Start Smelling Like Roses: The Best Natural Deodorant

August 10, 2018 (updated May 10, 2023) — Written by

holding Agent Nateur holi (Rose) the best natural deodorant in my hand

Okay you guys, I’m doing it. I’m outing my favorite natural deodorant. I was thinking of doing a post where I list all the deodorants I’ve used and liked but then I thought to myself, Why go into all the nitty gritty when I clearly have a favorite!? Cutting through all the weeds today and dishing on why Agent Nateur’s holi (Rose) N4 deodorant is the best natural deodorant IMO.

If you are thinking of switching to natural deodorant or maybe you’ve tried a bunch and still haven’t found something that works for you, let me be the first to say #TheStruggleIsReal sister. When you first make the switch it seems like nothing works. Your pits feel sweaty. Nothing smells right. Your tee shirts are getting stained and you are left wondering if you’ll ever be able to leave the house again with dignity.

Well I’m here to say yes, yes you will and you’ll do it smelling good too. Stick With Me Sister. Deodorants are one of the first things I recommend switching over along with lotion, moisturizer, sunscreen and makeup. Anything that sits on your skin all day is top priority to switch out. Conventional deodorants are packed with nasties like cancer accelerating parabens, cancer causing fragrances and endocrine disrupting aluminum. Let’s take a look.


Parabens are preservatives that prevent bacteria from growing. They are used in a ton of personal care products and keep them from going bad. On labels you will see them looking like methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, benzylparaben, butylparaben and so on.

In 2015 Silent Spring Institute, who researches the environment and woman’s health with a focus on breast cancer, shed light on this paraben study. The study showed that when scientists grew breast cancer cells in a lab and exposed them to heregulin (a growth promoting substance that is normally found in breast tissue), the dose of parabens that was needed to stimulate cancer cell growth was 100x LOWER. Ruthann Rudel at Silent Spring says this shows the effects of parabens in low doses – doses that are most like ones found in personal care products. So when you see studies saying parabens don’t cause cancer, maybe they don’t but it seems like they can be pinned for accelerating cancer cell growth.

Synthetic Fragrances

This is a trade secret loop hole that can mask 100s to 1000s of toxic chemicals. explains: Under US regulations “fragrance can simply be labeled as fragrance” because under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act a company must disclose ingredients but can not be forced to reveal “trade secrets.”

I mean, I get it because if you take a nontoxic perfume company for example, and require them to list their combination of essential oils, their secret would be out – totally not fair and this is why this law was set in the first place. BUT mainstream companies are taking advantage and hiding ingredients under this umbrella term to avoid disclosure and it’s at the risk of my health and yours.

The International Fragrance Association posted a list of 3,999 fragrance ingredients in use in 2016. One look at this list and you will puke. MADE SAFE points out that this list includes ingredients like styrene (linked to cancer), resorcinol (linked to endocrine disruption), methylparaben, ethylparaben and not to mention phthalates (reproductive and developmental harm), or how about galaxolide or tonalide which are potential endocrine disruptors, don’t breakdown in the environment and are found in blood and breast milk. Sick.

If you see “fragrance” listed on any item, either email the company and ask them what the specific fragrance ingredients are OR buy something else.

Alumimum Compounds

Alumimum is used as an antiperspirant in deodorants to plug sweat glands. Some studies show that aluminum applied to the underarm and left there can be absorbed and have estrogen-like hormonal effects. This is concerning because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer cells.

The other concerning thing about aluminum is that because it plugs pores, it does not allow people to sweat. I mean, great if you are going to the Oscars but bad if you want your body to detox itself optimally and naturally. Sweating is a potential method of elimination for many toxic elements (including heavy metals) from the human body says the National Institute of Health.

Beware of any ingredients containing the word aluminum.

Additional offenders

Here are some additional ingredients to avoid in your deodorant:

  • silica
  • triclosan
  • talc
  • propylene glycol
  • steareth-n
  • TEA
  • DEA
  • artificial colors
  • PEGs

I mean the list just goes on and on. Check your deodorant to see if you can find any of these bad boys….then toss it like a hot potato.

