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Body Odor-An Unpleasant Encounter

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Biology 103
2002 Second Paper
On Serendip

Body Odor-An Unpleasant Encounter

Melissa Brown

"What is that smell?" you ask.
"It is absolutely disgusting," you reply to yourself as you continue walking along. Then you realize that this smell just keeps on following you, from classroom to lunchroom to dorm room, even in the courtyard. Then it hits you that garbage has not been following you everywhere but you are the cause of that disgusting smell; you have body odor. What is this phenomenon of body odor? According to John Riddle, Body odor is the term used for any unpleasant smell associated with the body(1).

Most of us are concerned about how we look especially, how we smell so body odor which can be a potentially fatal blow to a person's social life is not a welcome addition to one's ingredients for success. It is this human fear of being excluded that led to the invention of the term, body odor. In the 1910s and 1920s, advertisers highlighted people's discontent with the things around them and with themselves in order to encourage them to buy their products. A group of advertising men used the term B.O. to mean body odor in a women's deodorant advertisement for their product, Odo-Ro-No. It played upon women's sentiments that beauty was important to achieving their main goal in life: a husband.

Listerine, which today has mundane advertisements with bottles of Listerine and a voice talking about the results of laboratory research that show Listerine's ability to combat gingivitis, cavities and so on, also used this approach. Listerine had an advertisement that showed "pathetic Edna" who was approaching her "tragic" thirtieth birthday and was always "a bridesmaid and never a bride" apparently because she suffered from Halitosis or bad breath (of course it could not have been personality problems that was hindering Edna's romantic progress!). As a result of this ad, Listerine's sales went from $100,000 a year in 1921 to more than $4 million in 1927. Body odor is a major concern for most people and even those who do not suffer from it are concerned about preventing body odor because of its negative social consequences.(2)

People are very sensitive about how they smell. Humans do not appreciate the power of a bad smell as much as skunks appreciate theirs. The striped skunk which is known in the scientific community as Mephitis mephitis accurately shoots a narrow stream of yellow fluid, butyl mercaptan, up to 10 feet at a threat. If the fluid hits the eyes of the threat it may cause temporary blindness. Even if the skunks misses, which is rare, the musk will cause nausea, gagging and general discomfort. (Perhaps next time you are at a party and you receive some unwelcome attention, you should raise those armpits or let out a breath of air to your unsuspecting predator.) Most people however, try to do quite the opposite and purchase expensive perfumes to mask odors and create a sensual smell that will attract the opposite sex. They spend a lot of money buying perfumes like Object of Desire by Bvlgari and they do not realize that the fluid that skunks emit is commercially used as a base for perfumes because of its clinging nature.(3) This makes me wonder whether if it is only by having a bad smell that we can get a good smell.

So what exactly causes us to have that bad smell? Most of the causes are related to lifestyle choices. If you use drugs, toxins or herbs such as alcohol and cigarette smoking, you body will smell. Also if you eat certain foods such as garlic and raw onions you will have an unpleasant breath. You can also develop body odor by simply sweating excessively or practicing poor hygiene. A couple other causes of body odor include: tooth or oral conditions such as periodontal disease and gingivitis. Also, there can be inborn errors of metabolism for example, aminoaciduria. Most of these problems are a result of a decision that the sufferer had made about how he chooses to lead his life. If he chooses to be a chain smoker he will smell like a cigarette. If he chooses not to shower or wash his clothes then he will have a pungent smell. If he chooses not to practice proper dental hygiene then he will have Halitosis. However, if he sweats excessively because he has a fear of social situations then his cause of body odor cannot be as easily rectified. In addition, people who suffer from aminoaciduria also cannot easily change their lifestyle to rectify their body odor because aminoaciduria results from an enzyme deficiency. We should not judge or marginalize people because of their smell because the cause of it may go beyond poor hygiene.(1)

Almost everyone has received a compliment about the perfume that he or she is wearing. This shows that people react to scents and that a pleasant scent encourages a favorable perception of that person. New research has shown that some individuals are highly sensitive to smelling a component of body odor which is called androstenone. Furthermore, if the person can easily smell androstenone then he will decide whether or not he likes the person based on the smell. What is androstenone? It is a human pheromone which is a chemical attractant that is in body secretions like perspiration. Men release large quantities of androstenone while women omit small amounts. So men are more likely to be judged by their smell than women. According to the study, fifty percent of people cannot smell androstenone at all and one half of them can only catch a whiff and enjoy the scent. Those who can smell androstenone, on the other hand, do not like the smell and compare it to urine or perspiration. The study went on to show that there was a correlation between the ability to smell androstenone and the androstenone-smeller's judgment of the person. In other words, if someone can smell androstenone on someone else and finds the smell unpleasant then he will dislike the person.(4)

Clearly, there is a lot at risk if one has body odor since man is a gregarious animal then body odor can make him unable to maintain or even start relationships. We have realized this so there are number of ways to eliminate body odor. One of the most rudimentary ways to get rid of body odor is to wash with both soap and water especially in the groin area and armpits which are more likely to smell. The best soap to use is a deodorant soap which impedes the return of bacteria. Showering, as well as, washing your clothing regularly will help to prevent body odor. In addition, we should wear natural fabrics like cotton which absorb perspiration better than synthetic materials like polyester. Athletic apparel makers like Nike and Adidas are adopting this idea in their clothing design by creating materials that cause the sweat to evaporate faster.

