At Badger Creek, we focus on creating products to make you smell great. From Dusting Powder and Bath Salts to Beard Oils and Handcrafted Soaps. Fresh, clean scents are our focus. But smelling clean and fresh and overall personal hygiene wasn’t always a focus in this country. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1800’s that Americans began to turn their focus to odor and the social perception of cleanliness.
Access to soap and clean water began to be more common, and with it came more frequent bathing. At this time, more people were working in offices and factories. These close working quarters made unpleasant smells more noticeable. Bad breath and body odor were beginning to be socially unacceptable.
Previously, these odors had been only masked with a large amount of perfume. As far back as ancient Egypt and Greece, the wealthy throughout the world would cover themselves in everything from scented wax to perfumes in order to mask the smell that occurs from sweat and bacteria on the skin.
Before the 20th century, people began to find ways to stop the odor and not just cover them up. Their first remedy was in the form of dusting powder. Talcum powder was introduced to prevent perspiration. It was advertised for use on feet and armpits and as a general body freshener. It would absorb sweat and moisture from the skin and clothes. Although marketed for use for the whole family, ads seemed to specifically focus on women. Dusting powders today are used in much the same way, to prevent chafing, rashes, and irritations caused by moisture.
The Introduction of Deodorant
In the 19th century, antiperspirants and deodorants hit the market. Deodorants worked by slowing or stopping the growth of the bacteria that caused the smell. Alternatively, antiperspirants actually block the pores of the skin preventing perspiration from leaving the body.
The first deodorant was created to kill odor-causing bacteria. Marketed as Mum, it originally came as a waxy cream. The main ingredient was zinc oxide to fight odor and it was sold in a metal tin. A version of this formula was produced as the very first roll on deodorant in the 1950s and is still available today in some countries.
The first antiperspirant on the market was called Everdry. But Odo-ro-no is given credit for making the use of both deodorant and antiperspirant widely acceptable. Advertisements for this product stated that “profuse perspiration of any on part of the body is not healthy”. However, the marketing continued to focus on women and how they should always stay “sweet and dainty” and that Odo-ro-no could help. Eventually, advertisers began to include men in their advertising. New ads spoke of how smelling badly might cause a man to be passed over for a promotion.
Smelling Fresh Today
Today, deodorants and antiperspirants are used by 95% of the population in the United States. It may be hard to think of a time before body odor was seen as socially unacceptable. But walking through any supermarket aisle, you can see body freshening products in every shape and size. In the 1970s more natural deodorant products began to hit the market. These removed some of the not-so-safe ingredients from these products, like aluminum.
Badger Creek is proud of its collection of all-natural freshening products. Whether you are looking for a fresh shave, relaxing scented bath, or fresh, dry skin. We have a natural, handmade product to meet your needs.