For years, I've been searching for a less-toxic deodorant for my husband. My husband has gone along with most of my green upgrades pretty willingly, but he insists on having a deodorant that is up to the task, and so far the less-toxic deodorants have largely not worked for my husband. Now I am willing to let a thing or two slide here and there, but I did not let go of my quest for a new deodorant for my husband for one major reason: he often sleeps with our kids, and after they sleep together, I can smell the fragrance of his deodorant on my kids. Which means the fragrance is on them.
So what's wrong with fragrance? The problem with fragrance is that the term "fragrance" is the mother of all loop-holes in ingredient disclosure. Fragrance is a trade secret, so manufacturers don't have to disclose what's in it. Independent testing of fragrance products by Environmental Working Group demonstrated that some individual products literally hide 24 different chemicals under the name "fragrance," and those chemicals are often members of the infamous phthalates family.
I would have settled for a conventional deodorant for my husband if it just didn't have "fragrance" listed as an ingredient. But I couldn't find one. I once walked the aisles of Target looking at every single deodorant for men, and not one was without the ingredient "fragrance" (except the Tom's of Maine brand, which Target does carry).