratefully in its mysterious power and think up constitution-damaging ways to immediately negate the decision not to poison myself in the name of nonexistent body odor — starting, usually at least, with the greasiest possible breakfast sandwich.