Olivina : Not Mas Fina

Good Or Nah?

First, apologies to Spanish speakers everywhere, as I’m reasonably certain the bastardized construction in the title is woefully incorrect, but I was feeling an overwhelming compulsion to do a rhyming title and the Corona slogan was the first thing that popped into my head. Secondly, BELATED SPOILER ALERT : I fully expected to love this, annnnnd for the most part, I did not. LET’S FIND OUT WHY, shall we??

WHAT THAT IS

It’s yet another deodorant! And it’s yet another one from a men’s grooming brand! Olivina is a line I was unfamiliar with, but this one turned up during my Dermstore browsing, and it turns out Amazon also carries much/most of it. This particular deo is currently $7.19/3oz there; it comes in an equally tempting-sounding Bourbon Cedar (!) scent as well.

WHAT’S IT LIKE

Aluminium-free deodorant products (aka things that aim to stop odor and don’t try to do much to mitigate sweating) come in a few different varieties — the big “divisions” for me are 1. whether or not the product employs baking soda and thus, if not properly buffered, can irritate my skin (this one does not, yay!) 2. or possibly 1b. whether it contains baking soda AND/OR a high concentration of arrowroot powder or other common starchy ingredient that can do a little moisture-absorbing but also frequently renders the product opaque, potentially resulting in white residue upon my person or my clothes (this one does not, yay!) and 3. whether its primary odor-fighting mechanism is essential oils and fragrant elements and such, or if it actually has some manner of antibacterial/antimicrobial ingredient (this one has no antibacterial/antimicrobial shiz). What, specificially, is in this one, you are dying to know?

INGREDIENTS : Propanediol, Aqua (Water), Sodium Stearate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Fragrance (Parfum), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Sodium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Bisabolol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glycerin, Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry) Fruit Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Leaf Extract, Frangula Alnus (Buckthorn) Bark Extract, Juniperus Communis (Juniper Berry) Fruit Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Flower/Leaf Extract, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Ilex Paraguariensis (Mate) Leaf Extract

Propanediol aka propylene glycol is a hydrating agent that can help other ingredients absorb into the skin. Sodium stearate is a salt of stearic acid, and it’s fine — probably used as a thickening/texture agent here. Witch hazel and aloe we know, cetyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol emollient/emulsifier; Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate is a yeast ferment which, I’m not sure if this is supposed to be playing a “generally good for your skin” role, some kind of texture/emulsification/etc role, or if it’s supposed to somehow be battling odor or contributing for a bacteria-inhibitive environment? Anyway, there’s also bisabolol (fragrant emollient from chamomile), plus a few other fragrant plant extracts and oils. So this one seems to rely largely upon essential oils, rather than containing an actual bacteria-fighter as Baxter of California’s deo does.

HOW DOES IT DO THO?

I was initially REALLY pleased with this stuff! I like the wide flat shape of the stick (fewer swipes / less time required to get good coverage), and I really dig the scent — “juniper tonic” is a pretty apt description of it, as it definitely has evergreeny and gin-and-tonic notes, but it’s not quite as brisk/bracing as I would have imagined (or hoped for). But it’s a fairly bright and clean scent that reads FRESH and not overtly “hey are you wearing men’s cologne?” so that’s all fine. Also of note : it is 100% crystal clear. YAY.

Totally invisible on my skin, and zero visible marks on my clothes. It’s also easy to apply, goes on smoothly and thinly, and doesn’t feel greasy at all. One very mild downside is that immediately after application and for another half hour or so, it DOES feel a tiny bit tacky — as in, lower your arms then raise them, and you can feel a little bit of cling/grab. It’s not “UGH, GLUEY” or anything, but you can definitely feel its presence for a while if you’re sleeveless.

NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS

This seemed good! I used it happily for like a week and a half or so! And then one day late last week I was sitting on the sofa after having showered appx 4-5 hours beforehand, applied this stuff, futzed around the house, and then gone out for a couple hours — i.e. what I’d consider Normal Light-Use Circumstances. And then — apologies for mild grossness? — I was like, [sniff] what is that very faint slightly unpleasant smell? OH MY GOD, IT ME. Had I gone for a run? Nope. Manual labor? Nope. I did my makeup, made a damn sandwich, and sat outside at a bar for two hours. This should honestly not be enough to thoroughly defeat a deodorant product … particularly when I frequently go a full day, day and a half (don’t judge me) after applying my Baxter or beloved Dermalogica (RIP) and detect no ~issues~. So was something else going on with my SKIN BIOME that day? An unusual and brief hormonal imbalance with odd [and smelly] results? On the other days I was using this stuff, was it equally ineffective after just a few hours, and I did not notice? (Ahhhhhhh noooooooo.) I’m not sure, but …

THE VERDICT : MOSTLY NAH. I don’t trust this stuff. Four or five hours of just, like, walking around the house and then sitting on my ass outdoors in high-70s/low-80s (humid tho) weather should not be sufficient to overwork and overwhelm one’s deodorant. I’m going to continue to try it intermittently — but not on days I’m seeing Other Humans or going anywhere. It’ll likely be relegated to “I’m gonna be home alone all day but might as well put something on anyway” usage, or possibly on “light duty” days … in winter. I love the texture and the clearness and the scent! But I’m not willing to wash and reapply multiple times per day, and I’m not willing to use something I can’t reasonably depend on for normal daily wear. :( DO YOU NEED IT? I mean, obviously, probably not? Maybe if you never, nevvvver have any kind of Odor Issues but you like wearing a little something just to be sure? This one does have a LOVELY scent and is easy to use! But for most of us, I’d say if you’re dying to experience this (again, really pleasing to me) scent, the brand also offers it in numerous other formats including bar soaps, candles (!!), and body wash (sulfate free!), any of which would probably be a much better option.

TRIED IT? Or any of their other stuff? Do you, like me, crave a gin & tonic now? DISCUSS.