Scented or Unscented: How to Choose the Best-Smelling Deodorant for You

Taking a shower and freshening up after a morning jog, sweaty workout, or long day at work can help give you new life. Similarly, you should feel good about the deodorant or antiperspirant you wear daily, and that starts with the scent!


Some deodorants and antiperspirants have fruity or floral scents reminiscent of the first spring flowers or a day at the beach, while others may have earthy or woodsy tones evoking nature’s beauty. And some may have names that don’t explicitly indicate the scent you are using! It can be hard to tell what a deodorant scent smells like from the name, and the scent in the container isn’t necessarily how it smells when it interacts with your skin!



Whether scented or unscented, finding the right deodorant or antiperspirant is about keeping your armpits as sweat- and odor-free as possible. But how do you know which deodorant or antiperspirant scent suits you best?

Read on to learn about common deodorant scents and how to identify them, plus why you may choose an unscented deodorant or antiperspirant, and why some scents may be marketed to men or women.

What are Some Common Antiperspirant or Deodorant Scents?

Deodorants and antiperspirants have all sorts of naming conventions. Some may evoke more floral tones, like jasmine, rose, or lavender. Some, like sandalwood, may summon to mind (or, ahem, nose) all the smells of being in the woods.

Then there are deodorants and antiperspirants with a combination of fragrances, making unique scents. These might include musk fragrances, which can be white or dark. Certain scents might simply be “fresh” or “cool” and reference something like the ocean or a field of flowers. Finally, you also have lightly scented or unscented deodorants and antiperspirants.

Whether you prefer deodorant or antiperspirant, let’s dive deeper into these different scents so you can gauge which one is just right for you.

Lightly Scented Deodorants

Lightly scented deodorants and antiperspirants are almost exactly what the name says. They are likely to feature “hints” of a scent or fragrance to avoid an overwhelming or overpowering smell.

Lightly scented deodorants and antiperspirants can be excellent choices for people with sensitive skin. They may also appeal to you if you dislike strong-smelling sticks, sprays, or gels or just don’t want to broadcast your deo scent to the entire room when you walk in.

Jasmine Scent in Deodorant

People have used oil from the jasmine flower in fragrances for over 2,500 years and it is the main note in most floral perfumes. For some, the scent can be calming, and others may find jasmine to be a mood enhancer. That might explain why it’s commonly found in bodywashes, lotions, and candles, in addition to deodorants and antiperspirants.

Rose in Scented Deodorants

Have you ever gotten a bouquet of roses for your significant other or immediately smelled the floral overtones when entering a local grocery store? Like jasmine, rose scent is meant to be sweet and as delicate as the petals of its floral namesake. This scent has been used for centuries as a fragrance in bathwater, soaps, perfumes, and deodorants.

Lavender Scented Deodorant

Lavender has floral notes, but it can also be lemony, herbal or woodsy at the same time. However, lavender is usually still delicate on the nose, even if it has a woodsier scent. Like jasmine, it’s also considered a scent that helps to soothe or calm.

Musky or White Musk Deodorants

If you see “musk” on a label, it's not a reference to a leather scent! Musk encompasses a range of smells—from powdery and woodsy to sweet and earthy. It is versatile and keeps fragrances on the skin, which in some cases gives it a certain allure. Musk scent might even provoke a sense of arousal or sensuality!

Woodsy or Sandalwood Deodorant Scent

Do you consider yourself a lumberjack or lumberjane or simply love spending time outdoors? A woodsy deodorant or antiperspirant may be the scent partner for you! This scent carries notes of leather or wood. Sandalwood may have a calming influence that can vary depending on the extract — Indian Sandalwood, for example, may have a stronger top note and scent than Australian Sandalwood.

Citrus or Fruit Scented Deodorant

A citrus scent has a crisp, bright feel and is more energetic, as opposed to the calming quality of jasmine or lavender. Citrus-scented deodorants might include notes of things like lemon, apple, pear, or a more tropical scent like mango. Citrus-scented deodorants and antiperspirants can be worn year-round but may be best suited to spring and summer seasons with warmer and sunnier climates.

Powder Scented Deodorant

Close-up of man applying unscented deodorant

Parents who make frequent trips to the changing table likely know the smell of baby powder to a “T.” Indeed, some deodorants and antiperspirants have a baby powder scent. That doesn’t make you smell like a child – just clean and fresh. Usually, baby powder scent combines musk and vanilla and might include notes of jasmine.

