Like practically every other bella, I like a deodorant that’s “strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.” Meaning it has to step up and keep me respectable through the most oppressive heat and my body’s funkiest hormonal swings. The ideal deodorant would glide effortlessly onto my armpits and leave absolutely no trace, all while still leaving me feeling and smelling as pretty and fresh as I wanna be.

I have yet to find the ideal deodorant. It’s always two out of three – most often they glide smoothly and smell great, but leave tell-tale signs of residue. That’s just how it is. And having read a few articles about deodorant being bad for me, I decided to give the alternative antiperspirant thing a try. Again. This time around I tried Lavilin, a “unique herbal deodorant free of aluminum and other harsh chemicals.” Lavilin promises that just one application can leave you odor free for up to seven days.

I decided to take the Lavilin challenge and chart my 7-day experience. All in the name of being a braver beauty blogger.

Before you begin using Lavilin, you’re supposed to refrain from using other deodorants for two days. So my advice to you if you plan to try it yourself — if you don’t want to wind up stinky and sweaty-pitted, try to start on a cool day when you don’t have to do any strenuous activities and be around lots of people.

Day 1 — I can’t lie. My first thought as I opened the package was, this is weird. And kinda old school. Lavilin comes in this little funky jar with three pointy little legs, like a spaceship in a 1950’s film. It’s a thick white cream that smells like… well, nothing really. Lavilin has a very mild scent that I can only compare to Pond’s cold cream or Nivea in the big blue jar. Very clean and cream-like, if that makes any sense. And did I mention it’s thick? You only need a fingertip-size dab to cover your whole armpit. Upon initial application it made my armpit looks really gray. Lavilin definitely took quite a while to fully absorb into my skin. But I’m skeptical. I apply this stuff on day 1 and it’s supposed to last a week? Through showering and sweating? Yeah, right.

Day 2 – Woke up smelling great! So I decided to challenge Lavilin with a workout. 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer got me sweaty, but not smelly. And after showering… still scentless. And my armpits felt particularly soft and touchable. That never happens with regular deodorant.

Day 3 – Experiencing some um… hormonal challenges? I don’t exactly smell… but I feel like I could at any time. Better compensate with extra perfume. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Perfecto!

Day 4 – OK I can definitely smell myself. This might be because I gave myself a brown sugar body scrub and exfoliated my armpits. Or it could be because I live in Miami, which is guaranteed to mean a case of swamp pits for anyone under any circumstance. Hmm. Tempted to reapply. I’ll try to stick it out to day 5. Maybe it’s in my head.

Day 5 – Yeah, it’s definitely not in my head. Now comes the big question — do I reapply more Lavilin, or go back to my regular favorites?

I went back to Dove on day 6.

Maybe you’ve got a reason to switch from the typical well known brands, maybe most deodorants give you a rash, maybe you’re looking for an alternative that feels healthier. If you’re looking for a aluminum-free deodorant replacement that really works, Lavilin is awesome. But if you’ve got no complaints with the popular brands, and prefer having the option to have armpits that smell like Vanilla Chai, then Lavilin may not be for you.

Click here to get Lavilin.

What’s your de-scenter of choice?