You should also use commercial deodorants which mask underarm odor or use antiperspirants which reduce the amount of perspiration. If these fail then you should turn to France, the land of fine perfumes and "Le Crystal Nature" which is a chunk of mineral salts that helps to keep bacteria under control without irritating the skin. A more serious approach to fighting body odor is Drionic which is an electronic device that plugs up overactive sweat ducts and keeps them plugged for up to six weeks.(5) There are many ways to avoid having body odor. The easiest way to find out what is available to you is to take a stroll in your local Eckerd, CVS or Riteaid.

Body Odor is a major concern for human beings. It is one concern that affects men and women to almost the same extent. We are concerned about our smell because people judge how we take care of ourselves by our smells and use this information to decide whether we are worthy of friendship because of it. We need to pay attention to how we smell not only because of social interactions but because odors from our body may alert us to a medical problem like a urinary tract infection or periodontal disease. It must be noted however that much of the hype about body odor comes from marketing consultants who need to sell their companies' product and play on our insecurity. Try to avoid being caught up in this web of commercialism while at the same time taking good care of your body.



1) Body Odor. It gives basic information about Body Odor.

2) It provides information on the less renowned tidbits of history.

3) It provides information about the striped skunk.

4) It provides information that otherwise would not get a lot of attention.

5) It provides online information about problems that affect teenagers



Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment below)

01/22/2006, from a Reader on the Web

I have been searching for an answer about this one person I work with. He smells intensely of a vinegar like substance, but honestly I would have to say he smells like pickles. half the people I work with say the same thing. It is so intense that I get a headache and a stomache and he is unbearable to be near. I cannot find anything on the internet that would explain this, and I do not have the guts to ask the poor guy, because honestly I cannot even be near him. Any speculation on this matter????? Thank you


Additional comments made prior to 2007

Western culture need to avoid of escalation of hatred and wilingness to take advantages over other using somebody's personal issue as their body/breath odor! Where every house or apartment, everyone has access to bath, shower. Where there is no hygiene issues! This attitude can be fueled by nuslim nations. So one should think about this ... Reader on the web, 1 April 2006



I have the same problem with one of my employees who is from Nepal. I think it could be the spicy food they have, another employee addresses the matter to me since I'm the manager but it is a very delicate matter and I feel sick if I stay 3 foot close to this person. Besides this is a high end retail store and also had customers commenting on the way this person smells. I'm going to have to let her go but wonder if there is anything this person can do to get rid of that horrible odor ... Yolanda, 26 April 2006



i have just noticed a body odor of vinegar. I saw reference to another person about same problem. This just started in the last few days and I am trying to find a reason. Any suggestions? Supplements? thanks ... Tom, 15 July 2006



I see alot of people with posted requests for body odor issues. Mr. Chan has won the Geneva award for his invention in the medical category for a product that cures body dor. A press release was issued and maybe some of your readers would benefit from it.

Here it is below:

Dr. Mist winner of several awards including the Geneva Award for itsí invention in the medical category is currently marketed as a deodorant is also used as a multi-function hygiene product. As a deodorant, there is absolutely no staining, no aluminum, alcohol, oils or fragrances and it flushes out toxins. Customers are moving away from sticks and gels which stain their clothes and lasts part of the day. Dr. mist will last for days, even if bathing is not possible (ie: patients in hospitals, campers, etc)

Dr. mist is a new invention based on floatation technology that works like an anti-perspirant, but still allows the pores to breathe. As recently featured on the news, it is also very effective athlete's foot, soothes mosquito and insect bites, accelerates healing in wounds, clears up acne and pimples with visible results in 24 hours and soothes skin irritation ... Claudette, 13 September 2006


I had bad breath and body odor since I was born. Spent more than 20 years and thousand of dollars trying to find what was missing in my system until I saw Dr. Brenda Watson describing what happens when there is not enough intestinal flora in the body. What happens? Vitamins along with impurities go straight to the blood causing the odor. So that is what was missing in my system.

I started taking probiotics (the higher the number the best) and multi enzymes and that was the beginning of my cure. Now I added Culturelle Lactobacilus Gg and no more body odor and bad breath.

