I Hereby Declare Deodorant No Longer a Big Deal

in Korea.  As any NorAm expat in Korea will attest to, the Korea is not known for its fabulous selection of deodorants.  In fact, deodorant has for many been one of those must-bring-from home items.  It certainly was for me. 

Actually, I always got my deodorant hookup through my parents.  They’ve probably sent me a six month-supply of deodorant every four months for the last five years.  I recently began to run out but I’d unfortunately just received a care package from my mom and felt it in bad form to immediately ask for another.  What’s worse, I was supposed to ask her to get me some deodorant but I forgot, and nothing makes my wife more angry than when I forget something.  This is a particular problem for me, as I have an awful memory.  I told Miyoung I would have to go into Dongdaemun Market or Itaewon and try to find some deodorant, because I couldn’t live without it.  Miyoung told me “You forgot, it’s your problem.  You solve it without wasting a whole day in the process.”

After thinking for a while I realized that they do in fact sell deodorant in Korea, but until recently it’s only been branded to women.

I’m talking about Rexena.



Now I pack a pretty powerful odor when given the chance, and I am not usually in the business of trusting my confidence to something that comes in soothing pastel colors.  As cliche as it sounds, I need a man’s deodorant.  But necessity is the mother of trying new stuff, and so I bought the first stick of Rexena I’ve seen that’s made for men.

My review: At 4,200 for a tiny tube, Rexena is somewhat expensive, but compared to the inconvenience associated with getting deodorant from back home or a foreigner market, it’s worth it.  Unfortunate it seems even more expensive when you see how soft it is.  It seems to run out a good deal quicker than your average stick deodorant, because it has the consistency of ice cream.  Not that it melts, but if ice cream had the same consistency at room temperature as it does at its peak.

How does it work?  I wanted to wait until I really got a chance to test it out before posting a positive review of it here, and I got that test yesterday.  I spent the entire hot and humid day in a suit, managed to keep the sweating down and when I got home and took off the jacket found that there was no smell at all.  Rexena is the real deal.

And so, my expat compatriots, rejoice, for one more of life in Korea’s little inconveniences is a thing of the past.


~ by Joshing on June 19, 2008.

13 Responses to “I Hereby Declare Deodorant No Longer a Big Deal”

  1. Is it a deodorant or anti-perspirant? I also am curious what “cotton fresh” smells like.

  2. I am happy to announce that it is indeed a deodorant and antiperspirant. Cotton fresh is one of the ladies’ fragrances, and it smells like it.

  3. but anti perspirants have aluminum in them and that causes mad cow disease.

  4. That’s a myth Rob. But the silver in there also prevents werewolf-ism

  5. sweet! Now, between this deodourant, boshintang, and my kimchi hand-lotion, I’m safe from SARS, werewolves, zombies, vampires AND 60% of pirates!

  6. (which de-facto guards me from 80% of Facebook, too!)

  7. Ha, once my (Korean) fiancee and I ran into a Westerner who, um, well, she said he had a stink upon him. I couldn’t smell it, but she said every gust of wind made her feel ill.

    “Well, honey, when he first got to Korea, I think deodorant was harder to get. He probably just got used to living without it.”

    “Yes, but… I can understand little boys who don’t know how to wash themselves properly, but…”

    “But honey, we sweat more than y’all do.”

    And I stand by that. I’ve rarely seen a Korean who sweats anywhere near as much as I do. Of course, I’m an out-of-shape bastard, but still… anyway, I agree that the deodorant thing is a thing of the past.

    Though you could probably get the non-ice-cream stuff online, if your wife is willing to let you use her ID number to do the ordering. (Or if you can find an online market that doesn’t sell only to Koreans.)

  8. I just read your 2/17 Amoral familism post and I must say that that was a very well written piece. It was brillient the way that you tied that concept into Korea and you did you in a very logical and 100% truthful way without spite. Awesome. I did I post a while back on how Franz Fanon’s concept that if a colony doesnt defeat and kill their invaders that they would, as a whole, suffer serious damage by this. The fact that Koreans had the Japanese pushed out by the Americans and have the former’s economy so much more powerful (and the side smirks of the japanese still present) can fit Fanon’s concept cleanly into Korea.

  9. Yeah…I tried the Korean deodorant thing and it didn’t work out. Maybe we have different body chemistries? Have you ever seen that ad on the subway for that Dri-Clear stuff (or whatever it’s called) that’s supposed to make you stop sweating??? I haven’t tried that yet, but I’m tempted.

    Even if it doesn’t work out, it’s all good cause I got a year’s worth of Degree and Lady Speed Stick in my botton drawer. No joke.

  10. I happened to enter ur blog and it’s interesting that it was a page about deodorants sold in Korea cuz I’m Korean myself and living in NY.Well, to me I was surprised to see soooo many deodorants in duane read or rite aid etc. and later, I got to know that Africans usually have more chemical things than asians, latins, or caucasians. so, according to my friend who’s going to medical school, an order of African-Caucasian-South Latin-Asian..and west asianss blah blah…. makes all different chemistry going on in ur body especially related to odor. anyways, I’m wondering if ur enjoying Korean life, well I’m pretty sure u are, and most definitely in Seoul.
    So I’m enjoying NYC life too! good luck to u!

  11. Aluminum has links to Alzheimer’s I thought…I found this site because I stopped wearing deodorant a week ago and I might not go back. Good times!

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