Cultural Deodorant Differences

Deodorant Differences - The American Bubble

For many Americans, it seems unthinkable to live in a world without deodorant. 
Surprisingly, deodorant has been around for a relatively short time. In 1888, Edna
Murphey invented the first known deodorant in Pennsylvania. While advertised to
eliminate odor, deodorant was used to cover up the smell of bacteria. Antiperspirant
- a sweat stopper – was also created in the U.S. and hit shelves in 1941. From there it
spread like wildfire throughout America, quickly becoming the social norm.

Brazil is Gaining

While most cultures generally bathe and strive to smell pleasant, not everyone looks
to deodorant as the number one answer. As of 2015, Americans were the biggest
deodorant consumer at three billion in sales, with a steady incline. But Emmanuelle
Moeglin, Global Fragrance and Colour Cosmetics Analyst at Mintel, predicts a
change. In an interview with Cosmetics Business he suggested that Brazil – the
number two consumer in 2015 - will catch up to America. Their hot climate and
habits of reapplying deodorant throughout the day are giving the U.S. a run for our
money.

Stereotypes and the Middle East

Eastern cultures experience heavy stereotypes about their daily hygiene and use of
deodorant. In this globally connected world, people in every country use deodorant.
Some citizens choose to pass on the stick, but deodorant is not a foreign concept. For
every comment online that says, “Why would I cover up my natural scent? I don’t
wear deodorant.” There are five comments from their neighbors stating that their
entire family wears deodorant daily.

India’s Growth

Nivea took a comedic approach with their marketing campaign in India last year.
Targeting young men, their commercial made fun of competing deodorants that
don’t work and suggested “we can tell” when you’re just covering up the
smell.

Sunil Gadgil, Marketing Director for Nivea India, had this to say in an interview
with Best Media Info:

“The Indian consumers’ attitude towards body odour is ‘not my problem’. The
aim of this campaign is to create relevance of body odour for consumers
without triggering their defence mechanism of ‘Not for me’…”

Meanwhile, Euromonitor International suggests that deodorant sales in India
have nearly tripled between 2011 and 2016. Younger generations are
switching over to deodorant as opposed to the more expensive perfumes and
oils that have been used for centuries.

The Magic Gene

In this age of information and awareness, people are not only asking, “is my
deodorant safe?”, they’re asking if they need it.

A fascinating study by the University of Bristol revealed a rare gene called ABCC11.
Found in a lucky 2% of the world’s population, this gene prevents underarms from
producing an offensive smell. For those who hate wearing deodorant, it’s like
winning the lottery.

This gene is commonly found with East Asians (80–95%) but is extremely
uncommon everywhere else, with (0-3%) found in White Americans. Enjoy
Wikipedia’s chart that shows where you fall in this odd gene pool.
Unless you’re one of the lucky few, deodorant is a good friend, if not a soul mate.
Keep things under control with Truly’s Natural Deodorant (a natural deodorant that
works!) and feel good about what you’re putting on your body, wherever in the
world you are.

Additional Resources:
http://theweek.com/articles/614722/brief-history- body-odor