Please, tell other people so they do not go through what I went through ... Mindy, 31 October 2006



My daughter is told she smells like pickles......we can't figure out what is causing's not perfume, soap, shampoo or anything else she's putting on externally.....I read your body odor article and the question posed by one of your readers is the same as mine.....why does my daughter smell like pickles??? What can be done about it?? ... Lupe Rodriguez, 7 December 2006



Re: an earlier post

Either he's wearing something that smells of what you described or it could be some form of disease ex. cancer. could be other forms but if you are that concerned. Does he have a desk? write an anonymous letter? it could be a medical problem and you do need to get your views across, because it could save his life ... Jennifer, 3 February 2007



I have recently noticed a slight wiff of vinegar odor from my body. I asked a friend if he noticed it and he said "no". I shower daily and am clean. Any ideas what may cause this? ... Phil, 16 July 2007



Hello there. I have been experiencing an odor for a while now but I still don't know where it is coming from. It occurs mainly when I am around my friends and it doesn't smell when I'm at home or at my doctor. Other people say that they smell it also. Please advise me what to do if you guys ever came across such an experience before. Thanks in advance ... Saf, 2 October 2007


Serendip Visitor's picture


Thank you for the tips, I'll definitely try baking soda thing.

But my symptom is not 'skin odor'. Of course there's some skin odor, but it's not that serious. my problem is there's always some 'smelly aura' around me.

It's like even the faintest smell on my body can be really expanded and potent. I don't know why. It's like my body is living humidifier, so even the slightest smell can be really nasty and expanded to the vast area. Imagine humid place with garbage.

And myterious thing is, smell of my inside gut is escaping out of body. It's through my pores and breath. doctors deny that kind thing can ever happen. but it happens to me!

I'm at my wit's end.

Anyway i appreciate your suggestion.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I suffer aswell

I think I've had the smell my whole life and every day for me is litrally a struggleI to kee p my spirit high. Im not a dirty person , I take showers daily. But the feeling of cleaninglynesd is only short lived. So ever morning I shower. Soap &body wash scrubber and everything. Yes I know how to shower. So I shower right and I head out to clasd, im smelling fresh , fresh clothes and everyting. But the glory is short lived. Right after 2 -3rd period I begin to start smelling a ordor coming from my butt. I smell like sweaty asshole. This is the weird part. The smell travels down to the knee area. Thats where I notice the smell. It smells like ass and it really gets me down. I too pray for a cure , for all of us. I look up to you all , were all strong bevause we all put up with this on a daily basis. Im 18 years btw. I dont like smelling stinky. People seem to notice and look at me as a dirty person. They feel sorry for me , because the pain of this illness is on my face. I truly dearly hope that one day well be like everyone else , rid of the smell, that stinky smell. We all know how it feels. So stay strong , pray , HOPE ,have FAITH. Please if some one there can help me & us . Help us ! We arnt worthlesd we arent dirty , we desetve a chance ....please

cd's picture

try liqued chlorophyll from

try liqued chlorophyll from gnc tack 2 tabls 2times a day. hopes this help you.

Serendip Visitor - gabbys's picture

I know what it's like

My sweating started in highschool and I would sit at lunch and all these people would make fun of me it was a very depressing time they made
Me feel like I wasnt worthy of life itself I would find myself going to school with three shirts on and changing my shirts frequently in the bathroom but still no good i would layer deodorant many times a day and I always seem liked I wore alot of body sprays but still no good they made me try the suicide approach but really i didnt want to die when I graduated and started working it seemed to stop no more smelling bad but months into my job it stated again I pretty much bought the whole deodorant isle yeah still body odor I wonder sometimes why me why do i deserve this I'm a clean person I take care of my self but people turn me out to be a dirt ball always smelling their pits when i come near or Making little comments I got used to ignoring them but one day I want to be able to find a nice guy to love but dating for me doesn't happen I no longer hate myself for my flaws the things I can not control I just turned my hatred to other people now I've been to a dermatologist about the body odor and the sweating , I could walk down the street in the winter and I'm
Freezing but my pits are wet it's crazy how your body can react and u have no control over it . The dermatologist recommended some shit I put on at bedtime but it did nothing but make my underarms red and irritated and She also recommended Botox but the side affects to Botox make a little iffy about getting it so Its something more I gotta look into maybe there's a test a doctor can do for me to find the cause of this body odor that just won't seem to go away people that say some people are plain lazy they are so stupid and ignorant to it it's more then putting on deodorant and taking care
Of ourselves on a daily basis some of us have real problems we just can't control like our armpits don't work right so i have to say to all those people out there like myself don't sweat it just go to a dermatologist and believe me I know what daily life is like when u have this problem hopefully one day I wont have to worry about sweating all the time and stinking all the time may one day I get a normal life good luck to all u guys out there !!!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

maybe its...

TMAU -Trimethylaminuria.
I feel the EXACT thing is going on with me. But, I asked God to forgive me for being angry with him. If you want to talk further I have an anyonmus facebood page we can talk. I have done alot of research and also noticed if I eat at Burger King or use perfumes it intesifies it. I also noticed that when I eat cheese its bad. I went on a 3 day fast with jello and clear soup and ppl did not notice it . then it started again after i eat regular food. my next step is to do the probiotics and colon cleanse and take multi enzimes. If you want to contact me let me know and ill give you an anonomus facebook contact.

kev's picture

body odour cure

Liked your entry into the forum but do you have a cure or would you suggest it depends on the individual?

sandeep somanna's picture

TMAU -Trimethylaminuria.


