PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, September 10, 2012

A History Of Deodorant: From Ancient Egypt To ‘Sure’

(Flickr/Clean Wal-Mart)

Most of us probably haven’t given much thought to the humble deodorant that’s sitting in the medicine cabinet. But as science journalist Sarah Everts found, deodorants and  antiperspirants have had a complicated and fascinating history.

For instance, ancient Egyptians had perfumes that were specifically focused on covering the stink of humans. But formulas to block odor have only been in wide use for a little over a century, Everts told Here & Now‘s Sacha Pfeiffer, and we have advertising agencies to thank.

And the early formulas had problems: they irritated sensitive skin, and often discolored or even ate through clothing. In an article for Smithsonian magazine, Everts writes about how advertising made antiperspirants mainstream.

Sarah Everts also says that she finds the dichotomy of attitudes towards sweat fascinating: humans are embarrassed by sweat, but at the same time participate in activities that encourage sweat production such as going to the gym and sweat lodges.

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

June 6 Comment

Introducing A New Here & Now Website

Coming June 9, 2016, Here & Now listeners and visitors will experience our stories and journalism online in a whole new way.

June 3 Comment

Teenagers Create Impromptu Exhibit At San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art

As the pair toured the museum, they wondered if they could do better. So 16-year-old Kevin Nguyen decided to get creative.

June 3 3 Comments

‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Author Explores Conformity, Mental Health In New Teen Novel

Matthew Quick published his fourth young adult book, "Every Exquisite Thing," this week.

June 2 13 Comments

Do Meal Kits Provide Great Taste Along With Convenience?

Resident chef Kathy Gunst tested a multitude of meal kits, and gives co-host Jeremy Hobson the inside scoop.