Let me start by saying that I realize that Asia has a lot of things figured out. There are several aspects of society where Asia is clearly a world leader, drawing envy from its western neighbours…ping-pong, public transit, badminton. One of these areas is clearly not underarm hygiene.
While there is deodorant available in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, it comes in very small containers (see picture) and does not offer a high-level of odour protection. It is puzzling to me how news of such a simple invention has somehow not crossed the Pacific during the last several decades. News spreads so rapidly now (everyone here has huge smartphones)….so why the delaying in the spread of information about adequate underarm products.
So then I started thinking, maybe larger deodorant with additional odour protection is not needed here. The people are smaller and North America does have a history of developing products that are well in excess of what is needed by the average consumer (think supersized fast-food combos). This seemed like a perfectly plausible explanation: There is no large deodorant in Asian because there is no need for it by the average Asian citizen.
And I was quite happy with this explanation, until I rode a bus in Hong Kong! I would venture to guess that approximately 20 – 30 % of the dense smog that hangs over most of Hong Kong on an average summer day is in fact a Linus-like haze, fueled by the millions of Asians with inadequate underarm odour protection.
It doesn’t add up. Asia clearly needs a Deodorant Revolution. In the meantime, I live here nervously, wondering if my supply of rare North American deodorant will last until my next trip back.