Please provide me your anonymous facebook page for discussing about TMAU. I too have this problem and want some tips to control it.
Please send your reply to


Serendip Visitor dorsey's picture

I want to know more. tired of this pronlem aswell


sandy's picture


Hi there I also feel like if I put perfume I smell worse. Its really depressing. I dont go to work that much because its so mentally draining. I also pray to God to forgive me of all my sins if thats the reason I have this. I really dont know what to do next. I get alot of abdominal pain and gas. I dont know if thats whats wrong with me. sometimes I smell like rotten eggs, sewage, but never fish. I hate living like this. I shower I brush my teeth all day long its so stressful to live like this.

sandra's picture

bad odor

please help me i stink and dont know why pleeeeeaaaaassssse help

a Christian friend's picture


Hi. I have just read your comment and I am sorry to hear that you struggle with this.I feel kind of the same way you do.I am a high school student who constantly gets rejected by my peers.I too, have prayed for forgiveness of sins and failures.All I can do is to encourage you to keep on praying.Focus on Jesus and don't listen to what others say about you,because Jesus Loves you, and that's all that matters.My heart goes out to you.Stay blessed

Serendip Visitor's picture


I don't think it's TMAU, many people with this already've been tested for it, but got negative I heard. And if it is TMAU why would it suddenly pop up when people reach their puberty or in a lot of stress?

And I doubt God or fasting or probiotics would do any help. I've already been all of them, and I tried nearly everything a human can do, from conventional medicine to chiness medicine, ayurveda, herbs, teas, vitamins, fasting, laxatives, eating only veges or fruits or cabbages, etc...

Nothing worked or lasted more than couple of days.

Anyway I appreciate your reply, I'd love to talk but I don't use facebook(I don't feel secure with facebook)

wish there are anonymous chat rooms.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I will be trying next...

Spinache juice and carrot juice fast. and eat alkaline foods. Maybe, its that my body is highly acidic. this can cause this too. I will let you know how this goes.

Serendip Visitor's picture

foods high in alkaline

I read an article about Choline. Apparently all of us that are suffering from this body odor has an issue with the water soluble essential
nutrient Choline.And I can tell you Spinach has a high count of it and only makes it worse. I have juiced fruits and veggies for over 15 years and still no resolve. I have tried everything from A to Z except elimination of Choline. I will embark on this path but it will be very hard because almost everything that we consume has this nutrient. Fox 26 news did a segment on this very fact but I caught the tail end of the news and missed the entire report. I can't seem to google the episode either. I am sure one of us will find a cure soon. I may have to endure embarrassment to help us all and go to medical school. It would be well worth it cause these damn doctors always dismiss it as they don't smell anything and it is all in your mind.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I understand

I do understand and every thing you've done, I've done too. I am always hangin on to hope. even if i've tried these same things before, I do it all over again. I just cant' get give up hope. without hope or God to believe in, I will be bitter all the time. Thank you for responding. I will keep going and hopeing and praying for all of us who are going through this. if anything we got out of this conversation is understanding of what we are going through and that we are not alone.

Serendip Visitor's picture


I agree with your comments. Its not TMAU. I truly believe its a form of Candida that has taken over our entire system. They are in our endocrine glands. They are in our GI tract... I don't know how to get rid of them, but I have ways of killing them off in small amounts, which does help lessen the odor. Someday there will be a magic cure for this, but we are not recognized by medical science yet, so its frustrating. I recently got into a shouting match with my GI who says there is no medical evidence to support what I was telling her. I told her to join me for one two hour movie and tell me I dont have a problem. Anyway, don't give up. This is science, not a curse. One piece of advice I can give you is that yeast cannot live in an acidic environment. Acid will kill them. Grapefruit extract and grapefruit juice as well as lemon juice and water helps purify the GI. The real issue for all of us who have done the candida diet is why do they always come back. There has to be an amino acid mechanism that is failing during the process of food metabolism. This is where the answer will come, when it does.

Write me and then we can talk on the phone afterwards. ill try to sneak my email here but the site does not allow us to communicate. Awful.

Serendip Visitor's picture


I was watching a show with a doctor on and he was asked a question about this, they had told him what if you bath use deo n still stink.Wanna know what he sed ? He simply dismissed that that was possible and said we simply don't bath enough! I guess all doctors think that way.

mischa's picture

Yeah the majority of doctors

Yeah the majority of doctors are so useless when it comes to B.O. Mine referred me to a shrink, and said it was all in my head. That seems to be the main outcome when people like us visit doctors.

One thing though - i heard that it can be good to go the doc and get tested for food allergies. Because I have read stories of people with bad b.o getting tested for that. They found out what food they were allergic to and avoided it and the odour was gone. Apparently eating the slightest bit of food you are allergic to can give you the odour for some people.

Start A Facebook Group's picture

Start A Facebook Group

Hey guys. Please start a private facebook group. Require members to be accepted before they can read or respond to anything. That way you can share your contact information. Make a fake Facebook account if you feel you have to. Good luck to you all! I know people who have a strange odor. Now I wonder if I do. Of course, if I do, my friends/family cannot smell it.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Learn to like it.

