This week, intrepid Cup of Jo editor Caroline was tasked with trying five natural deodorants and rating them on a scale of one to five. Here’s her diary…

This week, intrepid Cup of Jo editor Caroline was tasked with trying five natural deodorants and rating them on a scale of one to five. Here’s her diary…

Let’s face it: “Awesome Natural Deodorant” is basically an oxymoron. But many standard formulas contain harsh chemicals and potentially harmful ingredients. So this past week, I slathered on five natural formulas, then went about my life—in hot, humid NYC—to see what worked and what didn’t…

Day 1: Tom’s of Maine Wild Lavender
This doesn’t work. It’s a shame because the wild lavender scent smells so good. But after an hour, the lavender part goes away and it just smells wild. “Hi-don’t-hug-me,” I greeted my friend at dinner, taking great care not to get too close. Throughout the meal, I kept my upper arms glued to my sides, wielding cutlery with just forearms, like a tiny T-Rex. Oh, well. Now we know. Rating: One out of five stars

Day 2: Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
Pros: One salt crystal can last up to a year, which means less money spent on deodorant and less waste for the environment. Cons: The part where it doesn’t actually deodorize. I’ve heard that salt crystals have legions of fans…who are you? (Really, I’d love to know.) I suspect this stuff may work for people who naturally smell fine. If that sounds like you, you’re lucky! If not, you probably shouldn’t buy this. Rating: Stars? What stars?

Day 3: Dr. Hauschka Deodorant Fresh
The label says it’s “refreshing and long-lasting.” Only half of that is true. The roll-on liquid does indeed smell fresh, but only for an hour or two. I usually love Dr. Hauschka products, but this didn’t stand up to a sweltering day. “Don’t worry,” said the boyfriend, “I like the way you smell.” That was sweet, but I doubt anyone else would have agreed. While this might be fine for a chillier season, I wouldn’t recommended it, unless you’re willing to carry it everywhere and frequently reapply. Rating: Two out of five stars

Day 4: Nourish Organic Deodorant
When I was a freshman in college, I learned a new word: frowzy, which was how my roommate described her underarm condition when it was less than fresh. I thought of that word many times while sporting this deodorant. It didn’t completely fail me, but I always felt, well, frowzy. I would wear this deodorant to read a book. I would not wear it on a run. Final verdict: Just okay. Rating: Three out of five stars

Day 5: LaVanila The Healthy Deodorant
By this point, I was about ready to reach for the clinical-strength Secret. Luckily, LaVanila swooped in to change my mind. It isn’t 100% perfect, but let’s be honest: what deodorant is? This was the winner of the pack, by far. I applied it in the morning and made it through the ENTIRE workday scent-free. I did need a quick touch-up before heading out in the evening, but this is New York in the summertime, so that’s to be expected. So happy to say: Recommended! Rating: Four out of five stars

Do you wear natural deodorant? Do you have a great recommendation that we didn’t try? If so, we’d love to hear!

P.S. How to get beachy waves and how to feel gorgeous on a date.