Q: I have suffered from foul-smelling armpits as far back as I can remember. I have tried every deodorant on the market to no avail — Dove, Lady Speed Stick, Soft & Dri, Degree, Suave, Mitchum, Ban, Crystal, vinegar, baking soda, milk of magnesia, alcohol, Arrid Extra Dry and Certain Dri. Certain Dri was the best of these, but there still seemed to be an underlying aroma to my pits.
I decided to try Listerine, as I’d seen it in some comments on your Web site. I was worried that I would smell before the day’s end, but I was actually fresh when I got home. That just doesn’t happen, trust me. Listerine is the way to go!
A: We are as surprised as you are that Listerine worked to control odor so well.
This old-fashioned mouthwash has no antiperspirant activity, but perhaps the alcohol and herbal oils (thymol, eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate) kill germs and fungi well enough to prevent an unpleasant smell for hours.
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.