Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Give me strawberry-scented armpits, or give me sweat! (A Food-Adjacent Rant + Review)

A bonus post with photos from my private stash and an illustration!

Give me strawberry-scented armpits, or give me sweat!

I love food smells, whether it's cupcake perfume, pumpkin body butter, or Thanksgiving Dinner scented candles, but I also love practicality. Two things that (typically) don't go together. Since items like this are usually for children, or novelty collectibles, the quality leaves a lot to be desired. 

With millennial fashion coming back in a big way, (low rise jeans and lace camis as far as the eye could see), why not scents? 

The early 2000's blessed me with things like Bath & Body Works Temptations, Jessica Simpson's Dessert Treats, and Strawberry Teen Spirit deodorant. Fantastic, functional, foodie products but, slowly, everything I loved was taken from me. Maybe it's time we brought them back. 

Dessert Treats was the first to go. It was created by Jessica Simpson and the gimmick was that all of these cosmetic items were "edible." Story goes that her husband (at the time) kissed her neck and got a mouth full of perfume, so she wanted to make beauty products that would taste good in such a scenario. Perfumes, lotions, shimmer body dust, and lip-gloss, all food themed, scented, and flavored. Sadly, they tasted awful, BUT they smelled amazing. My favorite item was the cupcake perfume. It smelled like maraschino cherries and I went through several bottles. It was the best! So, what happened? To quote this Bustle article, "Lawsuits, apparently."  Whoops. Well, there go my hopes of Jessica Simpson cashing in on millennial nostalgia with a limited edition re-release. Boo. 

I have the cupcake-shaped cap to a perfume bottle kicking around my house somewhere, and only a few years ago did I finally throw away my banana split scented body shimmer that had turned a completely different color. (Which I  now regret.) If it could come back, the main product I would want, and stock up on, would be the perfumes. They lasted all day and smelled like actual cherries and candy, 100/10, would recommend.

While I'm on the subject of food scented perfumes, Juice Bar deserves a shout out. More pre-teen fragrances with a focus on sweets. They had scents like lemonade, cotton candy, and gummy bear. (I can still hear the commercial in my head!) They were good, but the Jessica Simpsons scents were great. 

Then, Temptations bit the dust. 

The Bath and Body Works line was massive, everything from cinnamon buns to seasonal scents, to boozy beverages, and they always smelled eerily accurate, like some kind of Willy Wonka witchcraft. They were really popular and used to take up an entire wall of the store. 

My top three are:
Simply Devine Cherry Pie - Buttery pie crust with jammy sweet cherries 
Frosting Forever - Really warm and buttery vanilla that is intensely sweet
Iced Tea Twist - Smells exactly like lemon iced tea mix

Temptations scents were available in lotions, lip-glosses, body sprays, and a 3-in-one shower product. (Shampoo, bubble bath AND body wash? Triple threat.) I mainly used the 3-in-ones as bubble bath since I have curly hair and need to use specialty shampoo, but the lotions were my favorite product overall. Forget Cucumber Melon, if they do another throwback scent sale, I want to see Temptations front and center. I grabbed these on eBay ages ago. They still smell amazing, but I don't actually use them on my body anymore.

Teen Spirit held out the longest. When I was younger, there were several scents, coconut, berry, strawberry, and Pink Crush. Strawberry was my go-to. Despite it's gimmicky premise, it was actually a great deodorant, and this scent smelled exactly like strawberry Bubblicious bubble gum. My high school had gym class every single day and this candy scented deodorant got me through it. Slowly, scents were fazed out, only strawberry and Pink Crush remained for several years. Then, just Pink Crush. But that was only in America, Canada still had the good stuff, so I would pay the big bucks to have a three pack of strawberry deodorant shipped to my house. Eventually the Canadian deodorant market dried up. Only Pink Crush remains, but it just doesn't compare. I have one stick left, and I save it for nostalgic sniffing. 

Since the discontinuation of these items, I have found other perfumes and lotions to fill the void, but I never found a replacement deodorant. Secret had a Macaron-scent that I liked for a while, but it too was discontinued. I guess there just isn't a market for food scented armpits anymore. (A lot of things say they're fruity or foodie, but they are NOT. It's always floral-musky-lies!) 

I watch a LOT of YouTube, so my feed was bombarding me with Native deodorant sponsorships, and it worked. Various influencer pitches left me feeling like Native was healthier, more eco-friendly  AND they supported creators I loved. The final nail in the consumer coffin was that they had a food-themed line! Sign Me up! I clicked on the affiliate links....and a single stick is $13-14!?! That is insanity. I can get 2-3 "normal" deodorant sticks for that price, AND I was taking a risk buying online stick-un-sniffed! No way. Turns out you can buy these in-person at Target, were I have a Red Card discount, and I can see what they smell like before taking the plunge.

