I couldn’t decide at first what is was that bothered me most about the three girls who passed me on my way back to my dorm. They were barefoot and lithe as they pranced across the asphalt, their callused, dark feet the hooves of Training Level dressage horses. The bells along the hems of their gypsy skirts tinkled with each step and reached a crescendo when they bumped into each other, laughing. Then there was the smell. The musky scent of flesh and pot layered thick with patchouli made the air around them heavier, warmer. The hooves, the bells, the smell of cedar and dank earth all came together in a cacophony of contempt, but it didn’t take long to ferret out the largest pebble in my shoe. It was definitely the patchouli.
Fifteen years later and the smell of patchouli still reminds me of college and wannabe hippies with trust funds and J. Crew jeans tattered and torn just so. It’s a smell I never become accustomed to, one that never fades into the background. So, really, I have no idea why I bought the Kiss My Face deodorant in Peaceful Patchouli. That’s a lie. It was on sale and I thought it would grow on me.
I saved a dollar, give or take.
Two weeks later, the fog of scent-induced nausea was the only thing thicker than the stench of rotten dirt I smelled every time I moved my arms more than 10 degrees in any direction. I saved a dollar only to lose my stomach every morning I swiped that malodorous stick under my arms. I thought about the homemade deodorant Amy Karol of Angry Chicken scented with essential oils that didn’t make her stomach turn and promised myself to make some once I finished with the devil’s deodorant.
I decided to throw in the towel when I started using an old stick of Old Spice I found underneath the sink. I was too impatient to buy everything online so I went to my local health food store and paid triple the price, walking away with almost $20 in ingredients and supplies. I bought a deodorant I don’t like to save a dollar and spent $18 to replace it. Just to be clear, lawyers are lawyers because they aren’t good at math.
I know at least 300 of you are wondering why I didn’t just go and buy some powder-fresh Lady Mitchum. Here is where I divulge a little known facet of my personality. I love to make things from scratch, and the more obscure and random the better. I get immense satisfaction from making things like deodorant and cleaning supplies, especially when I am too lazy to go to the store. They are mad-cap science experiments that prove useful, and I love it.
As for the deodorant? Second to none. (I’ve made many before, and this one is definitely the best.) This isn’t an anti-perspirant so you won’t stop sweating, but I still carry the nice smell of the pea-sized amount I applied over 12 hours ago. My only goof was in the amount of Rose Absolute essential oil I added (I should have added more). I’ll remember that next time I need to make another batch, which should be in the year 2015 judging by how little I need to apply.
Now that I am smelling fresh like a rose garden (as opposed to the manure that fertilizes it), I think I will go try a new cracker recipe I just found.
I am not even kidding.