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Deodorant: 13 products tested

Last updated April 2017

If you're like most people, deodorant is part of your morning routine, after showering when you're feeling clean and fresh. Deodorant keeps sweaty smells at bay and is equally popular with women as men – that little deodorant container in the bathroom cupboard is just as important as your toothbrush. Human sweat doesn't actually smell. The characteristic sweaty odour is caused by small bacteria that flourish in warm, damp environments – such as sweaty armpits.

How deodorant works

Deodorants primarily function in up to three ways to keep us odour-free. The first of these is some form of added perfume to conceal the odour already caused by the bacteria. The second is a range of additives that kill the bacteria so they can't produce the substances that create the odour. These additives are most often alcohol or triclosan, but can also be some form of metal compound, which doesn't kill the bacteria, but helps to slow down bacterial growth. The third and last characteristic of some deodorants is that they reduce sweat – what's known as an antiperspirant. This takes place through substances that block the pores around the sweat ducts or make them contract. The most common of these is aluminium.

Because an antiperspirant blocks the sweat ducts and counteracts sweating, this type of deodorant can also be applied in the evening before you go to bed. An antiperspirant normally lasts for at least 24 hours, and if the deodorant is applied in the evening it has time to work properly before it's time for the day's exertions. If you use a deodorant where the primary aim is to produce a pleasant scent using perfume, you should continue as normal and apply it immediately after your morning ablutions for the best effect. For a long time, sprays were the most common type of deodorant, but now there are a range of alternatives such as roll-ons, creams or deosticks. The type you choose depends quite simply on what you're used to and what you prefer. The most hygienic choice is the deodorant spray, because no part of the deodorant packaging touches the armpit. Antiperspirants most often come in roll-on form, while deosticks are the most common for deodorants focusing on providing a pleasant scent.

Products tested

Best in test How the test was made

We carry out our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. In our tests of deodorants, both men and women have tested the products under different conditions and on several occasions. The deodorants have been tested during both calm activities and sweaty exercise sessions. We have also evaluated how long the deodorant works for. The parameters below have formed the basis of the score.

Counteracting sweaty odours: How well does the deodorant counteract sweaty smells? How long does it last? Can it cope with different types of sweaty activities, and how often do you need to top it up?

Use: How easy is the deodorant to apply? Does it feel dry or moisturising on the skin? What does the deodorant smell like?

Stickiness: How quickly does the deodorant dry, and how soon can you put clothes on after application? Does the product leave stains or discolouration on clothes?

The evaluation is based on the total overall experience of the product. This has then been compared to the product price to determine value for money and allocate a score.

Vichy 48hr Antiperspirant Treatment Roll-On

Durable with a good scent that effectively counteracts sweat and doesn't leave any marks

Target group: Unisex Formula: Roll-on Antiperspirant: Yes
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Effective, gentle and lasts all day – what more could you want? This deodorant from Vichy is quite simply a good choice both for men and women. The scent is a light and fresh unisex one. Because it is so neutral, it's also suitable for people of different ages. Even though the pleasant scent is very minimal, it remains throughout the day and leaves you with a fresh feeling. This deodorant succeeds fantastically well at counteracting sweat. Whether it's a sweaty evening out or a tough spinning session, the deodorant does exactly what you'd hope, helping you retain the fresh feeling you got when you applied it in the morning.

The rollerball is relatively large, which means that a quick stroke to each armpit is enough to apply the right quantity of the calming, gentle cream. Initially it's slightly sticky, so you need to wait before putting on your clothes to avoid getting white marks on them. When the product has dried, it doesn't leave any kind of discolouration – either white stripes or yellow patches. Vichy's antiperspirant is quite simply a good value-for-money deodorant which deserves a top spot.

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    Effectively counteracts sweat, lasts a long time, good but not overpowering scent, leaves no marks
  • Slightly sticky to start with
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5 of 5

Clarins Gentle Care Roll-On

Incredibly effective and quick-drying deodorant which lasts all day, even during exercise

Target group: Women Formula: Roll-on Antiperspirant: Yes
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This is a true deo-hero! If you want a quick-drying deodorant that gives a really dry feeling, this is the one for you. The large rollerball means that a quick stroke to each armpit is enough to apply just the right amount of deodorant. The drying time is minimal and it does get really dry. And the quick drying time means that there's no sign of marks on your clothes. The scent is a bit different, with a strong, almost clinical smell that's not the slightest bit flowery or perfume-like. However, the strong scent when you apply it goes off quickly and becomes very neutral. After a long and hectic day, your underarms have the same neutral scent as when you set out in the morning. Not even a really sweaty exercise session in the evening is a challenge for this deodorant, as it copes with it easily. This is clearly an incredibly effective deodorant which deserves to be best in test.