I checked them out, and they smelled great. Dammit. 

I picked up 3 sticks: Fresh Peach Cupcake, Mint Cookie Cupcake, and Sugar Cookie. Easily the most expensive deodorants I have ever purchased, but I thought they'd be worth it. 

They weren't. 

Positive: they smell amazing. Peach cupcake had a bright, juicy, accurate peach aroma. It was my favorite of the three. I used it up first, and fairly quickly I might add. 
Negative: Everything else. 

The deodorant leaves my armpits feeling greasy, like coconut oil, and you go through it a lot faster than I expected because it's so soft, but you have to be careful. If you put on too much you end up with clumpy, oily, pit-bits that can pick up lint from your shirt. It's not cute. 

Also not cute? Sweat. Lots of sweat. I guess all the "bad stuff," just so happen to be the antiperspirant parts, because I have never sweat this much in my life. The only change I made was switching to these deodorants, so they are definitely to blame for my pit-dicament. 

Reapplying throughout the day was never something I had to do before. It's very annoying, because I have to completely wipe my armpits clean before reapplying otherwise the smells didn't get masked, they just layered on top of one another. If I skipped this step, I smelled like a bunch of peaches had been forced to run the mile. The absolute kicker? The edges of applicator hurt my skin. I have to roll the deodorant up higher to prevent the container from making any contact, but that makes me over apply leading to pit-bits AND going through the stick that much faster. Otherwise it feels like my arm pits have sunburn. That's how chaffed and stingy they feel. I don't even have sensitive skin! It's bad in every way it possibly could be, especially for something so pricey! 

I thought that I might have to adjust to it, since it's a more natural option but I am a stick and a half into this change, and it just isn't working out.

Quick run down of the other scents: Mint Cookie Cupcake, amazing girl-scout goodness, but the same problems as the peach version. Sweaty cookies are not the vibe I was going for, and my pits were both chalky and soaking wet at the same time. No thanks. Sugar Cookie is the best of the three endurance wise, I smell fresh for nearly 5 hours, but by the end of the work day my sweet vanilla cookie scent was replaced by sweaty teenager. 

Maybe these work for other people, but they definitely don't work for me. Native body washes or something else would be a better fit for me to still enjoy these scents, but these products are also stupidly expensive. I mean, thirteen freaking dollars for one single deodorant that doesn't even de-odor-me? What's next? The body wash smells great but has literal dirt in it? I just can't rationalize it away. I like the idea of Native, but it just isn't for me. 

We all know how frugal I am and how I hate wasting food, well the same goes for expensive underperforming deodorant. I finished peach already, sugar cookie is on it's last legs, and mint is next on my completionist deck. After that, I'll be on the lookout for a new food-themed deodorant to try, and it can only go up from here. Right? 

Help a sweaty girl out! Send me some leads or leave a comment with your favorite deodorant recommendation, ideally ones with food themed options if at all possible. Or maybe someone has an underground Strawberry Teen Spirit supplier they are willing to share?  A girl can dream. 

In the meantime if you think you smell some sweaty girl scout cookies nearby, it probably just me. #definitelynotsponsored

I had a lot of fun writing this, and showing off my stash, and making the little illustration. I hope you guys liked it too! Now, back to actual, edible, food posts.  

Fans of this would also like: My post about Food Scented Candles

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  1. Native sucks so hard! They had candy cane scented deodorant at Christmas a couple of years back. Fantastic as a thing to smell; terrible as a deodorant. Best deodorant I've found lately is secret balancing minerals in cozy vanilla, the solid version. Not exactly edible, but adjacent to a vanilla cupcake scent.

    1. Thanks for the tip! I'll have to check cozy vanilla out, it's been so humid this summer and sweaty girl scout scented pits aren't cutting it.

  2. I bought a small native deodorant in vanilla coconut and it did not work for me either for it's intended purpose. Now I use it for layering perfume or body spray. I slick some around my collar bone and my arms and then potion or spray. It has worked really well for that. Almost like a stick prefume.

    1. I could see that working out, their scents really are lovely, but when as a deodorant it just doesn't work for me. I've stubbornly been trucking through, but at summer gets hotter, I'm more aware of how much it doesn't work. I'm going to try and grab a new stick of the real stuff today (Probably the Secret Cozy Vanilla the comment above mentioned)

  3. They don't make deodorant, but check out the indie perfumer KYSE. Her gourmand scents are delicious, especially the marshmallow one! Arcana Craves is another indie perfume brand with some nice strawberry scents!