I enjoy men with body odor. I find them very sexy. Personal hygiene is so overrated in the US. Most men naturally smell like BO, it's the pheromones that are responsible. Learn to like it.

Serendip Visitor's picture


There is nothing sexy about a person smelling like a Blimpie's sandwich. And personal hygiene is not overrated, it is necessary. You're supposed to keep yourself clean.

Reality's picture

That's not normal, there's

That's not normal, there's something wrong with all of you.

Visitor E's picture

I thought I was the only one

It is surprising to see soo many posts on body odor..ever since high school I have been self concious of the way that I smell and it is truely ruining my life..I walk into a room and people look at me funny, start rubbing their noses and whispering to eachother. I thought it was just at this job I worked for but eventually learned that finding a new job didnt help matters at all..I quit a great paying job because people would walk besides me our behind me and say omg, that smell and they would sniffle.when I'm alone or at home with family I'm comfortable, I dont stink, I shower 2 times a day, have tried 7 different types of deodorants, I use powder and panty liners, but I do not know what to do..I told my doctor and he just laughed at me..this is getting so bad that I started having panic attacks, sweating badly, fast fear of rejection, I shy away from making friends. I wish this would go away.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Responding to all

I am allergic to fragrance, so I cannot spray perfumes or highly scented creams etc. A nurse told me to eat yogurt to prevent yeast infections..and it worked (the live culture thing). I hate the smell of sweat anywhere on me, some deodorants break me out and others just work sometimes depending on how my chemistry is going that day. i used to use the baking powder and sprinkle, but my body got immuned to it. I never tried it under my pits, i will try that next. I did try the deordorant that did not break me out, between my thigh area and it took away the sweaty smell..I just read about the crystal deodorant and sprays and i think i will try that next.

Serendip Visitor's picture


Ive had BO for 15 years and have tried everything that you can dream of. But last week, I found something that worked a thousand times better than anything else Ive tried. I bought FiberChoice a week ago and it helped my bad breath and underarm odor TREMENDOUSLY. I bought sugar free strawberry, weight management FiberChoice...check out their website....I actually downloaded a coupon and purchase some at Walmart. Great stuff! My BO was something like baby diapers rotten eggs collards, etc....really really funky!!! It rid me of halitosis almost immediately, Id say in a week but as I progress with treatment, my other odors are dissipating and becoming more faint. In addition to the supplement, I also try to add more fiber in my diet....I swear this is like a miracle and a dream for me! Ive never been happier. In fact, I cant tell u when I was ever this happy. im sure I can compare it to like when I was a preteen, right before my nightmare began....anyway, good luck and I hope it works for you if you manage to relate your body odor with digestive issues.

Scot's picture

A soap that works

Truly... before any of you do anything else, try a VERY CHEAP way... try using Dr. Bronners Castile Soap - the Peppermint one. It is available at EVERY health food store, some grocery stores and even Target. No, I don't work for the company or represent them in any way... its actually a kinda weird company, but their soap really does completely eradicate BO ODOR. When you first try it it will be cool and tingly and sometimes burn a little - that means it is working. It also (in my experience) reduces or eliminates athletes foot and other fungal problems. Let it soak in then rinse or for really bad problems put a few squirts into a warm bath and soak. I used to have REALLY had foot odor.. this solved it. I now recommend it to all my friends with teenage boys (who stink when going through puberty no matter how much they bath or what products they use). You can also wash clothes in it (not too much). I also found that using chlorine free bleach mixed with regular laundry soap and oxyclean eliminates all odors in shoes when put through the laundry.

Good luck.. but trust me--- try it! They have a bar version vs the liquid but it doesn't seem to work as well.. try the liquid.

mattyg's picture


i suffer from this to ive been told by all my family and ex friends that i smell but somehow the doctor cant smell it. i have also lost jobs through this and have no social life at all , although i cant smell anything it is ruining my life , if you have tried anythin that works pls help me 2

Serendip Visitor's picture


omg i know exactly how u feel!! i used 2 B an EMT for years, and got bullied, 2 the point, that i stopped working 2yrs ago and im so depressed, i can't go back 2 wrk, thankfully i hv a living bf, who takes care of me, but im frankly tired of being afraid. i stay away from everyone, and hate family gatherings, specially in the summer time, even after i shower with antibiotic soap, i start smelling in about an hr, ive given myself really bad rashes under my arms, and shower up to 3 times a day, its not that im not a clean person, I AM, i just can't help smelling bad and it hurts SO much, that ppl, make stupid comments, and make faces behind my back, my Bf, says he doesn't notice, but hes just tired of me shying away. i went to an internist, and got bloodwork done, he simply said i just sweat a lil more than usual and is poss, hereditary, n if it would make me feel btr, he would refer me 2 a dermatologist, or recommended botox, which i can't afford... im so depressed :(

Scot's picture

Helping curb smell from bacteria

Hey everyone... I am posting for two reasons. I found this website because I was doing a search... on "Why do I have BO in the USA but when I travel abroad (2-4 times a year usually for two weeks), I have ZERO bo even tho I'm pretty much eating the same types of foods and Im usually in a very warm, tropical (hot and humid) place. Is it because we put something in our food or water (ie chlorine or food flavor enhancers or preservatives? I found no mention of this....

