Homemade Deodorant: I Swear It Works and I Don’t Smell Like Patchouli

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been buying Suave-brand deodorant, for no other reason than that it’s the cheapest (bottom-shelf shopper!). But over the past year or so I’d been feeling like it wasn’t, ahem, working for me anymore. And since I’ve been slowly switching to all organic/green products in my life over the past few years, I felt it would be a good time to try not starting my day by rubbing cancer-causing aluminum all over my pits!

First, I tried a deodorant made by Tom’s of Maine. I’m easily overwhelmed by smells – I don’t wear perfume and pick very mild scents in the products I buy – so I went with the original unscented version (I did have a little chuckle in the store over the patchouli scented version  – HIPPIES!). While I’m not a huge fan of how Tom’s toothpaste tastes, I thought there was no way they could go wrong with something as straightforward as deodorant, especially because I wouldn’t be eating it. Hmmm, how can I say this? After a week of applying it, twice a day, I felt that not only was it not stopping me from smelling, it was making me smell…weird! It was like the unscented scent was mixing with my body’s chemistry to create a new scent that was just slightly off, like hands after wearing rubber gloves, or the back row of the movie theater. Not ok.

But then I remembered reading a post on a new fave blog of mine, Oh Dear Drea, where she talked about making her own deodorant. Now this is a lady who works in a food truck in swamp-land Florida, so she understands the need for serious odor control! Butchy and I happened to be going into town to buy a new bed, so we made a quick stop at The Mustard Seed so I could pick up some supplies.


This is Drea’s recipe that I followed:

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup Arrowroot Powder, 1 lb. or Bob’s Red Mill makes some too.
6 tablespoons coconut oil
15 drops Eucalyptus Oil (or any essential oil. this is what I had and work’s great)

Mix baking soda and arrowroot powder in a bowl. Add coconut and eucalyptus oil. Mix well. Scoop into jar. Keep in a cool-dry place or in fridge.

I already had the baking soda and the little tins, and I decided to skip the essential oil (scentssss), so I really just needed to buy the coconut oil and arrowroot powder. The process was extremely easy, although a little messy. And the recipe made enough to fill 3 of the little tins, with plenty left over to make many more batches – which makes up for the $8 price tag on the coconut oil!


For those that don’t know, coconut oil doesn’t actually smell like coconuts. So by not adding the essential oil, I had created a completely scentless base from which to try out this homemade anti-stank experiment.

So what’s the verdict? Well, so far (approximately 4.5 days in) I can only say one thing: It’s a MIRACLE! Straight up, “my lawdy, I can WALK again” down the church aisle type of miracle. I simply scoop and rub a little on in the morning and it lasts all day and all night. I cannot say enough good things about this whole blessed sweet sweet smelling (or, non-smelling) situation. It’s incredible that I didn’t try it sooner! Seriously, my advice to anyone looking for a cheaper, healthier, green(ish) deodorant is to trash the store-bought and get on this – stat.

25 responses to “Homemade Deodorant: I Swear It Works and I Don’t Smell Like Patchouli

  1. Like I said on FB, this has been on my to-do list for awhile. Some vegan friends of mine made their own last year, which was how I learned about using arrowroot powder. I’m glad to know of another success! I will definitely add the powder to my shopping list. I’ll probably need more coconut oil… Mine is old… I will let you know how it works out!

  2. Reblogged this on The Ditzy Druid and commented:
    My friend misscorinne recently started to make her own eco-friendly deodorant and reports it’s a success! I’ve been meaning to try this for awhile, and she’s certainly inspired me to go for it!

    As we all prepare for Lá Fhéile Bríde and spring with cleaning, don’t forget the importance of cleaning your body and your shopping habits.

      • No problem! I have a lot of followers who are also interested in natural living. Please check my reblog because some people have responded with questions and concerns. Perhaps you would have some thoughts about it based on your experience thus far?

  3. Wow, I thought it was just me…I’d been using Tom’s of Maine Refreshing Lemongrass up to 3 times a day – it also made me smell just weird! I’ve tried so many different aluminum free deodorants, but haven’t come across one that I really am truly satisfied with. I’m very eager to try this recipe & hope that it stands up to the Georgia summers down here!

    • Hi RavynStar! Haha, yeah Tom’s definitely creates a just plain weird smell – blech. Please let me know how the recipe holds up down in Georgia….I’m interested to see how it works here in the summer!

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  4. I used baking soda alone for a while as a deodorant stand in. And it was great. I didn’t smell at all. BUT after a few weeks I did find it irritated my pits. (see my post here:http://thewellnessbitch.com/2010/09/24/retraction/ ) Now, I try no deodorant as much as possible. Easier in the winter than the summer, and easier when I have access to a bathroom where I can wash my pits if necessary.

    • I definitely hear what you’re sayin’! I did notice some irritation the other day, but figured out that (in my case, at least) it was due to the fact that I start my morning with a shower and a shave, and then almost immediately put the home-made deodorant on my pits. My temporary solution was to not shave for a couple days (yay, winter!) and that seemed to work. I think I will try shaving in the evening before bed and doing deodorant in the morning, or vice-versa….No deodorant at all is, unfortunately, not an option for me!

  5. I haven’t tried to make my own deodorant yet. I buy a deo block from Lush, which is more expensive than buying my own but it last for what seems like forever and I like the way it smells!

    • I say whatever works for you! While I’m interested in making my own lip balm and lotion next, there are certain products I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go “all natural” with: Hair products in particular, since my hair fussy and only behaves with a strict regime!

    • I highly recommend trying it. The only thing is keeping it at the right temperature. We had the wood stove cranked recently and our house got to around 80 degrees, which turned the deodorant into pure liquid. But all I had to do was put it in the fridge for a bit so it could solidify again.

      Thanks for checking in – I love your blog also!

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  9. Nice tip! My wife uses straight grain alcohol on her armpits because it kills bacteria. It’s a bit expensive though. I’ll show her this. Thanks for stopping by my blog…though I do like patchouli. Hippies indeed. 🙂

  10. I s ther another option besides coconut oil. I am getting a rash. I have tried leaving out the baking soda, tried arrowroot instead but still have a rash. Would Shea butter work?

    • Hmmm…jojoba oil is supposed to be good for sensitive skin. You could also try cocoa butter or any other natural oil (almond, neem, avocado…). I personally felt the baking soda was more to blame for the rash when applied too soon after I shaved!

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