Michelle Grady looks into the unusual creation of an edible deodorant…
It’s tricky to know quite what to file a product like this under – on one hand, the fact that it is edible marks it firmly out as food; but being an edible deodorant puts it in a rather Frankenstein-esque food-personal-hygiene hybrid category, which sounds pretty strange. The premise is as follows: you wake up, take a shower, dry off, but instead of applying your usual sprays and perfumes, you eat a sweet instead. Apparently, just one is enough to ‘fragrance’ a ten-stone adult for up to six hours. It sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, where the characters take a pill in place of a meal and ride around town on hoverboards. Unfortunately I don’t think hoverboards are going to be the norm anytime soon, but the word is (and so Belgian inventors Beneo and Alpi hope) these odd deodorant-candy combos will.
Although my first thought was, ‘that can’t be healthy,’ it is actually perfectly safe and works much the same as garlic. Yes, you read correctly – that pongy stuff that repels romantic advances and lingers for days if you even so much as look at it. Thankfully, they don’t use garlic – instead, they use a naturally occurring (and, thankfully, pleasant-smelling) compound called geraniol, found in plants such as roses and vanilla. Like the compounds in garlic, this can’t be broken down by the body and so is expelled through the skin, thus, so say, keeping us fresh all day.
Packets of these aromatic ‘nutricosmetic’ confections have been eagerly ordered since they first went on sale to US consumers online in August, and they are already flying off the shelves in Europe. There’s even a sugar-free variety. What’s more, a UK distributor is currently working on bringing them to British shores too – lucky us. They could be a godsend for those who are allergic to existing deodorants. And yes, it only takes two seconds it takes to spray normal deodorant, but we’re always told that aerosols aren’t great for the environment, so the edible deodorant should have green campaigners on its side, too. But what happens if you eat the whole packet – do you end up reeking like an explosion in a Sure factory? And, unlike normal perfumes, you can’t try before you buy – so if you don’t like the fragrance, surely you’ll be haunted by the undesired scent for the next six hours? It all sounds very Willy Wonka to me – here’s hoping for his lickable wallpaper next. Actually, I think McVities may have a head start on that one, having created Jaffa-Cake-flavoured wallpaper for one office in London – now that I can get on board with.