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    Incredibly effective against sweat, fantastic during exercise sessions, big rollerball
  • Strong, clinical scent
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5 of 5

Best price at:

Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme Deo Stick

Soft consistency and with a quick drying time, fantastic scent and lasts for ages

Target group: Men Formula: Deostick Antiperspirant: No
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The scent from Georgio Armani's deostick is fresh and without doubt the best scent for men in the test. The musky tones are obvious but not overpowering, which means that the deodorant stands up on its own but is also easy to combine with a scent for more dressy occasions. Despite the fact that the scent is minimal, it lasts all day, as does the fresh feeling. In the morning, you don't just get a positive experience because of the scent, but also the soft, pleasant consistency which makes it easy to apply just the right amount of quick-drying cream. However, the cream makes the skin very dry, so if you have sensitive skin it can be useful to use a moisturising cream first.

Armani's deodorant has no problems with a quiet day in the office, hectic meetings or a gym session. It copes well with an exercise session if it's early in the day. But sweaty activities in the evening are a bit tougher if you haven't topped up your deodorant during the day. However, there will be no patches or discolouration on your clothes either during normal everyday activities or sweatier exertion.

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    Fantastic scent, soft consistency, quick drying time, durable
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  • Not very gentle
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4.5 of 5

Biotherm Pure Invisible Roll-On

Fantastically sweat-suppressing, gentle on the skin and lasts throughout your whole day's activities

Target group: Women/Men Formula: Roll-on Antiperspirant: Yes

If you're late for work and get sweaty, Biotherm roll-on is your saviour – use it and you won't need to worry about smelling bad all day. Nor will a sweaty conditioning session pose this deodorant any problems. Biotherm Pure Invisible is an antiperspirant that uses aluminium salts to counteract sweating. It promises to last for 48 hours, and even though we felt that this isn't quite true it's not far off. The deodorant is also free from alcohol to be extra gentle on your skin. And it really is gentle – the skin feels both soothed and moisturised. The rollerball is large and follows the shape of the underarm. With just one stroke you can spread the right amount of deodorant over your skin, which dries in relatively quickly and leaves neither white marks nor yellow patches on your clothes. The scent is mild and slightly soapy, and for some it may be too flowery. However, the scent is quickly neutralised, which means that it works well if you want to combine it with other scented products such as body mist or perfume. Nor is the scent typically masculine or feminine, so it's perfect for either sex. Because it's so neutral the deodorant is also suitable for people of all ages.

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    Fantastic during exercise, well-designed rollerball, durable, gentle on the skin
  • Slightly soapy scent
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4.5 of 5

Biotherm Homme Day Control Roll-On

Gentle deodorant with a perfect consistency and quick drying time that effectively counteracts sweat

Target group: Men Formula: Roll-on Antiperspirant: Yes

The large rollerball in this Biotherm roll-on makes the deodorant simple to apply, and the soft cream has a perfect consistency. The drying time is also short, which means that it is quickly absorbed by the skin, leaving it dry but feeling moisturised and soothed. The dry feeling also lasts all day without any problems through both calmer activities and sweaty cross-fit sessions. The deodorant has a masculine scent that's unfortunately reminiscent of a cheap aftershave. However, it's very minimal and is even more neutral after application, so the deodorant can be used together with another scented product. We feel that Biotherm could just as easily have skipped the scent altogether and made the product a really good antiperspirant. It will cause absolutely no discolouration to your clothes, and with the quick drying time you can also get dressed immediately after using the deodorant.

