9 best deodorants

Stay smelling sweet and stave off sweat with a top-end stick or spray

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The Independent Online

You might already splurge on fancy aftershaves and fragrances, but have you considered upgrading your deodorant too? 

These upmarket alternatives to your bog-standard aerosol or roll-on mean you get a scent that more usually comes out of a glass bottle that can also help beat the body odour. 

We’ve looked at a number of different brands, mostly stick deodorants, as well as one or two spray options for variety’s sake. We’ve looked at how they smell, how long the fragrance sticks around, as well as – crucially – how well they act as antiperspirants.

In the case of stick deodorants, a key factor is smoothness of application, without any tell-tale residue. For the spray deodorants, we looked for an irritation-free application. 

We’ve also included a few deodorants that are free from alcohol and aluminium. Both are common ingredients in deodorants for their antiperspirant qualities, but can cause irritation for some with sensitive skin.  

1. L’Occitane Eau des Baux Stick Deodorant: £14 for 50g, L’Occitane

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This stick has a subtle, woody smell with overtones of lavender, which transports you – albeit briefly – from Peckham to L’Occitane’s native Provence. It glides over the underarms without leaving any residue, while keeping you sweat-free for the entire day. For a posh stick, this one is good value. 

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2. Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit de L’Homme: £20 for 75g, Feel Unique

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Yves Saint Laurent has an incredible pedigree in the world of designer fragrances, and this deodorant does not disappoint. Its scent falls into that complex, brooding category, with warm notes of cedar and cardamom. The presence of bergamot provides a bitter, aromatic scent, putting us in mind of a cool sea-breeze. We reckon if Poldark wore posh deodorant, he’d wear this one. 

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3. Anthony Deodorant Alcohol Free: £16 for 70g, Look Fantastic

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For those with sensitive skin but who still want a distinctive fragrance, this is for you. Free from both alcohol and aluminium – two ingredients that most deodorants will have at least one of – this no-nonsense deodorant stick from the US brand will prevent sweat and keep you smelling fresh. It has an uncomplicated and classic minty scent that lasts well into the day, and a fine application without much residue clinging to your underarms.

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4. Prada L’Homme Deodorant Stick: £26.50 for 75ml, The Fragrance Shop

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Coming in at £26.50, this deodorant from the Italian fashion house is the most expensive on our list, and that price is reflected in its complex fragrance. Neroli oil, a citrus-based scent, complements earthy base notes, giving it a deep and subtle fragrance, sweet with a slight edge. According to Prada, it combines interchangeable male/female signatures, so it should work well for all genders. By the end of the day, you’ll be sweat-free and still smelling great. 

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5. Aesop Herbal Deodorant: £23 for 50ml, Cult Beauty

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This is a herbal deodorant from the high-end Aussie skincare brand, which might make you think it lacks the antiperspirant effectiveness of other brands, but one application was all we needed to prevent sweating. Notes of sage, eucalyptus and rosemary create a sharp, ever-so-slightly sweet scent that transports you to the countryside, while a lack of aluminium makes it suitable for those with sensitive skin. 

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6. Paco Rabanne Invictus Deodorant Stick: £16.50 for 75ml, Feel Unique

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Base notes of guaiac wood result in an intense earthy fragrance here, while high notes of grapefruit peel give it a sharp edge. This walks the line somewhere between upper-end deodorants and a typical eau de toilette. Application was slightly bitty, but sweat was successfully held off until mid-afternoon, and it was a particularly hot day (for the UK, at least).

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7. Molton Brown Re-charge Black Pepper SPORT Deodorant: £20 for 150ml, Molton Brown

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One of the two spray deodorants on this list, it comes in packing a punch. If you ever need to feel revitalised after a hard session at the gym, this deodorant does the job. Top notes of black pepper and grapefruit give it a spicy yet sharp set, which combines with a base note of cedarwood to round out the overall fragrance. Unsurprisingly, the spiciness results in a fierce but not unpleasant tingling when applied, which will see to any lingering drowsiness.

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8. Clarins Men Antiperspirant Stick: £14.50 for 100ml, Clarins 

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This alcohol-free deodorant stick has a fresh, citrusy smell to help wake you out of your morning stupor. Rolling it on is pleasant enough, avoiding the stickiness of some brands. The fragrance is dominated by lemon, orange and grapefruit, giving it a strong, refreshing and rather dry body – marking it out from other, more brooding competitors. The scent softens over time (probably a good thing as it’s a bit overpowering to begin with) and fulfils its antiperspirant duties admirably.

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9. Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant: £18, Malin + Goetz

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This alcohol and aluminium-free deodorant option has a refreshing fragrance dominated by eucalyptus and with undertones of citrus. The substance itself has a good consistency that applies well. After our morning commute the scent had faded quite significantly. This is anticipated by the brand, which says that when transitioning from a cheaper ‘pore-clogging’ antiperspirant it takes two weeks for your body to adjust.

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Verdict

YSL’s La Nuit de L’Homme offers a nice counter to the overly-earthy scents popular at the moment, while Anthony and Aesop’s aluminium and alcohol-free deodorants provide those with sensitive skin relief from sweat as well as a refreshing scent. But for our money, it’s L’Occitane’s Eau des Baux stick deodorant that takes the prize. Its wonderfully refreshing and complex fragrance combined with a perfect application might be enough by itself, but by also being the cheapest on our list, it blows the rest out of the water.