WAYS I've found to minimize or completely eliminate odors (my feet used to smell really bad) is to use Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap. It is available in every health food store and some grocery stores (even Target now). If you use it on underarms, feet and groin areas - smells dissapear. It tingles a little first time you use it (esp in sensitive areas), but it works. For really bad problems take a bath with a few squirts in the bath and soak. Again, first few times you use it you will get tingly and get that minty cool feeling. It works AWESOME on teenage boys (that as they go into puberty just plain stink no matter how often they shower...) TRY IT.. it works!

and any idea on why no BO outside the USA but as soon as I come back I get bo???

Serendip Visitor's picture



I've read In some other countries, people don't place as much emphasis on body odors as do Americans. I dont believe that its so much as lack of care as it is focus. People focus more about personality, ideas,values.and performance. It also boils down to the fact that many times, they are accustomed to certain types of body odors. For instance, underarm smells.

SRene's picture


The same thing with me!! It seems every time I come around people start sniffing and rubbing their nose. When I am at home my family says they cannot smell me. I went to the doctor and he said he did not smell anything. This driving me crazy too! Now I sweat even more because of the fear that I smell. Please, let me know if you find a resolution. Good luck! Hopefully we both find the cure.

mischa's picture


If i was you, I would start with a detox - one of those 10 day detox's and get all the gunk out of you. You should research online a reputable detox pack (comes with pills and stuff)

After that you should go on either the TMAU diet or the Candida diet (because you probably have one of these), or just avoid meat, diary, sugar, processed foods.

Start taking probiotics, digestive enzymes, zinc, chlorophyll, grapefruit seed extract, B12 --I think thats all. And sometimes you can take charcoal to absorb toxins or have it after any junk food you eat.

Also buy epsom salts - can get them any supermarket, they are cheap. And what you do is have a hot bath with them for 20 mins. Your body will sweat and the Epsom salts draws out the toxins and is absorbed in your skin - its basically a detox bath. Have one of these 3 times a week.
Drink lots of water.

If you cheat on the diet, it will probably not work. You should do the diet for at least 3 months to see if it works.
It is extremely hard to not give in to temptation. Binge eat on all the crap you want before you start the detox cos you wont want to be eating it again after wards.

serendip visitor's picture

We are the fly in the room.

I have dealt with body odor going on 9 years. It started in grade 6. I've put up with such shit with how people have acted towards me. Teacher placing my desk near the window with it open in the winter ( I almost froze to death :/ ) Kids who refused to sit by me as they would be like OMG..I'm gonna get contaminated..ewwww! People leaving me little notes at work saying how much I smelled. There have been so many opportunities I have missed out on due to this problem. A) getting good grades as I would constantly be stressing out watching people's reactions and unable to focus on my work B)Traveling/trips etc. I would love to travel..but we all know that is impossible with this condition. C) Hanging out with friends. getting a boyfriend...I am honestly too shy to even try..why? Because as soon as anyone who does not know me..sits or stands near me..their noses start to twitch..and they leave. ALWAYS. Honestly..this condition is the worst one to have in the entire world. You become ridiculed from society..and feel absolutely alone. You feel the need to isolate yourself from why put yourself in an anxiety attack just to hang out..when the whole time people around you will be sniffing their noses and looking at you with disgust in their eyes. ARGHHHHHH it is becoming too hard to deal with. I know it's pointless to go to the doctors as they will just say it is in my head...just as both my parents do and lets be honest...what career can a person achieve when they have this type of problem?? nothing. I have prayed in the past to have something happen to me. Get run over by a car, develop cancer, freak accident etc. Anything that might slowly end this I am not brave enough to end it myself. We are the fly in the soon as we enter one...we become noticed due to our smell. For once..I would like to walk into a room like a normal person and not be noticed. Not have stress. Not have my anxiety levels shoot through the roof watching everyone's reactions and wondering if they know that smell is me. Also I just want to have a normal life. Be able to go out to a crowded club and not have any worries. Sit in a classroom without everyone in it rubbing their noses and sometimes even putting them in their shirts. I just want to be normal...its so ridiculous that it is impossible to have.

beautiful's picture

fly in the room

My heart goes out to you. and I am researching the same thing as we speak. You can't give up or give in. Its always a plan and purpose for everything. I never knew so many people where having the same problem as me. Everyone is so hush hush about things. But I am at the front of the research and I found out you have to do the process of elimination start with your diet for a month and see where the changes are. You will be fine and you are not out here alone. and don't worry about what other people say you know who you are and don't let anybody elses opinion determine who you are. Pray to God for the answer he still hears and answers prays..........I love you and God loves you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