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    Effectively counteracts sweat, perfect consistency, quick drying time, gentle
  • Slightly cheap scent
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4 of 5

Hugo Boss Hugo Deo Stick

Non-sticky, balanced scent dry stick format

Target group: Men Formula: Deo stick Antiperspirant: No

Hugo Boss is one of the most classic brands within scents for men. And there's a reason for its popularity. Hugo Deo Stick smells really good. It's neither too strong nor too weak, but quite simply perfect. This means that it's great for the office, but also for parties, as you can combine the deodorant with other perfumes. It counteracts sweaty smells acceptably but isn't exceptionally good. On a normal day this isn't a problem, but running for the train or doing a sweaty gym session provides a bigger challenge. 

The deodorant is easy to apply. The stick is quite hard and dry in comparison with many other similar deodorants. The dry stick means that it's easy to get the right amount and it doesn't feel sticky. However, it can feel a bit rough on sensitive skin. Nor is it optimal if you have a lot of hair under your arms. A softer stick would work better. The quick drying time and the fact that Hugo Deo Stick doesn't leave any marks, even during exercise, means that this will be a very popular deodorant.

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    Well-balanced scent, non-sticky, leaves no marks
  • Can't handle an exercise session, not for hairy armpits
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4 of 5

Nuxe Body Long-lasting Deodorant

Pleasantly scented and gentle deodorant that leaves no marks

Target group: Women Formula: Roll-on Antiperspirant: Yes

Nuxe delivers a deodorant with an antiperspirant effect provided by alum and silver. It effectively counteracts both sweating and odour. A calm day at the office poses no problems, although it doesn't entirely keep sweaty smells away during a tough spinning session. The scent is nice but mild, with a hint of sweet vanilla. This means that it works well if you want to use it together with a more scented body lotion or perfume. The rollerball is small and you need several strokes to get deodorant all over your armpit. The consistency is quite runny and you can easily end up with too much. This also means that it takes a long time for the deodorant to dry, but when it is dry it doesn't leave any marks on your clothes. The deodorant is very gentle on the sensitive skin in armpits, which feels both moisturised and soothed after application.

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    Good scent, gentle, doesn't leave marks
  • Small rollerball which makes application more difficult
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3.5 of 5

Weleda Citrus Deo Spray

Fresh lemon-scented deodorant which can easily be sprayed from a hygienic bottle

Target group: Women Formula: Spray Antiperspirant: No

Weleda's vegan deodorant leaves you with a fresh lemon scent under your arms. It contains alcohol which kills the bacteria in your armpits and also has a scent that is intended to conceal the smell of sweat. Despite the fact that it doesn't contain any antiperspirant, it keeps sweaty smells away despite a long day in the office. But if you want to do a sweaty activity like a gym session after work, the deodorant has problems coping with the challenge. Because the deodorant is applied as a spray it takes a little while to dry. The spray has good spread, however, and only one press is enough for an even application across the entire armpit. In terms of appearance, the packaging for this deodorant stands out most in the test. The deodorant comes in a small, oblong yellowish glass bottle which is easy to keep in your bag. This design also gets plus points as it feels more hygienic to spray something on your underarms than to apply the same rollerball day after day.

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    Hygienic packaging, fresh lemon scent, easy to apply
  • Difficult to cope with exercise sessions
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3 of 5

Best price at:

Calvin Klein CK One Deostick

Gentle deodorant with a soft, pleasant consistency that doesn't leave marks

Target group: Unisex Formula: Deostick Antiperspirant: No

The idea behind Calvin Klein's One is that it's a scent aimed at both men and women. And it is relatively neutral, but unfortunately it falls between two stools and doesn't really work for either men or women. However, the scent is better and more neutral once applied. The application itself is very good. The top of the deodorant initially gives a plasticky impression, but it's soft and gentle on the skin. The consistency is sufficiently hard and the right quantity of soft, soothing deodorant can easily be applied to the armpit.

Even though after application the deodorant gives a fresh feeling, it can't cope with covering the sweaty smell all day, not even during calmer activities. And particularly not on male users, who often tend to sweat more than women. However, CK One gets one major plus point as it doesn't mark your clothes even if you put it on immediately you've applied the deodorant.

