What Does this Deodorant Smell Like?

What Does this Deodorant Smell Like?

Last week I did an online supermarket order, and noticed a certain deodorant on sale for half price. So I figured I’d give it a try. When it arrived, I unscrewed the cap, and gave it a whiff. The scent was pleasant but unremarkable, something between soap and floral bathroom freshener.

And then I read the dramatic words on the most crowded deodorant label I’ve ever seen.
Nourishing Secrets
Limited Edition
Refreshing Summer Ritual
With Aloe Vera and Rose-Water scent
Building Girls’ Self Esteem
So then I went up to my daughter and ask her to take a whiff, “What does this smell like to you?”
She smelled and reflected and then smelled again, “No idea. Like a peach?”
“Wrong! This is not peach deodorant! This is Nourishing Secrets, Limited Edition, Refreshing Summer Ritual, Aloe Vera and Rose-Water Scented Deodorant. And, on top of all that, it Builds Girls Self Esteem!”
Both of us collapsed in giggles in the hallway by the bathroom.

I’ve been thinking about that deodorant as I listen to the audio book of Brene Brown’s absolutely fascinating newest book “Atlas of the Heart” in which she provides eye-opening definitions for a wide array of human emotions. Naming our emotions, Brene says, can be empowering, healing, as well as transformative. For example, she explains, there’s a sizeable overlap between anxiety and excitement. But the word you choose to describe how you feel as you approach a certain event (i.e., a birth, a trip, a long-awaited meeting) makes it feel either positive or negative. Placing you in a state of dread or wonderful anticipation.
That is the power we (and not only pharmaceutical companies) have when we choose the words that shape our lives.


  1. I love this 🙂

  2. Amazing insight from a deodorant label!

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