But lets wrap up our visit to negative town. Next stop? Solution city. Skip all the trying and buying and embarrassing moments when a natural deodorant dosn’t work. I’ve got your back girl and I’m taking you straight to the top. Meet Agent Nateur.

Agent Nateur holi Rose best natural deodorant on a bathroom sink next to skincare and makeup
Agent Nateur #shelfie from my side of the bathroom

Agent Nateur

Agent Nateur founder Jena Covello creates effective, pure, non-GMO, nontoxic skincare sourcing her ingredients from Europe and small suppliers in the US. The US doesn’t offer much in terms of cosmetic safety regulations so Jena chooses to source from Europe where they have higher safety regulations for cosmetics and/or the US from small suppliers.

I’ve personally tried all of the Agent Natur deo’s and BY FAR holi(Rose) N4 is my fave. It’s formulated with an exotic blend of sacred sandalwood and heart opening rose. Sandalwood is a an all-time fave of mine but not only that, it’s actually a pheromone and acts as a natural deodorant. Check out holi(Rose) N4‘s full ingredient list:

agent nateur natural deodorant screenshot of their ingredients

A Chat With Founder Jena Covello

I wanted to find out a little bit more about my fave deo so I was thrilled to get the chance to chat with founder Jena. Check it:

TNK: What’s your fave AN deodorant? The one you use everyday?

Jena: Rose and holi man.

TNK: What or who is Shiva Rose?

Jena: Shiva Rose is a beautiful friend and alchemist that I’ve known for many years in LA. She has a beautiful line of skincare and she is a master at scent. We joined forces and combined our sandalwood and rose oils together to create holi rose. 

TNK: Is your deodorant certified organic?

Jena: It’s not certified organic but we use organic and wildcrafted ingredients. We are certified in Europe. This means that our formula is tested by a chemist for safety purposes. Europe and Japan have the highest safety measurements for cosmetics. 

TNK: You once called yourself the Kanye of deodorants – I like it. Can you tell us why?

Jena: Haha! Because I was one of the very first people to get a natural deodorant in a stick. And I was definitely THE first luxury brand to do so.

TNK: Is there such thing as armpit detox and if so, what do you recommend?

Jena: Yes! After using conventional antiperspirant most of my life and switching to AN, I sweat a lot more for a solid year but after that, the sweating stopped. It is crazy!  I think it took me a year to unclog the underarms from antiperspirant. If someone gets a rash because of baking soda, I recommend an apple cider vinegar wash prior to use. It heals the rash and allows you to continue using Agent in most cases. If the rash continues, we suggest using our sensitive formula.  

TNK: Have you experienced any white shirt staining with AN deo? In your experience, what is the best way to treat armpit stains?

Jena: Personally I have never but I have heard it happening on occasion. Fells Naptha is a great bar of soap that removes stains. I also suggest using just three swipes of Agent and blotting underarms after with a hand towel. A little goes a long way and the stains occur from overusing the product. 

TNK: We don’t often see raw honey in deodorants – how does this benefit the formula?

Jena: It’s antimicrobial and adds a nice scent! 

The Best Natural Deodorant

I use and test a lot of natural deodorants and inevitably one will work for me for a while but then there will be a break in efficacy. It will come out of nowhere like mid-squat at the gym, arm out the window driving or going in to give my husband a hug and all of a sudden BAM! My natural deodorant crapped out and I just got punched in the face with my own stank. I know you’ve been there too. Well, I can say with full assurance that has never happened to me with holi(Rose) N4. Let me spell that out for you; N.E.V.E.R. Not only does it keep BO at bay, it actually makes me smell like roses.

Not only does this deo work but for some reason, it keeps me a bit dryer than most too. Now I’m not saying TOTALLY DRY, I’m saying a little bit dryer than most. You can expect to still feel slightly tacky at times. And that’s okay, it’s your body’s way of excreting toxins and at least you don’t smell!

