Journeymen deodorant products

Journeymen, a new all-natural men’s deodorant, is set to launch in select retailers and online April 1.

Two stockkeeping units, Cypress/Smoke Deodorant Spray and Stick, will be sold at Kinfolk, Blends, General Admission, American Rag, Thalia Surf Shop and Sun Diego Boardshops. Journeymen’s Web site, wearejourneymen.com, will also launch April 1. For the launch, Journeymen will be sold in 12 doors total, and the products will retail for $18 each.

The brand looks to capitalize on an opening between mass market and high-end deodorants. “There was kind of, in our eyes, a hole in the market between the mass market and more of the luxury brands,” said Sean Donovan, one of Journeymen’s cofounders. “Right now you can buy very floral-based fragrances in deodorants, or it’s like a teen-boy overpowering [scent],” Donovan said. “We wanted to develop something that was a little more subtle and had depth to the fragrance.”

“I went out and talked to a few retailers about, like, ‘Would this be something that you would buy?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, totally,’” Donovan, who has worked for VF Corp. for several years, said. “Working at Vans and at Reef, basically all of the retail stores that I dealt with were looking for more accessory-type products that don’t take up a lot of floor space,” Donovan said. “They have good margins for the retailer and the actual brand, and it’s something that they don’t even sell right now that everyone uses.”

He partnered with fellow surfer and former Reef colleague Brandon Rich to form the business. Rich serves as the president of Journeymen, and Donovan acts as chief product and creative officer.

“I basically went to the lab and said ‘OK, I’ve been using natural deodorant, here’s a couple that I’ve been using that haven’t really been working for me, what can we change to kind of update this and make it more effective?’” Donovan said.

The lab went to work creating something that aims to prevent stench. “Your natural sweat actually doesn’t smell, what smells is when the proteins in your sweat oxidize,” Donovan said. “That’s actually what makes your sweat turn a yellow color…this technology…combined ingredients to prevent your sweat from oxidizing, which doesn’t let the bacteria start to develop, which then doesn’t have the staining effects.”

Expect more scents to come down the pipeline — Donovan says Journeymen plans to release a new fragrance every four to six months. Journeymen, which views itself as a lifestyle company, also plans to release a video series as part of its rollout.

“The idea for the name came from…a community of creatives that are all journeymen, and doing stories on each of them,” Donovan said. “So we’re doing a video series called ‘We Are Journeymen.’” First up is Kinfolk creative director Jey Perie, who also serves on the company’s board of advisers, Donovan said.

While the April rollout is a soft launch, the company anticipates expanding to more doors and to additional fragrances in the coming months. “In the beginning it will definitely be more in the trendsetter-type of doors,” Donovan said.