Bolinas horse trainer Meg Gould engages in lots of activity: mounted shooting, biking, running, golfing, stand-up paddle boarding and a workout class. Her chemical-free deodorant, dubbed Apology, solves problems for her and many others.   David Briggs

Meg Gould was not willing to apologize for her body odor. A Bolinas native, she developed a recipe for a non-chemical deodorant in her own kitchen after the commercial brands she had always relied upon suddenly failed her. 

“Whether it was hormone changes or my body rejecting the chemicals in those deodorants, they just stopped working,” she explained. “It was bad.” 

A horse-trainer and competitive mounted shooter, Ms. Gould said her particularly active lifestyle exacerbated the dilemma. After researching chemical-free recipes online, she found it surprisingly easy to stop her stench. But she wanted more: a good scent and feel to the deodorant, as opposed to the “playdough-like” substance she started out with. 

Her final product—a balm that you rub onto armpits or feet—was soon in high demand from friends and family. The deodorant, produced in a Novato lab and packed in round tins, is quickly catching on across the country. 

She named the company Apology, with the fine print below continuing, “…owed to the armpit for all the chemicals used upon it.” 

A number of chemicals are common in commercial deodorant brands, including aluminum compounds and parabens, both of which interfere with estrogen levels and are linked to breast cancer. Many products contain other suspected carcinogens: triclosan, an antibacterial agent also used as a pesticide, and triethanolamine and diethanolamine, both banned in Europe. 

What’s in Apology? The certified organic ingredients Ms. Gould uses are arrowroot, coconut oil, shea nut butter, beeswax, lemon peel oil, orange peel oil, rosemary leaf extract and sunflower seed oil. She also adds baking soda and series of other essential oils, including pink grapefruit peel oil, mandarin peel oil, tangerine peel oil and spearmint leaf oil. 

Ms. Gould encourages customers to put the formula on stinky feet as well as pits. The testimonials on her website include one from a Bolinas woman who said, “Waited all my life for you! I can now dance for hours in confidence. Apology gives me wings!” 

A San Francisco man wrote, “My wife and I have tried everything to help her manage her strong natural body scent. She is allergic to most commercial products and even most marketed as ‘natural’… We had resorted to making our own with an expensive and unusual recipe when we discovered Apology.” 

Yet another fan wrote, “In my experience using natural deodorants for almost 30 years, they have all failed after a busy physical day. Apology is amazingly long lasting and still works after you sweat!” 

In West Marin, Apology deodorant can be found at the Palace Market, the People’s Store and a number of other businesses in Bolinas. It’s also at Good Earth markets and on Amazon, and available directly from Ms. Gould’s website, 


Disclaimer: this reporter wears Apology.