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Shawnta` says:
May 4, 2009, 9:24 pm
It's pretty cool that you actually tried this. I've heard & even read about how the benefits of using an all natural deordorant or anti-perspirant. I'm more of a Vanilla Chai smelling girl but maybe one day I'll consider exploring alternatives to regular deordorant. Thanks for sharing.
Lolo says:
May 4, 2009, 9:38 pm
Cool article! Never heard of Lavilin but it sounds interesting (and I love sci-fi packaging). For years I've been swearing by the roll-on crystal deodorant that operates on the same principle - kill the bacteria that cause smelliness but let people sweat! I can't imagine that clogging the pores that release toxins near your lymph nodes is any good for you... Anyway, the Naturally Fresh Ocean Breeze is my favorite and lasts through the sweaty A/C-less days at Sweat no problem. Here it is:
NickieNix says:
May 4, 2009, 9:43 pm
I never heard about Lavilin... but then again I buy my deodorant in bulk at Costco so I hadn't heard of Vanilla Chai scented deodorant either. The things you learn by reading blogs. :)
Beth says:
May 4, 2009, 9:56 pm
@Afrobella Are you only allowed to use it once a week? In other words, does it do something bad to your skin if you use it more often? I try to use natural deodorants (the green stains from antiperspirant freaks me out, among other things) but some of them don't work. If you can use Lavilin as often as needed--I'm used to using deodorant everyday, anyway--I might give it a shot.
pemora says:
May 4, 2009, 9:56 pm
i'm obsessed with dove, but am always on the hunt for new products...great review!
hiphopmuse says:
May 4, 2009, 10:02 pm
You are brave for taking on this challenge! I like the idea of natural deodorant in theory...but I still think that any deodorant, natural or not, would need to be applied every day. I just can't fathom deodorant lasting for 7 days through showers, hot sweaty days, workouts, etc.
Jamilia says:
May 4, 2009, 10:23 pm
I have been trying different aluminum-free deodorants for about a year and had to go back to dove a couple months ago. Couldn't take it anymore. Maybe I will give this one a try.
KianaB says:
May 4, 2009, 10:49 pm
I've tried crystals before, but they are no match for Alabama humidity. I'd love a natural deodorant that works since some of the regular ones cause itchy skin and rashes on me. I may give this a try.
Denise says:
May 4, 2009, 11:03 pm
I have used various natural deodorants. I've never heard of Lavellin. Currently, I use a deodorant brand called Alvera. It's inexpensive ( and works decently enough. On heavy sweating days, it doesn't last as long, but I sweat a lot. One thing that i do, that also helps is to wipe my armpits with alcohol to kill the bacteria.
TheHaiRazor says:
May 5, 2009, 8:44 am
Great review, I kinda want to try Lavellin now, but I live in the ATL and right now the weather is humid! LOL I'm obsessed with smelling good and I love my dove power fresh! I'll ponder on it more, esp because, like you, I've heard about the dangers of deodorants.
Norjunma1 says:
May 5, 2009, 9:34 am
A great experiment Bella, but don't freak yourself out too much. A lot of the claims regarding deodorant and antiperspirants being unhealthy are unsubstantiated. The American Cancer Society website has some good info on the subject. Until there's a reliable study conducted on this though, I'd save myself the sweat (literally).
cosimicsistren says:
May 5, 2009, 10:23 am
I have been using Applde Cider Vinegar for years. It works really well. If anyone is worried about the odor the smell goes away in a few minutes. It just doesn't work as well when you have hair under your arms. I highly recommend it!!
Curlychronicles says:
May 5, 2009, 11:48 am
I've never heard of this either..I stopped using commercial deodorants a while ago but the all natural ones don't I don't think any deodorant works for over 12 hours for me. I don't smell bad when I sweat which is probably due to the increased amount of raw foods I eat but I've started using the crystal rock in the liquid spray bottle and then dabbing on an essential oil mix or oil parfum mix of lavender and other essential oils. This has been working for me just fine. I also have accepted that when we get smelly, it's really just our bodies telling us we have a high accumulation of dead skin, bacteria, and dirt on us and we need to take a damn bath lol If I have to apply twice a day, that's alright.. commercial deodorants are sooo bad for our skin, especially us women because we shave and then apply directly to our skin which can be broken or sensitive at that point.
nichole says:
May 5, 2009, 12:29 pm
I loved your post and for being brave to try this product. I have been using natural deodorants for many years but I also live on the west coast in typical milder climates. One visit to Texas in July changed all of that. I had to buy some Secret and fast! I still like the natural way especially being aluminum free but there has to be one that can withstand weather that is over 82 degrees.
Comet says:
May 5, 2009, 1:16 pm
