Editor's note: This article has been changed to correct instances in which Jason Feucht was misidentified.
Want to quench the stench under your arms? A Loveland couple recommends that you take a shot of 140-proof whiskey. Or two or three. Per pit.
Erica and Jason Feucht have launched Pit Liquor, an all-natural, booze-based underarm deodorant, with a debut Tuesday on Kickstarter.
The Feuchts came up with the idea for the product when Erica was pregnant with their first child last year, and Jason told her that he wished she wouldn't use deodorants that could be harmful to her unborn child.
Erica was in a hurry that day, she said, so she splashed some hand sanitizer under her arms to kill any germs lurking there.
"I told Jason, 'Hey, if you want me to use natural deodorant, you'll have to make something that works,'" she said.
The idea wasn't out of the question for the Feuchts, who make their own yogurt, kombucha and laundry detergent and eat organic.
"We're a little crunchy, you could say," Erica said.
Jason, an IT professional, took on the challenge. He loves to do research and think outside the box, she said.
"He's a body experimenter," she added — for example, washing one arm with one kind of soap and the other with a different kind, for long stretches, to see how his skin reacts.
When their baby, Eveleigh, was born 10 months ago, he was still tinkering with his project.
"I said, 'All right, let's work on it together,'" Erica said.
All natural, high-octane deodorant
The result of their work is Pit Liquor, a spray-on underarm deodorant made of 140-proof organic whiskey, tea extracts, arrowroot powder and other natural, food-grade ingredients.
The alcohol kills germs before it evaporates, and the other ingredients create a neutral underarm environment where bacteria won't grow, the Feuchts say.
So far, they have been making the deodorant at home in three aromas: Whiskey Black Pepper, Whiskey Vanilla and Whiskey Lavender.
At first squirt, the whiskey aroma is detectable, but it fades under the other scents. A vodka-based product is in the works.
Erica said they started by giving away free samples to friends, and then to strangers.
"So far, everyone we've sent a bottle to has come back with rave reviews. They say, 'I'm a customer for life,'" she said.
On Tuesday, they launched a 29-day Kickstarter campaign, hoping to raise $12,000. They would use the money to send products to their backers and then have enough to buy supplies for another product run, Erica said.
What: An organic, whiskey-based deodorant made in Loveland by entrepreneurs who just launched a $12,000 Kickstarter campaign.
When: The Kickstarter campaign runs through 6 p.m. Nov. 22.
Cost: Backers at $7 level get a 1-ounce bottle; $11 backers get a 3.4-ounce bottle. Retail prices will be $8 and $12.
On Kickstarter, people who pledge $7 will receive a 1-ounce spray bottle of Pit Liquor if the Feuchts reach their goal, and $11 backers will get a 3.4-ounce bottle. When the product is available online, it will sell for $8 and $12.
If the Kickstarter campaign doesn't reach its goal, Erica said they will continue with their project, finding other ways to finance the work without running up a lot of debt.
They need to get a license to allow them to denature the alcohol — making it taste so bad that no one would drink it — and they're working on patenting their use of liquor as a deodorant.
During their development process, Erica said Jason casually mentioned that he hadn't been washing his underarms for the past few months, to test the effectiveness of the deodorant.
"That's very literally true. And he continues his trend," she said. He reportedly smells fine.
Figuring such a claim was worth verifying, the Feuchts took to Boulder's Pearl Street Mall to ask total strangers to sniff Jason's unwashed armpit (through his shirt). The result is an LOL-inducing video on Youtube and their Kickstarter page that captures the reactions of the sniffers.
The quirkiness of their product raises lots of questions when people first hear about it, such as:
• Can you get drunk from the spray? No Erica said. Based on their research, even if you took a bath in liquor, you wouldn't get drunk, she said.
• Does spraying alcohol on your skin sting, especially where you shave? Erica said the deodorant stings a little if your skin is raw, but testers have told them it's not a problem.
• Does it work as an antiperspirant? The Feuchts say the body is designed to perspire, so Pit Liquor doesn't stop that; it just makes the underarm a place where odor-causing bacteria won't grow.
• "I can't go to work with alcohol on my breath, or under my arms. Will I smell like booze?" The liquor smell dissipates quickly, the Feuchts say. Among their testers, only bartenders were able to detect the scent of whiskey on the skin, they say, and a batch of vodka deodorant eliminated that issue.
Erica acknowledged the humor in their concept, its name and the bottle shaped like a hip flask and said she expects some of their Kickstarter backers to be looking for a gag gift, especially at Christmastime.
But that's OK, she said, because despite the fun of it all, they put serious research into the product and believe that once customers start squirting Pit Liquor under their arms, they will be believers.
One more question: why whiskey?
"We do like whiskey a lot," Erica said.