Also, it comes in a stick with a twist up function. Thank you. I appreciate deodorants that come in a pot but at the end of the day, a stick is just easier. Can I get an AMEN?!

In addition, holi(Rose) N4 has never irritated my skin. Sometimes deodorants formulated with baking soda will give me a rash under my arms after using it for an ongoing period of time. But I have been using holi (Rose) N4 for over 6 months now and I’ve never experienced any irritation. Agent Nateur says if you are prone to baking soda irritation, take these precautions.

And like I mentioned, I’ve also never had a break in efficacy and to be quite frank, I actually walk around smelling like roses. Sers. holi(Rose) N4 can withstand an average day, a hot Atlanta summer day or even a 90 minute, 100 degree yoga sesh at Red Hot Yoga in Atlanta. WERK!

The only drawbacks are; it’s 1.7 oz which is smaller than your standard 3+ oz and it costs a pretty penny.

But if you are fed up with trying natural deodorants that just aren’t working or you just want to skip the bull and go straight to the top, then holi(Rose) N4 is your holi grail. (Like what I did there?)

Compared To What?

Here are some other natural deodorants I’ve tried. Some of these are really great too and totally work for me. I’m just sharing so you can see the pool I chose from to be able to claim the best natural deodorant.

I’ve tried:

  • All of the other Agent Nateur deos including holi(Man) and the new sensitive formula
  • Schmidts
  • Freedom
  • PiperWai
  • Ursa Major
  • Meow Meow Tweet
  • Green Tidings
  • Primal Pit Paste
  • Bare Bones Vegan
  • Vapour AER Next
  • Soapwalla
  • Erbaviva
  • Earth Mama Organics
  • Corpus
  • Type A
  • Routine
  • Humble

I still want to try:

  • Primally Pure
  • Native
  • Kai

Try Agent Nateur’s holi(Rose)!

Say goodbye to stink and get the best natural deodorant here!

P.S. Here is what I am using now and check out some budget luxe skincare!

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply


    I recommend Curie all-natural deodorant. I haven’t tried the Agent Nateur yet, but I’ve tried a lot of the other ones you listed, and Curie is my favorite so far!

    1. Reply


      Thanks for this Elizabeth! I haven’t tried that one but it sounds awesome!

  2. Reply

    Ginny Jones

    Great post as always, Lisa! I want to try this one, and Meow Meow Tweet (love the paper packaging!)

    I see Native is on your “To try” list. Sadly, I’ve noticed their new package includes the word, “fragrance.” : ( Not happy about that change.

    Would love to read more about the issue with talc.


    1. Reply


      Hi Ginny! Yes! This one is a must girl – It will rock your world! xo!

  3. Reply


    Elizabeth that Curie one looks good, but I see the word, “fragrance” on the label. I’m not sure where “natural” or “botanical” fragrance falls in the fragrance loophole debate, but I’d love to know. Always more research to do! Other than that, Curie looks good!

    1. Reply


      Thanks Virginia! This would be one of those times where we would need to email the company to ask what they are using for fragrance exactly. Great comment!

  4. Reply


    Do you know why the ingredient list doesn’t contain rose or sandalwood…

    1. Reply


      Hi Julia! I love the way you think! These are the Holi Rose ingredients taken straight from the Agent Nateur website, “organic cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), cera alba (beeswax), helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed butter, persea gratissima (avocado) fruit butter, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, wildcrafted rosa damascena oil, wildcrafted santalum album (sandalwood) oil” – sometimes on sites like Amazon for example, they don’t always include the full ingredient list.

  5. Reply


    I’m late reading this post, however I would love to know if you looked in to Sensatia Botanicals line of botanicals? When I was searching for clean deodorants, their site came up.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Karin! I haven’t but I just noted them on our list of brands to look into. Let us know if you try them and like anything! xo, Lisa

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