Not totally sure whether you’d like a powder scent? Give ARM & HAMMER™ ULTRAMAX™ Solid Antiperspirant Powder Fresh a shot and see what you think!

How Do Unscented Deodorants Work?

Unscented deodorants break down and neutralize underarm odors vs. masking the smell with added fragrance. Some scentless deodorants contain baking soda, an alkaline salt that helps neutralize the acid from sweat and armpit bacteria and absorb odors.

Consider unscented deodorants if you are sensitive to strong fragrances or you do not want your deodorant or antiperspirant overpowering your favorite perfume, cologne, aftershave, or body lotion.

ARM & HAMMER™ Essentials™ Solid Deodorant, Unscented contains natural plant extracts and pure baking soda. It is aluminum-free and free of artificial fragrances , with odor fighters and moisturizers that work gently on sensitive skin to help you stay dry and feel fresher, longer!

Is There a Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Deodorant?

There are not any concrete differences between men’s and women’s deodorants. The “difference” is mostly based on scent profiles. Woodsy, fresh, or “active” deodorants may be the best-smelling deodorants for many men, while summery, citrusy, powder, or floral scents may be the best-smelling deodorants for many women. Common deodorant scents that have blended notes – such as white musk – have been marketed to any gender.

The amount you sweat or the level of body odor you give off is more related to body size, level of activity, and exposure to hot environments than gender. Additionally, if you’re wondering why your armpits smell so bad, genetics may play a role.

Regardless of your gender, if you’re someone who works out or sweats more, you may choose a deodorant or antiperspirant that helps decrease underarm perspiration and odor. Consider ARM & HAMMER™ ULTRAMAX™ Active Sport, which also helps reduce underarm sweat.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Deodorant or Antiperspirant

How much you sweat is just one thing to consider when choosing a deodorant or antiperspirant. When you’re deciding on the best deodorant scent for you, also consider:

1. Your Preference of Scent

You want to make sure the deodorant or antiperspirant scent you choose is one you enjoy! You’re likely applying deodorant or antiperspirant daily so you should be comfortable with the scent you’re applying to your own skin! No matter whether a particular scent is marketed for men or women, you should go with your preference: if you like it, get it.

2. Other Scented Products You Use

You might want your deodorant or antiperspirant scent to complement your personal scent profile or any other fragrances you might use when getting ready for work or a night out. If you wear a fruity perfume, you may consider a deodorant that has similarly fruity notes, like ARM & HAMMER™ Essentials™ Solid Deodorant, Orange Citrus!

3. Sensitivity to Scent

Some people might love a strong deodorant scent that still fills the nose even after putting it on their underarms. Others may have the total opposite view and prefer an unscented or fragrance-free deodorant or antiperspirant, particularly if they have sensitive skin.

4. Preference of Your Significant Other

Your own needs should come first. Still, if you have a romantic partner, you might want a deodorant that adds to your scent profile and makes your partner lust after you even more! Perhaps they feel a sense of attraction to a musk scent or love the earthy smell of a deodorant like ARM & HAMMER™ Essentials™ Solid Deodorant, Magnesium Vanilla Sandalwood. Regardless, you can try to find a scent that can match both your and your significant other’s desires.

5. Mood

Perhaps you want your deodorant or antiperspirant scent to remind you of a day at the beach or the fresh smell of spring during a picnic! Alternatively, if you’re feeling stressed or the winter doldrums have you looking for comfort, you might seek a jasmine-scented deodorant to help soothe or calm you so you can get back to neutral.

6. Your Own Body Odor, Temperature and Activity Level

Your body odor and activity level can change throughout the day, so you likely want a long-lasting deodorant scent (or scentless deodorant) that works well in every circumstance, no matter your activity level.

Do you engage in strenuous workouts or naturally sweat more when you’re out in the sun? You might look for a more powerful deodorant scent that gives multiple notes, like ARM & HAMMER™ ULTRAMAX™ Solid Antiperspirant Deodorant, Cool Blast! It combines floral accents with a musk base and works hard to reduce underarm sweat.

ARM & HAMMER™ Deodorants & Antiperspirants Come in Scents You’ll Love!

Whether you love frolicking in the fields amid the flowers or chopping wood for a fire, ARM & HAMMER™ has deodorant and antiperspirant scents for everyone to enjoy! From Rosemary Lavender and Active Sport to unscented deodorants and antiperspirants, find the format you need to protect yourself from sweaty armpits and neutralize the odors from smelly underarms!

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