Best of: Natural Deodorants.


Sometimes, in the name of blogging, we take one for the team. In this case, it was me… trying all of the natural deodorants. Get ready for a long post because like guys, I’ve been working on this post since mid-summer and have tried all of the things.

Oh man. If you’ve been on the pursuit to find a great natural deodorant, you know what I’m talking about. There’s always something wrong. Whether it’s the formula (I’m so not into putting deodorant on with my fingers) fragrance (many of them have a decidedly herbal scent), or actual performance (the Lavanila one smells so good but you really need to reapply throughout the day) there is no perfect formula.

For fun, let’s start talk about what didn’t work. The crystal. Has anyone tried the crystal? It does not work. I have never smelled worse. The crystal has this cult following which I just do not understand. It does not actually do anything in particular to a) stop sweating or b) make you smell good. I’m seriously at a loss here, so if anyone has any insights about the crystal I’d love to hear them. Maybe I did something wrong! Also on the did-not-work list: Toms of Maine. I really wanted to love it because I’m a fan of the brand and love their toothpastes, but no. It does not work. It smells lovely, like honeysuckle… but does nothing. And I’d heard so many good things about I Love My Armpits’ deodorant, but I actually hated it. It felt like rubbing smelly green clay under my arms and within a few hours I smelled like a disgusting mix of herbs and B.O. Gross.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about what I actually liked:

Lavanila’s deodorants smell amazing. Better than any of the others. And (major bonus points), you apply it just like regular deodorant. I love all of the scents (especially the lavender vanilla.) That said, you will need to reapply. If I’m wearing this one, I usually apply in the morning, after work, and then again before bed. So… that’s a bit of a commitment. But if you are cool with reapplying, you get to smell really nice and apply your deodorant without using your fingers.

Next up: the cream/jar formulas. I tried a lot of these… this is the most popular natural deodorant formula, but there were three that I really liked. And with all three of these, they fit the bill in that I’d apply in the morning after showering and still smell good climbing into bed.

  • Soapwalla’s deodorant was the first natural deodorant I ever tried and it’s great because it WORKS. Prior to testing all the things, I’d been loyal to this one for about a year. It’s highly effective. That said, it has a rather herbal scent (not as bad as some of the others, though…) and again, I hate applying with my fingers. I will say that when I first started using this one, I did experience a good amount of irritation… but that went away within a few days.
  • Meow Meow Tweet is very similar in consistency to the Soapwalla formula, but it smells better. There are three scent varietals: lavender, grapefruit (my fave), and tea tree. It’s a little less irritating because it does not contain baking soda.
  • Lastly, Schmidt’s. So many of you suggested this formula but (while yes, it does work) it was my least favorite of the bunch… simply because the formula is rock hard… more like candle wax than a cream. It comes with a little plastic dagger for you to break off a piece… but then it’s a pain rubbing it into your underarms. While this one is effective (and smells great — there are several varieties) it’s a pain in the butt. If you can get past that, it works and smells great… so I included it here.

A lot of natural deodorants also come in a spray formula.

  • Weleda’s spray deodorants smell amazing and last all day. I don’t really love the spray formula (it’s kind of messy and you have to let it dry before getting dressed) but they’re effective and smell really good. I tried both the citrus and the sage versions.
  • The Organic Pharmacy also makes a really nice natural deodorant spray (though I’ll say that it has a verrrry herbal scent… rosemary, sage, bergamot, etc.) It works, though!

We’ll save the best for the last, and the best of the best in my opinion was Fig & Yarrow’s Underarm Lotion. This formula is different than the others in that it’s in a small pump bottle (which looks very lovely on your vanity, I might add.) The formula is more viscous than the others, in that it’s more of a creamy liquid. I’ll apply one pump to each underarm and call it a day. The scent is not my favorite, but it’s the most effective and the easiest to apply so it wins, in my book! It’s on sale right now, so I really hope they are not discontinuing it!

PS – Since I know you’ll ask… if I’m working out, it’s Soapwalla or Fig & Yarrow. Always. The others are great for everyday use, but won’t necessarily stand up to an intense spin class.

The bottom line is that none of these products are perfect, and you have to make concessions based upon your priority (ease of application, scent, etc…) but there are still some products that work really, really well. I won’t go into the reasons you need a natural deodorant (I’ve heard people get all up in arms about this) and I do wear regular deodorant from time to time… but I almost always use natural deodorant. If you’ve found one you love, I’d love to hear it in the comments!