Hey Bella Have you tried Certain Dri deodorant? You have to put it on dry skin the night before. It's an antiperspirant, but it works great. No stains or cakey armpits and you can work out for at least two days without re application. I use it if I know I'm wearing sleeveless clothes. Otherwise it's Vanilla Chai for me. Love your blog!
Natakue says:
May 5, 2009, 1:33 pm
I switched to Adidas Aluminum-free Deodorant because I thought the aluminum in Secret was discoloring my pits. Between switching to this deodorant amd waxing, instead of shaving, there has been a dramatic improvement. I chose to make the switch during the winter since I'd be less sweaty, and I heard the body has to relieve itself of the (stinky) toxins for about a week or two before it gets used to any new deodorant. When I first started using it, I got nervous for dance/party nights. At first I would sneak and use Secret only when I knew I was going to be up-close-and-personal with people, or sweating up a storm. But one day I decided to try it during a strenuous workout session, where I wouldn't mind coming home stinky...and it worked!! Now I use this all the time and am never disappointed.
monti says:
May 5, 2009, 1:40 pm
I use Oyin's Funk Butter. It's the first thing I've tried that really seems to work. It is also the first natural deodorant that will take the odor away and not just prevent it. It has baking soda though, so can irritate the skin. I still love it. Maybe I should try this if it will give the same results without the irritation. Oh, and I live it Texas, so the Funk Butter has definitely been put to the ultimately test.
monti says:
May 5, 2009, 1:57 pm
or *ultimate test :)
Nina says:
May 5, 2009, 2:11 pm
Thanks for this review and sharing your experiment. I am fiercely product loyal (Mitchum or Degree for more than a decade) but now I'm reconsidering antiperspirant, so I plan to try Adidas for Women's aluminum-free deodorant (which you can still get online at Tend Skin's Purefection which is supposed to actually reduce ingrown hairs (just like their liquid product) so if it works, it'll be well worth it as a dual purpose product. Even the comments section of your blog is hopping. Now I want to try swabbing with alcohol or apple cider vinegar (thanks ladies!). I've also read about dusting your armpits with baking soda using a powder puff.
KF519 says:
May 5, 2009, 2:53 pm
I just started looking for an aluminum free deodorant and finally found one: Tom's of Maine. I just bought one in apricot scent and it's been great so far. Goes on clear and smooth and no residue so far.
Nikki says:
May 5, 2009, 3:39 pm
I used mitchum gel. I love dove products but not their deodorant and secret, and sauve did not do anything for me as well. Mitchum has survived the tests of summertime Chicago, Mississipi, Miami, China and Italy without leaving residue on my clothes or leaving me smelling icky so I stick with it. This post has inspired me to try something new when it comes to deodorant.
Nutmeg says:
May 5, 2009, 3:54 pm
Thanks for doing this review! I tried this a couple of weeks ago with similar results, but I haven't used since. Your review is prompting me to revisit.
Robyn says:
May 5, 2009, 4:26 pm
I use this deordorant for L'Occitane that works well although at $11 it is a little pricey. I've also been experimenting with coconut oil and that worked during a particularly stressful day. I may give the apple cider vinegar a whirl as well.
Pearlsrevealed says:
May 5, 2009, 8:45 pm
Lavlin works! I used it for a few months in 2005 and it was the only deo that ended an 18 month battle with a mysteriously bad body odor. Eventually, I discovered that the BO was a result of deo mixing with the residue from the shaving cream! I would bathe, then shave and then rinse my pits with water. When I began soaping my pits after I shaved, not only did the body odor cease but I now RARELY need to use deodorant. When I do use deo I use the unscented Tom's of Maine Sensitive Care deodorant stick in the mint green tube. It is aluminum-free and is a best seller at my local health food store. The bad BO episode is what lead me to begin experimenting with more naturally made health and beauty products. I also stopped using shaving creams & lotions from the big box stores. These turned my skin into sand paper. I know use apricot kernel seed oil and Alba Organic's shaving cream. The texture of my skin has improved dramatically and, as I said before, the rank odor is now a distant nightmare. Hallelujah!
mrspilkington says:
May 6, 2009, 6:31 am
this recipe works really well: i use lemongrass and bergamot for the essential oil component. there are also some good ideas and product suggestions in "Better Basics for the Home".
tdizzle says:
May 6, 2009, 12:55 pm
ive been on the no deo kick for a while though. and ive been through them all! lavelin is a good pick BUT it has peterleoum in it and i avoid that like the plague. never tried the crystals but im intrigued. ive even done baking soda! but one must be careful bec pure baking soda will burn ur skin!!! now i swear by toms of maine! it stands up to fl heat, lasts 12 hours and is pretty affordable
Sandhya says:
May 6, 2009, 3:05 pm
As a Miami girl, too, I love love love Mitchum's Smart Solid for Women. I hardly break a sweat, it doesn't dry out my skin the way Secret does because it's water-based, and it leaves NO RESIDUE! None! I have tried the gel version and don't like it as much. It also has a very light scent, so I can still wear perfume!
francie says:
May 6, 2009, 4:43 pm
i second monti on the Oyin Funk Butter - that stuff is amazing!
Doug Shovel And The Dirtbags says:
May 6, 2009, 11:06 pm
HAHAHAHA yo that's awesome
b. says:
May 7, 2009, 9:57 am
CNN is talking about deodorant too:
TheAL says:
May 7, 2009, 7:41 pm
The only natural deodorant that worked for me is Dr. Hauschka (floral scent). It's a little pricey, but it gets the job done without the harsh chemicals. Second best, I'd say, Tom's of Maine. I'm definitely going to try this one to see how it holds up. Thanks for the tip!
JeG says:
May 9, 2009, 10:54 am
What is Vanilla Chai is a scented oil? And does eating raw vegetables help you sweat less?
heyhey says:
May 9, 2009, 6:27 pm
Word of warning about the crystals. They definitely kill the smell, but if you sweat often the mineral salt can bleach your clothes in the pit area, particularly if there's a lot of cloth contact (think baby-t's and the like). Still, I use the crystal with loose clothing haul out the antiperspirant on certain occasions.
Pearlsrevealed says:
May 11, 2009, 3:28 am
Correction: The shaving cream I now use is by Alba Botanical not Alba Organics. sorry.
Brandi says:
May 12, 2009, 1:13 pm
Thanks Bella and readers for all of the tips. I truly can't go without deodorant or antiperspirant because I'll smell like a truck drive and sweat like one too. I'll have to try a few of your tips, on the weekend of course :) Bella, perhaps you can prepare a post about the irritating factors of shaving your underarms. I have heard that the razor can lead to dark spots and should be avoided. But then, what should we use?
shugabrown says:
May 12, 2009, 3:05 pm
I've been using Degree and can't seem to stop :o) I used to use dove but I can't seem to find the one that cleared up your pits. I have REALLY dark pits. How can I fix this??? Anyone?
TighT says:
May 17, 2009, 9:17 am
My mom made me use the crystal deodorant in high school. It didnt work and I would be laughed at by other kids for smelling "musty" I used to sneak and buy real deodorant from the store and keep it in my locker. I sweat a lot and I havent found a natural deodorant or antiperspirant that will work for me. Now that I am grown, I say screw the hazards. There are so many things we do that are killing us, deodorant is the least of my worries!
blessed 72 says:
November 1, 2009, 5:46 pm
mitchum solid antiperspirant says:
January 14, 2010, 4:00 pm
Well, I'm glad you tried it so I don't have to. I don't know if I could do the two days without deodorant, let alone try the lotion stuff. :) Thanks!
blah says:
May 19, 2010, 9:57 pm
Baking soda + corn starch + coconut oil I found this natural, frugal deodorant recipe from Simple Mom blog. it has coconut oil, baking soda, and corn starch (and the option of adding pure essential oils) From the reviews, it seems to be very effective and the coconut oil (which has antibacterial properties) is absorbed very quickly into the skin. Plus the coconut oil dries clearly under your arms. In the summer, you can store the mixture in a glass bottle in the fridge, so the coconut oil doesn't melt this is the site
Maureen Davis says:
November 23, 2010, 9:02 pm
LMBO at this WHOLE POST! U are hilarious and I think I have found my new FAVORITE WEBSITE!! Please keep it up! Where have you been my whole internet life?!!!
Belinda says:
May 25, 2013, 11:54 am
I had a similar experience with Lavilin - took a while to get used to. But once my body adapted, it's been smooth sailing ever since! I rarely apply it more than once a week, regardless of how many times I go to the gym. Absolutely fantastic product and could not be happier I found it!
Liz Claiborne Deodorants says:
June 20, 2013, 12:06 pm
I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this info for my mission. Here is my blog post Liz Claiborne Deodorants
Carol says:
June 22, 2013, 10:43 am
I suffer with the problem of underarm odor since childhood and it's horrible. Lavilin looks perfect - I do not need to spend 7 days without smell, spend a day without it would be a great profit - the problem is that they only sell it in my country on internet and my parents do not feel safe buying online. Could you sell to me? This would: I place the value of the product and charge more that you want in your bank account and when you receive the money you send me the deodorant in the mail. Please, please, please. Answer that, even if just to say no. Thank you!!
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Kendra says:
June 25, 2014, 4:09 am
Love the article. As a Lavilin customer, I can definitely relate to your experience :) It took me a while to get used to it, but I'm really glad I stuck with it because one I got over the hump it's been fantastic. No complaints!
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