Speed Stick Deodorant

On 14 December 1997, for reasons than now escape me, I noted the date that I started using a new deodorant stick—the brand I had already been using for years before then, Speed Stick by Mennen, 3.25 ounces. When I replaced that stick with a new one almost a year later, I recorded the date, and have been keeping track since then. I guess I have a mysterious curiosity about such minutia (I love to put dates on things, such as when I acquire or read a book, or write a poem, or even when I mow the lawn). The following table records the number of days I used each deodorant stick since I started keeping track, complete with the dates involved, plus the location where I was living and other occasional notes. You really wanted to know all this, right? Nod vigorously if you’re as fascinated as I am despite the oddity of it all. And scroll down for a graph and additional comments. + + +

Date Number of Days Location / Notes

14 December 1997 ~ Foster City, California

10 December 1998 362 3.25 oz

9 August 1999 242

10 April 2000 245

1 December 2000 235

29 August 2001 271 Belmont, California

1 May 2002 245

2 December 2002 215 Redmond, Washington

15 June 2003 195 Sammamish, Washington

19 January 2004 218

29 August 2004 223

11 May 2005 255

4 January 2006 238

20 November 2006 320

19 July 2007 241

15 March 2008 240

1 December 2008 261

11 September 2009 284

20 May 2010 251

6 February 2011 262

2 October 2011 238

28 June 2012 270

24 June 2013 361

18 August 2014 420 3.0 oz?

4 June 2015 290 3.0 oz (hereafter)

28 January 2016 238

2 April 2018 798 (did I forget to record the previous date?)

1 June 2019 425

24 April 2022 1,058 (this high number of days is thanks to pandemic disruptions)

TOTAL DAYS: 8,901 356.5 days per year on average

It’s been interesting to see how varied the length of time can be for each stick—as low as 195 days (just over half a year) to as many as 798 days (about a year and three quarters, or four times as long as the shortest time), and 1,058 days during the Covid-19 pandemic when I mostly worked at home, which I would consider an anomaly in my usage pattern. I always put the deodorant on once a day the same way regardless of the weather, so hotter months are no explanation for the rather wide variance. One possible explanation I have for sticks that lasted longest is that those days have sometimes corresponded to periods when I worked at home, and may have skipped having showers sometimes (especially true during the pandemic). But great variance occurred even when I wasn’t working at home, which I can’t explain (the variance, not working away from home). Perhaps more likely an explanation for the highest number (before the pandemic anomaly) is that I neglected to record a new stick sometime in 2017.

Since the start, I have been careful to get the exact same brand each time—and I thought the same size. The plastic dispenser has always remained the same in size, but somewhere along the line the amount of deodorant in each package changed. At some point the 3.25-ounce size was reduced to just 3.0 ounces. Not sure when that happened (maybe someone at Mennen could tell me?), but I do know I always used the same the deodorant brand with the same size packaging, and I know the product size for 2014 or 2015 and later was definitely 3.0 ounces, and that I started off with 3.25 ounces, even though the size of the container never changed. If we factor in the variable that later usage days were from a smaller product amount, I’ve been getting even more mileage out of less product content in recent years.

The following chart indicates usage up to June 1 of 2019 (number of days of usage per deodorant stick).

As of June 2019, the total number of days (7,843) divided by the number of sticks (28) equals an average of 280.1 days per deodorant stick. As of April 2022, the total number of days (8,901) divided by the number of sticks (29) equals an average of 306.9 days per deodorant stick. So far, the lowest usage was 195 days, and (not counting the pandemic anomaly marked in April 2022) the highest was 798 days (409.2 percent higher than the lowest, assuming I had not failed to record an intervening deodorant stick). Stay tuned for more thrilling data in the years ahead. Try to contain your excitement.

Notes: Number of days determined at http://www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html or http://www.convertunits.com/dates/ (both excluding end date). Just so you know, Mennen was acquired by Colgate-Palmolive in 1992.