Leave a Comment


  1. Luxxmint says 2.17.15

    Really well researched Grace! I don’t think we have many of those brands in the UK but I shall certainly look.


    • jeanette says 10.10.15

      I have tried many of the top [expensive] natural deodorants on the market & for me this is by far the very best I’ve used. It is also an extremely natural formula. But the best thing about it, like its website says: “It Works!”
      The scent is amazing & if you suffer from body odor problems, chronic or otherwise, this product will help, & the price is right. I work out extremely hard with sports & it seems like the more I sweat, the better it works, and I feel good that it truly is natural. Great product!

  2. Kimberly says 2.17.15

    Thank you so much for sharing these – I have been on a similar mission lately and have yet to find the perfect product – will definitely check out the Fig & Yarrow brand!

  3. Cherie says 2.17.15

    I don’t know if it is available in the US, but the Moo Goo natural deodorant is amazing. Faint smell, and holds up to a workout! Best I have used.

  4. brittany says 2.17.15

    Fat and the Moon! It is absolutely perfect! I run 4-5 miles a day and still don’t stink!

  5. Carolyn says 2.17.15

    I tried Lavanila for a while (a year?) and honestly, it just never worked that well – definitely had to be reapplied like you said, and I felt smelly by the end of the day. I switched to Soapwalla about a year ago and I’m a fan. I don’t mind applying with my fingers, it’s just my new normal. I recently tried Honest Co’s new spray deodorant – I don’t think it works at all. I’ll use it if I’m hanging out around the house (the spray feels refreshing, but long-lasting deodorant effects just aren’t there, especially if you’re sweating).

  6. Alyson says 2.17.15

    Great post, Grace! Just what I needed. I’ve been testing out the Erbaviva ones and they’re working well for me. Have you tried those yet? They’re in a spray form so you have to let them dry. I definitely want to try the Fig & yarrow one!

  7. Cory says 2.17.15

    Try Ollie & Max Soap Company on Etsy. Their coconut vanilla deodorant works just as well as the Soapwalla product, but smells infinitely better!

  8. Jackie (York Avenue) says 2.17.15

    Gahh, I must be, like, the ONLY person that Soapwalla doesn’t work for! I always see people saying it’s the only one that works, so I have been trying it for a while, and I would say for me it works only if I’m like, completely relaxed and not encountering any stressful situations at all. The second something stressful happens, it’s like I never applied it at all. Umm that’s probably TMI, sorry :). I am going to try the Fig and Yarrow one next I suppose. I really want to switch to natural deodorant but I HATE the feeling of sweat on my clothes, so I haven’t been able to really commit. Work in progress! Anyway great post, love the research that went into it!

  9. Sophie // Sip Savour Share says 2.17.15

    Hi Grace,

    Thanks for this write up!

    I’m like you – love beauty and makeup but prefer to keep it as natural as possible.

    I have tried EVERY natural deodorant as well (also hated Tom’s), but my absolute fave is Saje ( I apply it in the morning (a few sprays, let it dry) and I don’t smell or sweat AT ALL (and I spin everyday).

    I hope you get a chance to try it!



    • graceatwood says 2.17.15

      ooh that is so interesting! thanks for the tip – I’ve never heard of them. which scent do you like best?!

    • jeanette says 10.10.15


      I have tried them too! And though many of them were “natural” & “organic”, they didn’t work.

      This is by far the very best really natural deodorant I have tried & it does work, even under extreme conditions[in my case, heavy workouts & sweating]

  10. Katie says 2.17.15

    Great post! My husband and I have gone the natural deodorant route too, but it took a while to find the right one. Enter—Arm & Hammer. This one rocks. No aluminum, and it still applies like a regular deodorant. I find there really isn’t much of a scent, and I only have to reapply some days, like if I’m really nervous about a meeting or whatever. But generally, it’s worked great for both of us!

  11. Sharona says 2.17.15

    Have you tried the Eucalyptus deodorant from Malin & Goetz?

    I think it works really well and keeps away the stink. Sometimes I have to reapply in the evening, but for the most part, it’s a great alternative to antiperspirant!

  12. Alexandra says 2.17.15

    Very interesting – and I’m impressed you’ve tried so many products! Super brave.

    Warm Regards,

  13. Jess Zimlich says 2.17.15

    You are one brave woman! I’m terrified of trying natural deodorant, mostly because I’ve only recently (in the last few years) discovered clinical strength that actually works for me.