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    No marks, nice soft consistency, gentle
  • Struggles to conceal the scent of sweat
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3 of 5

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Deo Cream

Very soft and moisturising, with a mature scent

Target group: Women Formula: Cream Antiperspirant: Yes

A fresh feeling is what you get from this deodorant in cream format that effectively counteracts sweaty odours. It can cope with a calm, peaceful day without problems, but has more difficulty dealing with sweaty activities such as running for the morning bus or a training session. The top of the bottle can be used to apply the soft, moisturising deodorant to the underarm and carefully work in the cream so that it's not sticky. The cream format means it feels extremely gentle and can even be used on newly shaved armpits. The scent has a prominent note of green tea, which gives the deodorant a mature impression.

The top of the deodorant is entirely plastic, with a hole a few millimetres across in the centre. The idea is that you twist the bottom part of the deodorant and cream is pressed up out of the hole. Unfortunately this works very badly. You twist and twist and nothing happens to start with. Then the packaging suddenly splurges out far much deodorant, which ends up all over your armpit. This is a very disruptive occurrence during your morning routine, and the same thing happened every time the deodorant was used.

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    Mature scent, moisturising, gentle
  • Badly designed packaging, hard to apply
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2.5 of 5

Davidoff Cool Water Man Deo Stick

Leaves no marks, dries quickly and has a fresh scent

Target group: Men Formula: Deostick Antiperspirant: No

Cool Water is a very apt name which effectively describes the scent of the product. It emits a masculine, fresh and cold scent every time it is applied to the armpit. You are left with a fresh feeling ready to take on the challenges of the day. If you weren't looking for a perfume, the scent can be perceived as a bit too strong, as it's rather overpowering. The scent lasts for about half a day before it starts to fade and needs to be topped up with more deodorant. Unfortunately the fresh feeling also fades with the scent.

The consistency of the cream in the deodorant stick is slightly softer than those from other manufacturers and so you end up applying more deodorant and feeling slightly damper. However, it dries in very quickly and leaves a really dry feeling under your arms. For sensitive skin it may be a little bit too dry. However, the quick drying time reduces the risk of marks, so the deodorant works even for a stressful morning routine where you have to put your clothes on immediately. Nor does the deodorant leave any discolouration during the day.

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    Fresh scent, dries quickly, no marks
  • Doesn't last all day, strong scent
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2.5 of 5

Paco Rabanne 1 Million Deo Stick

Soft on the armpits and leaves no marks, conceals sweaty odours very well

Target group: Men Formula: Deostick Antiperspirant: No

Despite the fact that the Paco Rabanne Deo Stick isn't an antiperspirant, it succeeds very well at keeping sweaty odours at bay throughout the day. The scent is very strong and stays both during calm activities and sweatier exercise sessions after work. However, if you are sensitive or intend to use another scented product as well, this one is probably too strong. Even though it smells good, the strong scent means that the deodorant isn't suitable for all occasions. For example, it can be difficult to use in an office environment where you need to think of other people who might be sensitive to smells. It also sticks to your clothes, which can still smell of it several days after use.

Despite the scent, the deodorant feels gentle on your underarms after application. The consistency is slightly runny, meaning it's easy to apply too much deodorant which then takes a long time to dry. However, when the cream has dried it doesn't leave any marks on clothes, either during normal office day or an exercise session.

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    Conceals sweaty odours well, no marks, gentle on your underarms
  • Strong scent, runny consistency
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2 of 5

Best price at:

Versace Bright Crystal Deo Stick

Non-sticky with a good scent and easy to apply

Target group: Women Formula: Deostick Antiperspirant: No

This deodorant gives off a strong but pleasant scent when applied to your underarms. Despite the strong scent the deodorant feels smooth on your skin and doesn't irritate. The consistency is very good and makes it easy to apply just the right amount without getting a sticky feeling. This deodorant does contain alcohol to counteract bacteria in your armpits, but it's probably the perfume that is the most obvious aspect as it seems not to counteract sweat at all. Unfortunately the perfume isn't particularly good at concealing the scent of sweat either, and during the afternoon on a hectic day you'll probably want to keep your distance from both friends and colleagues. Using the deodorant during an exercise session is simply out of the question unless you're going for a solitary run in the forest far from civilisation. If you want to smell a little bit less than after having sprayed on perfume, this can be a good alternative if you aren't very active during the day. Another alternative is to combine this deodorant with an antiperspirant that you have applied the evening before.

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    Easy to apply, non-sticky
  • Poor ability to conceal sweaty odours
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1 of 5