Secret Va Va Vanilla Scent Expressions (Procter & Gamble)
I have a hilarious memory of walking into a gas station to pay for some gum when the cashier said to me, “Damn girl, you smell like CHRISTMAS!” I couldn’t help but be impressed at this dude’s odd choice of pick-up lines, more so when I realized that the freshly-baked-cookies scent he was raving about was not a perfume or a new shampoo, but the deodorant wafting from my armpits. Thank you for the LOLs and the dessert-scented pits, Secret Va Va Vanilla. I used you for years, along with your predecessor, Secret Vanilla Chai. Anyway, this was a perfect relationship—until I started exercising a lot and it stopped working! I’m guessing my body chemistry changed? WAH! It’s always my goal to smell like cake and candy, so this was a real heart-breaker. MISS YOU LIKE THE DESERTS MISS THE RAIN, VA VA VANILLA. —Marie

Ban Powder Fresh Invisible Solid (KAO)
So I have been using Ban for over a year now, mostly because it was like a dollar or something in ShopRite, and I lost my Dove one. I wasn’t expecting much, because I have really bad luck with deodorant and antiperspirants. Every one I have tried has given me rashes or irritated my pits, which is a super bummer because I sure can sweat up a joint. This one is good because it doesn’t leave lots of white deodorant stains, and it’s not crumbly or anything. I feel like I have to apply more of this to get the job done than I did with Dove, but at least it doesn’t smell like a baby’s butt (which I personally do not love, no offense to babies). Unfortunately, after a year, this, too, has begun to give me rashes! Erg. It was nice while it lasted. —Arabelle

Secret Powder Fresh Invisible Solid (Procter & Gamble)
There is no real reason why I wear this brand. I started buying it because I like rubbing a smooth piece of white whatever under my armpits. Before, I was using the kind where the weird goo comes up through tiny holes like plants growing in fast motion, but it made my armpits feel petrified once it dried. I know nothing about its scientific benefits or pH this or that, it just works. It lasts forever and doesn’t stain your clothes, and sometimes I suspect it’s waterproof, because the only way it’ll come off is when I shave. I never smell bad, and you can’t really smell the deodorant either, so everyone wins. —Laia

Cleopatra Solid Fragrance (Tocca)
Tocca’s solid perfume makes me feel nice and fancy. I hate noticeable marks that sometimes result from using so-called “clear” deodorant on my brown skin, so I avoid the cake-y and flaky options at the drugstore. This smells divine and exotic, with hints of grapefruit, jasmine, patchouli, amber, and vanilla musk. It’s a tropical forest under my arms. And it has a queen’s crown on the front of the compact—regal for a scent named after the great pharaoh of Egypt. The gold-colored compact reminds me of Hepburn-era glamour. Also, it travels well and fits in those little TSA-approved baggies with ease. Its price tag is a little bit too dear at $30 per canister, but I think it’s worth it because a little dab truly goes a long way. —Jamia

Au Naturel (Jamie Keiles)
I don’t wear deodorant, and sometimes that means I smell a little bad. I honestly don’t give a shit. I don’t think I should feel self-conscious about something that my body does naturally, which is sweat. We are all just a bunch of fartin’ and burpin’ bags of skin, and I’m OK with this. In this way, I’m comfortable with my body. There are lots of conventional aspects of beauty that I embrace wholeheartedly (high-heeled shoes!!! Shaving my armpits!!!), and I do these because I like them. But I do not like wearing deodorant. —Jamie

