Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Fare thee well, my faithful armpit buddy.

Dove Sensitive Skin Roll-On Deodorant, protector of my underarms and vigilante of body odor, died on March 28th when its parent company Unilever discontinued the product. It is survived by its wife the somewhat chalky Sensitive Skin Stick, an effective yet imperfect alternative. They met while sitting on a deodorant shelf at the 94th Street Duane Reade and were wed in 2001.

Sensitive Skin Roll-On was considered one of the Garden State's leading authorities on varieties of underarms and their skin sensitivities. It was also known for the development and introduction of the wire hanger. Its definitive kindness to my armpits became the first anti-persperant/deodorant to inspire nary a "pit scratch."

It was a 1992 graduate of the Unilever Focus Group University, majoring in horticulture, and upon receiving its doctorate in 1994 on itchy skin, it was distributed in what eventually came to be every pharmacy in America. Sensitive was tenured in 1997 and became a full professor in 1999.

But Mr. Skin, also known as "Rolly," never retired but for a time he and his wife made their home in Sanibel, Florida. But their love for gardening in New Jersey -- especially the tomatoes developed and improved by their colleagues -- lured them back to a home in Somerset, N.J., with two acres of garden plots.

Every year the roll-on traveled around the state to ensure pleasant armpits all over the world. I, along with its devoted users, cannot understand why Unilever murdered the product. When Unilever was asked to comment, their representative said, "We are not told why specific products are cancelled."
"I wish I could help you," continued Unilever, "But I just can't. My only suggestion is to go to a Odd Job and buy some of their backstock."
So true.

During its final days, the unscented one served as chief deodorant in my bathroom residing on the shelf above my sink for nearly two years, but sadly, those days are long gone. In a colloquium held in its honor at the time of retirement, it said, “The best thing about protecting your armpits was the armpits never suffered. I was the first one to make that possible." How we will miss his bald and wet (but not too wet!) circular head.

From this day forth, things will never smell the same.


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5:05 PM  

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