I have been travelling to Asia for over 13 years now and back in 2000 when I first visited China buying antiperspirant deodorant outside of Shanghai seemed almost impossible. Thankfully this is no longer the case, it can be purchased almost anywhere now even though the cost is approximately twice that of the equivalent product in UK.
Fast forward 13 years to Siheung, South Korea where I am frequently based due to the HQ of my employer being just down the road in Ansan…..Normally I pack 2 lots of antiperspirant deodorant when I travel just in case I leave one it a hotel or something, however on this trip I totally forgot to pack any! So I decided to head to the local shops to buy some….it was almost like being back in China 13 years ago! I couldn’t find any in any of the convenience stores, so off I head to E-Mart which is a large supermarket/store…
I was expecting to be presented with a wall of deodorant including international brands that I was familiar with along with a select of Korean brands that I will never have heard of, but alas this was not the case. What I did find was small selection of Axe (Lynx in the UK) spray deodorant in a special ‘New’ section of the mens grooming products. I was happy at first because it meant I would not be stinking before the end of each day, but my happiness was short lived when I saw the price of 10900 WON (Approximately 11 USD)!
So this has got me wondering, do South Korean guys simply do not need deodorant? Or I am in a less developed suburb of Seoul where such luxuries are sold at a premium price?
On my next trip I will bring a few extra cans and leave them in my dormitory, or better still import a crate load from the UK, mark them up 100% and sell them!