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The gift of deodorant, naturally

Question: In a mail order catalog I saw a product called "Le Crystal Naturel." It looked like a white rock and the advertisement said it was a 100 percent organic deodorant. What is this thing and how does it work? Answer: I like to refer to this product as the deodorant rock. Being definitely different than any type of deodorant I have ever seen, I contacted the manufacturer for more information as well as a sample.

The Le Crystal Naturel is comprised of mineral salts that are odorless and hypoallergenic while being ideal for sensitive skin. When moistened and rubbed over the skin, it creates a non-sticky, invisible layer of mineral salts that prevent odor-causing bacteria.

Because it is odorless, it does not compete with the user's perfume or cologne nor does it stain clothing.

After a few usages, I noticed the rock beginning to turn clearer and brighter. In fact, the more I used it, the prettier it became. Le Crystal Naturel is available in department, health and beauty stores, sells for $15, lasts for at least one year and is probably the only deodorant suitable for gift-giving. To find out where it is available in your area call 1-800-829-ROCK.

Fire escape ladder

Question: A few weeks ago, you wrote about smoke detectors that assist in saving lives during the emergency of a fire. We live on the third story of a high-rise building and are concerned with how to escape if a fire blocks our front door. We have searched the hardware stores in our area for an emergency ladder that would let us exit through our window and have not been able to find one. Can you help?

Answer: You bet! At a recent trade show I found a new product, designed by a firefighter, that is one of the cleverest designed emergency escape ladders I have found.

The All-Safe Fire Escape Ladder compactly stores out of the way, under a bed or near a window, ready for use. In the event of an emergency, just unfold and attach to a window sill, pull the tear-away straps and watch the ladder instantly unfold without tangling.

What I especially like about this product, is that the first two steps are stationary, simplifying escape from a window. The remaining steps are designed to be rigid when stepped on, eliminating the chances of buckling or swaying. Stand-off's are built in that keep the ladder 6 inches away from the wall to allow for better footing while descending.

The All-Safe Fire Escape Ladder is available in two- and three-story lengths ($70 and $90), holds up to 600 pounds and is guaranteed not to tangle. 1-800-833-FIRE.

Have a question? Write to the Gadget Guru in care of the St. Petersburg Times at 4301 Hillsboro Road 100, Nashville, Tenn. 37215 (FAX number 615-383-0816).