I have dealt with this

I have dealt with this problem over 15 years. Some days it is good and some days it is horrible. But i keep keeping on. We should start an awareness group. So that we all can meet and ease each others pain. No one understands, especially family members. Even doctors say its all in your head. How can we all complain about the same thing but it is in all our heads. BS!! I am a beautiful woman and successful but I get those stares as well and I know what they mean. HOW CAN SHE BE SO BEAUTIFUL AND SMELL SO AWFUL? But I continue because we all have issues in llife but our issues can be smelt and not seen

SRene's picture


I am so sorry to hear you struggle with this. Just recently within the last year or so I have began to have this problem. It is the worse feeling on earth. People tell me all the time that I am beautiful and I know that I am attractive but it is hard to find someone that wants to date you if you stink. There has to be a cure.... Good luck and God Bless.... I am going to try and figure this out. Let me know if you come up with any solutions.

lactobacillus acidophilus's picture

Yeast Infection

Yes! Good post to educate people. A little bit information which also give some information about Lactobacillus Acidophilus. How to treat Yeast Infection? What remedy have to use and what to not be exceed. What is acidophilus side effects and more

lisa's picture

I stink too

I have suffered with BO since i hit puberty at 12. I went from being a confident, happy go lucky girl, to an anxiety riden, zero confidence one. I first started noticing the smell when I stared secondary school. The other girls would make comments and I would just die inside. I would often take a spare shirt, wetwipes and regularly go to the toilets to check myself. I was amased how differently I was looked upon, almost with anger and disgust. I felt completely out of control. I would shower every morning, put deoderant on and clean clothes but as soon as I got there, I felt dirty and smelly. It affected my schooling. I had counselling for panic attacks and anxiety and I was told the reason I sweated was because of anxiety but I was anxious because of the smell. Im 32 now and to this day it hinders me. Its like an unrecongnised or diagnosed illness. If you have cancer, people sympothise, Im not putting my problem in the same bracket at all but nobody has time for a smelly person, they just think you are dirty and you need to sort yourself out. I hope one day there is a cure. I had one lot of botox under my arm and it was brilliant for one month then I was back to normal. I am going to look at my diet and fitness and do all I can to help my problem. If I carry on smelling Im sorry everyone...but I did the best I could. You all sound like lovely people and maybe our situation makes us more understanding towards other peoples problems. Take care

Kadie's picture

unfortunetely this is

unfortunetely this is happening to me and I feel the same way except my mom doesn't believe me so no counseling

SpideyBoB1990's picture

I have tears in my

I have tears in my eyes...your story is what happened to me in high school. Little back story: I have lived my entire adolescence playing and wrestling with my friends. I am ashamed to say this but I smelled so bad but I never cared about my hygiene since I was always surrounded by guys and had grown accustomed to my b.o. Fast forward, High School: I never wore deodorant and became the butt of ridicule unbeknownst to myself. People avoided me, laughed whenever I would pass them in hallways. I was excluded, mocked! I will be an honest man and admit that it was10000% my fault as my family members always told me I smelled like a wilder beast. My reputation has been so damaged that I practically avoid people and keep to myself. This has followed me for 4 years and I have become almost paranoid about smelling bad. This experience has made me so empathetic with other people's situation and have grown into a more complete human being. Big kisses to you Lisa and may God lift the burden you and I have been carrying with us.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Odor help

I've posted on here several times. I'm not sure this is the best website we should be using to discuss this. It wont even allow us to share emails...Some suggestions to people out there suffering from this problem: First, its not in your head. This is a real condition brought on by one of several possibilities. Medical science doesn't know about it, therefore they cannot acknowledge it. This is often the case with unusual conditions that science hasn't caught up with. Second, your family isn't lying to you. For the most part, they cannot smell you as much as you think they can or think they should. The reason for this is olfactory fatigue. It's the same reason that you can't smell yourself. Last, don't kill yourselves or even think about it. Living with that hanging over your head is totally oppressive. There will be help for this someday.

A couple tips: Start purifying your body with various medicinal clays that are on the market. I highly recommend a product called Terramin. French Green Clay can also help. This is basically Bentonite Clay. The clay with attach itself to negative ions within the body and expunge them when you have a bowel movement. If you start taking the clay and notice how strong, even sulfur like, your bowel movements have become, it means its working. Granted, you may destroy the bathroom every morning, but feel confident that you have begun the purifying process. As your detoxing you really need to stay away from the problematic foods. Keep as far away from sugar as possible: coffee, chocolate, caffeinated tea, white bread, starchy potatoes. Anything that helps to feed the bacteria and yeast in your gut is not a good thing. You must also blitz yourself with massive doses of probiotics. The people on here who say probiotics make them smell worse don't understand that is only during the purifying stage. You should take only refrigerated probiotics, and take anywhere from 3-5 times more than the recommended dose. Even more if you can afford it. This will not hurt you. Try to take the probiotics as far away from any medicinal clay you're taking. A 2 hour time difference is enough. For those of you who are suffering from gut flora imbalance from food malabsorption or other food malfunctions (like fructose intolerance) I think this will greatly help knock down your odor problem. It wont get rid of it until you fully identify the foods that are causing the problem, but it will make you much more comfortable being around people.