  14. Alison Dulaney says 2.17.15

    This is a great roundup, deodorants are loaded with chemicals, it is nice to know that there are others out there that are not! I’m interested in the spray version from Welelda

  15. Victoria McGinley says 2.17.15

    I’ve been a Lavanila girl for many years now. I don’t really sweat profusely, so it works for me even in workouts. Though, can I admit something? I can’t believe I’m going to publish this publicly, but most days, I don’t even wear deodorant. I only swipe on the Lavanila if I’m working out, or going somewhere where I think I’ll overheat like a crowded party or bar or something (as you know, Grace, I am a wild child). Otherwise, I really just don’t sweat. #Gross? #Weird?

    • graceatwood says 2.17.15

      Not gross or weird… Lucky! I would smell terrible if I did that!

    • erica says 2.17.15

      I’m with you Victoria, I rarely wear deodorant. It never became part of my morning routine and then I discovered I could go without it (at least most days). I think you’re perfectly normal!

  16. Sherri D @ funfitflavor says 2.17.15

    I’ve tried a few of these and my absolute favorite is Lavanila! I’ve only had a couple of days where I had an embarrassing “smell”moment, but, I find this is the best formula for two common daily routines 1) Shower in the AM: Apply in the morning and then apply before an afternoon/evening workout or 2) Shower at night, apply and then apply again before morning workout, then maybe apply again after work if you are going out or seeing people. Otherwise you should be good to go!

  17. Moni says 2.17.15

    Great to know there are more options out there & that I’m not the only one who was SO disappointed with some of the options I’ve tried (I’m an adoring fan of some TOMS products, but not their deoderant). My co-op sells a brand called Jason that I’ve been really happy with!

  18. Juliana says 2.17.15

    I’ve tried the Lavanilla one and it does smell so good! but I can never remember to reapply! The Toms deodorant really did not work for me, it gave me B.O within a few hours.

    Gahh.. the struggle – with natural deodorants, I’m always paranoid, taking a sniff every few minutes to make sure everything’s in order. I have to check out the Soapwalla one though, could be something.

  19. The Preppy Vegan says 2.17.15

    You’re a brave soul! I agree that the choice between smelling like body odor or patchouli isn’t much of a choice at all…sigh. I’ve found that Kiss My Face deodorant in Lavender does the trick, but then again it’s winter…

  20. Jessie says 2.19.15

    SO glad you did this post. Thanks for doing the dirty work for us. I’ve been wanting to make the switch but hate using products that don’t deliver results. I’m going to give Fig & Arrow a try based on your recommendation. And just out of curiosity, do you have any issues with staining when you use it?

    • graceatwood says 2.19.15

      No staining! That said, it’s white and I haven’t tried it with anything sleeveless + black… that could be the true test 😉

    • jeanette says 10.10.15

      I have tried many of the top [expensive] natural deodorants on the market & for me this is by far the very best I’ve used. It is also an extremely natural formula. But the best thing about it, like its website says: “It Works!”
      The scent is amazing & if you suffer from body odor problems, chronic or otherwise, this product will help, & the price is right. I work out extremely hard with sports & it seems like the more I sweat, the better it works, and I feel good that it truly is natural. Great product!

  21. Jillian says 3.15.15

    Ever heard of Lavilin?

    The product is great and I’ve been using it for years. Everything I need from a product – all-natural, long-lasting (5 days each time), nice scent. They also have a foot cream.

    This review speaks highly of them as well 🙂

    • graceatwood says 3.15.15

      ooh no – I haven’t tried them – but THANK YOU for sharing!

    • graceatwood says 3.15.15

      ooh no, I have not! Thank you for the suggestion! xx

  22. Drew says 4.8.15

    Try the Les Couvent des Minimes alum deodorant. It’s great for men and women. I use it too. There’s no alcohol or aluminum (alum is different and natural). It’s on the pricier side, but so worth it.

  23. Katie says 5.19.15

    This post is so helpful. I just ordered sample sizes of Fig & Yarrow’s underarm lotion, Meow Meow Tweet’s grapefruit no baking soda, and Soapwalla for comparison. Hoping one of them will be my new staple. I tried using Lavanilla in the past, but didn’t find it was strong enough. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  24. Rebekah says 7.18.15


    Thank you for going out of your way to personally try and review each of these products. I loved reading your thoughts for each one. Great picks! 🙂


    • jeanette says 10.10.15

      This is the best, really natural & relatively inexpensive deodorant that I have used. It works! And the scent is amazing!