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream (Soapwalla)
I’m proudly adding my voice to the chorus of those who’ve converted to what may be the greatest natural deodorant in history, Soapwalla Deodorant Cream. Being what you might call “the nervous type” as well as full of girl hormones, I struggle mightily with underarm sweat—indeed, it’s the most omnipresent manifestation of my anxiety, and one that can create an awfully vicious cycle: I sweat because I’m anxious, then I’m anxious because I’m sweating, which in turn creates more sweat, which creates more anxiety, and on and on. For years I used Speed Stick, which worked just fine until about 5:30 PM every day, and then it was anybody’s guess what might happen. My doctor prescribed Drysol, which I nixed when Google searches turned up what to me may as well have been a skull and crossbones (aluminum, rashes, outbreaks, etc). Desperate for a solution that might make me feel human and relatively non-smelly (I’ve accepted that non-sweaty just isn’t possible), I turned to Soapwalla. It’s on the expensive side ($12), but every single cent is worth it. It neutralizes smells, it’s easy to apply (it’s a cream, so you just smear it on your armpits with your fingers), it leaves no streaks on your clothes, and the little plastic jars are super convenient to carry around and apply on the go. And it’s concocted by an independent female entrepreneur, to boot! Having tried to covertly apply bar deodorant while walking many a New York City sidewalk (not really possible, btw) only to suffer the familiar disgust at its inability to do the job, I can’t express how appreciative I am that this product exists. I’d be lost all over again without it. —Emily C.

UPDATE: After using Soapwalla for six months, I got a terrible rash of red sores and had go to the doctor. She said it could be an allergic reaction, so I can’t shave or wear deodorant for the time being and am marching in solidarity with Jamie. —Emily C.

Fragrance-Free Liquid Rock (Kiss My Face)
I have this theory that if you force some part of your body to stop sweating, the sweat will find somewhere else to escape from, which is why I don’t use antiperspirant—I don’t want some other part of my body to have to take over sweating duties from my pits. So I like this stuff, lets you sweat, but your sweat is magically ODOR FREE, because one of the ingredients prevents the growth of the bacteria that create body odor (or, as a French girl at the perfume store once called it, “body chemistry”—so much sexier!). The downside is that it goes on really wet, so you have to sit around topless, with your arms lifted so your pits get some air, for a few minutes after applying. I use this time to watch television, so for me it’s productive. But it’s a pain when you’re in a hurry, which is why I think I’m gonna switch to Soapwalla after hearing Emily rave about it. But! If you want an unscented alternative (Soapwalla has a smell), this is a good one, in my opinion. —Anaheed

Old Spice Original High Endurance (Procter & Gamble)
Like Emily, I’m trapped in a cycle of sweat-producing anxiety/anxiety-producing sweat. And it isn’t a healthy ripeness (I suspect that I eat too much cheese). Within 20 minutes of a shower on a hot day, or even just a busy one, or even a not-so-busy one, I catch a whiff of faint primal odor, one I’m both fascinated and disgusted by. Loved ones have remarked that they can “smell a bad day” on me. And this deodorant doesn’t really combat it all that well. I wear it because it reminds me of my first boyfriend, and sometimes when I start to sweat, it mixes with that musky, Old Spice scent and creates a pleasant sense-memory. So the results are mixed, but I recommend it if you want to smell like a cute 19-year-old boy. —Phoebe

Tom’s of Maine Wild Lavender (Tom’s of Maine)
My boyfriend in college told me that antiperspirant would rot my pits, because pits are supposed to stink and drip sweat and not be plugged up with aluminum. Other than not creating pit-rot, the main criteria for a good deodorant is that it glides on super smooth and doesn’t feel cake-y or powdery. And also that it smells oppressively of fake flowers. Check one, two, and three. But if you drip a lot and feel super self-conscious about having BO, this stick o’ lavender will probably not do a lot to change that. A little while ago, I was on a date with this aspiring comedian who kept stealing my jokes for his stand-up act, and I was wearing this fine-ass polyester maxi dress from the ’70s. I had to run to the bathroom after 20 minutes of sitting there and smelling myself, get naked from the waist up, and wash my pits with that weird pink soap that they have in every public restroom. Midway through, I decided: fuck this. If he’s gonna steal my jokes, then he’s gonna have to smell me. So Tom’s is a very appropriate deodorant for bad dates with unfunny comedians. —Jenny ♦