One of the biggest buzzwords in 1970s health and beauty advertising was ‘natural’. Practically every ad had it; appealing to the more folksy Bohemian vibe that was the zeitgeist of the day. This ad, from a 1972 issue of Seventeen magazine, was for Gillette’s Right Guard Natural Scent Antiperspirant. It features a long-haired, hippie-ish, ‘natural’ model in a rather cool black and white photo.
The ad’s ‘natural’ claim was completely based on its scent; that the scent comes from real, natural ingredients, not a lot of artificial ones. It goes on to claim that Right Guard has the best wetness fighter in any antiperspirant spray. In other words, lots of chemicals being propelled out into the environment and onto your armpits. About as ‘natural’ as spraying bug killer.
Right Guard spray was ubiquitous in my junior high and high school P.E. classes. The icky smell hung in the locker rooms after gym class and our required showers. Thinking back, there weren’t many options when it came to deodorants. Either sprays, or a liquid roll-on version that took forever to dry. Thankfully now we have the stick-type deodorants that just glide on. And you can get them as truly organically natural, or as full of chemicals as you want!