this thing's incredible

I Found My Signature Scent — and It’s an $11 Body Spray

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist

Last summer, I went for a post-work run and came back to the office with ten minutes left before my dinner plans. I didn’t have time to head home and freshen up with a shower or apply more roll-on deodorant, which I’d also left at home. I figured I’d have to smell sweaty and dank as I sat next to my friends at the table, irritating their noses. Then I remembered that I’d received a PR sample of three OffCourt body sprays, which were sitting on my desk. I quickly wiped down with a wet towel and sprayed the white can (the citron and driftwood scent) under my arms and across my chest.

I wish I could tell you this was an “aha!” moment in which, upon smelling it, I was transported, Ratatouille-style, back to a childhood memory. But truthfully, the spray was subtle and just smelled pleasant. Feeling cleaner and refreshed, I hustled to the restaurant.

The real magic (in the form of unsolicited compliments) came in the weeks after I started using it regularly. They started out small. “Something smells good,” one friend remarked as I sat down next to them at a bar. Later, they became more direct: “Jeremy, you smell amazing. What is that?” That particular friend’s partner texted me a few weeks later: “What is the name of the cologne you were wearing when you were visiting? Gus’s birthday is next month and he liked it!”

Photo: Jeremy Rellosa

My usual answer is some corny pitch, like: “It’s this OffCourt spray. It’s like Axe, but for adults!” I don’t text this to friends, but it’s a body spray made with prebiotics, which supposedly work to fight odor-causing bacteria — not just mask it. I haven’t tested OffCourt in a lab to confirm this claim, but what I can tell you is that it makes me smell fresher. It works as both an aluminum-free deodorant (aluminum can irritate sensitive skin) and a light cologne. This duo is why it’s an essential part of my grooming kit.

For years, I was looking to smell like something good, beyond just my roll-on deodorant. But I didn’t want to constantly smell like the aggressive scents of my teens or the formal notes that come with a typical cologne. OffCourt’s low-investment, high-return spray filled that void perfectly.

OffCourt now makes four sprays, coconut water and sandalwood, fig leaves and white musk, citron and driftwood, and a citrus and suede scent, but my favorite is the citron and driftwood. Its crisp, citrusy notes keep me feeling clean throughout the day. “I like that it’s not super cologne-y smelling. It’s got a fresh subtle scent that I really like,” says my friend Gus — the one who received a can for his birthday.

I like to apply it in the morning on top of my Malin + Goetz deodorant (which it complements well), after workouts, and sometimes before a night out. As a sweatier guy, I need the extra layer of deodorant to feel comfortable, but only using OffCourt’s spray might work for some folks who are generally drier.

I finished those sample cans earlier this year, but now I buy a new one (at just $11) monthly. (As I was typing this article, I just ordered two more cans.)

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I Found My Signature Scent — and It’s an $11 Body Spray