this thing's incredible

My Signature Scent Is Actually a $35 Spray-On Deodorant

It’s insanely expensive for a deodorant but refreshingly inexpensive for a signature scent. Photo: Sasha/Getty Images

For almost a decade, a best friend and I were on a mutual quest to find the perfect “signature scent.” Our goals were aligned: We each wanted to smell both fresh and sort of burnt, like someone who lived in the woods but who also washed her sheets every week. We did not want to smell like we had tried to smell good, but that it had just happened somehow, as if we’d absorbed our essence through our natural habitat, or our pheromones just naturally conjured cigarettes and lilies. We wanted to smell rebelliously delicious. We did not want to smell girly.

You can imagine my envy and delight when my friend showed up to our weekly wine date smelling like the ideal sexy campfire. And you can imagine the squeal I emitted when she told me that the scent she was wearing was not a “scent” at all, but her new deodorantThis meant that I could smell like she did — like vetiver and garden herbs and Adirondack lodges — without shelling out $179 for a new perfume. This spray deodorant, from Aesop, was only $35 — insanely expensive for a deodorant but refreshingly inexpensive for a signature scent. I bought it instantly and I’ve never looked back.

Some of you might be wondering whether this deodorant is good on its own terms — i.e., as an actual deodorant. This would be a good time to reveal the potentially damning fact that I do not wear “real” deodorant (after a similarly epic product quest that had me frustrated with the hard-core chemical options and their impotent natural alternatives, I landed on a mist made of literal crystals that the Strategist has written about before), and so I cannot tell you whether it works in the way that you probably want/need your deodorant to. I can tell you what the attractive guy at Aesop told me, which was that its essential oils “work with your body to mask odor” but do not stop sweat (not that any of us expected a product that contained coriander seed oil was going to deliver on the antiperspirant level). I can also tell you that my husband has started quietly stealing my signature scent for his armpit hairs, and smelling him now makes me doubly glad I married him. [Editor’s note: Chris Black wears it too.]

Spritz your Aesop on your favorite sweater as a promise to yourself that you’ll go upstate more this fall. Spray it on your bed linens to experience the minimalist calm of an Aesop store at bedtime. And spray it in your armpits and hope for the best.

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My Signature Scent Is Actually a $35 Spray-On Deodorant