Keep your heads up, keep up the fight

Serendip Visitor's picture

I know how you feel.

The thing that I Iearned the hardway is that everybody is not going to be your friend.I'm in school now and it hurts how people criticize me about how I smell,completly unaware of the struggles I go through at home.I know how you feel and Just I want to let you know that you are not alone.Don't worry about what other people say.People talk about me all the time.Just do the best you can.The important thing is to never give up hope.As long as you know that you are doing the best you can,thats all that matters.God bless and take care.

JM's picture

I have had the exact similar

I have had the exact similar experience. Right around puberty things began to change for me. I'm 38 now. Its been a life-long struggle, but one I intend on winning. I've learned quite a lot, but still need to learn more. Drs know nothing of this condition. They are, essentially, worthless. Contact me if youd like to share stories. I think we can learn a lot from one another. I'm on the eastern side of the U.S. I'm putting on a trash email on here. If I hear from you we can exchange real emails and numbers. Write me

SRene's picture


I have the same problem. Could you tell me what has worked for you?

SELLO's picture


As the saying goes, ignorence is bliss . I strongly suggest that those suffering from BO see a hypnotherepist . They must hypnotise you so that you never think of this problem again or if you do , it must not bother you much . Or go see a shrink so that they give you medication for obssesive compulsive disoder . The idea is to block the paralysing thoughts about BO from your mind . Once you do then you will live your life free of what others think . This thing can be largly phsyco somatic , meening it manifests physicaly once you have thought about it .

Good luck and God Bless. PS, Dont ever give a hoot about what other people say . Live your life .

SELLO's picture


Hi guys. Sorry for the nightmare that Bo is to everyone here. Everyone here suffering from BO should ask themselves one thing . Can you smell other people,s bad BO . The answer is probably no only yours right ? . Trust me everyone else thinks they have Bo judging by the number of people on this forum and others , but are so focused on themselves only . So if everyone thinks they have BO but cant smell other peoples BO , it means the whole world has BO but just cant smell it on others . Those that ridicule people with BO probably have it themselves too but are low self esteemed cowards. So the solution is to be hygienic in a non obsessive way and just live your life care free of what losers say , think or do. The best way of revenge to the sniggering assholes is to be successful in life . Trust me success smells good to everyone. No one will smell your Bo and ironically you will start smelling the Bullshit and BO of the sniggering cowards

Tunji's picture

Body odor and bad breath

What about nutrition? Doesn't that also play a part? If eating garlic and raw onion can alter ones breath, doesn't it stand to reason that other foods could do the same?
Poor digestion can also affect body odor and breath.
Some people have even claimed that they can tell when some people are aroused by the smell they emit.
It is also possible that people choose their mates by smell, as some have suggested. These people even go as far as to suggest that some of these people are actually trying to duplicate the smells of their parents.
This should not surprise any one since we are told that the first sense to develop in the fetus, is the sense of smell; and the body devotes an unusually large amount of nerves to it

Serendip Visitor's picture

Body Odour and Bad Breath

I have a love (addiction) of Espresso coffee and have had for a number of years. My bad breath/body odour is caused by the milk that I have in my coffee. I have tried soy milk but have the same problem.

I have dramatically reduced the amount of milk that I have but the problem is still there so I am now working towards not having coffee (therefore milk) at all (easier said than done). So I would advise people concerned of body odour to check the amount of milk they are having.

Kay's picture


I have been suffering from odor and I hate that people seem to think I have poor hygiene habits. I have a great dental issue where I am loosing my teeth and have partial dentures now. I don't have the money or medical insurance to have the rest of my teeth remove and get the work done by Clear Choice. I called and to have a full mouth restoration is $40,000 to $60,000. I am tried of having people afraid to come near me and talking behind my back saying "she smells".

Suffer's picture

the most annoying thing of this is...

the most annoying and unbearable thing is, my family and friends and doctors can't smell anything and they treat me like i'm mental.

ok, i can stand being treated like crazy man, but I can't stand the thing that no one of them ever smell me. They are not lying nor comforting me, my family has sarcastic characters and they say anything directly, and my friends are rather 'brutal' or 'cool' people, they never lie to cheer up someone. and doctors looked at me like i'm a weirdo and said 'you should go to psychiatrist.'.

I know they're not lying nor consoling me, that is the worst part.

Cancer patients are in pain but usually they are treated nicely and have support of others. Yeah I know they suffer terribly but they are at least respected and treated as HUMAN being. Actually they are treated better because of cancer.
We--we are treated like garbage, aliens, disgusting food trash, and even if we commit suicide people would consider it as joke, thinking 'killed themselves because of BO? losers.'.
Yeah, I envy cancer patients.

At least I want to be diagnosed medically, at least I want my family and friends admit that I have actual problem not mental mumbo jumbo. At least I want to be categorized as a patient who has 'real' disease.

If docs would have diagnosed me there's something wrong with my health, I wouldn't be this desperate.
but nothing is wrong physically they say.

I want to kill myself.