So, it turns out the deodorant piece I wrote and posted as a joke the other day, has garnered a bit more attention than I expected. Usually these silly ones don’t seem to receive much attention, but this one certainly did – and all positive, might I add!
Because of the previous post, I’ve been tasked to find the answers to 3 simple question related to improving the natural smell of one’s body and if that’s something that is actually possible. So, like any weird and curious blogger with a little too much time on her hands, I accepted the challenge and went on my way to begin investigating. I will say, Google associates search terms related to these topics in ways I never would have imagined… As a result, it was actually quite difficult to find the information I needed to complete my mission*.
Shall we get started?
Question numero uno: Does the body get used to not wearing deodorant eventually?
There doesn’t seem to be any sort of consensus on this one. Many of the articles I read on this topic indicated that it is possible to go deodorant (or antiperspirant) free, but then went on to provide a list of natural deodorant brands, or recipes to make your own. There were a handful of articles, however, that did say you can eventually adjust to a no-deodorant lifestyle, but they also included phrases like “my spiritual guide told me” or “beach yoga,” so I don’t know how credible they are…
That being said (and in all seriousness), both conclusions indicated that it takes about 2 weeks for your armpits to adjust, or detox as one article put it. In most cases it appeared that you can smell yourself more than others can smell you. But, it was also noted that days that are hotter (i.e. summer days, or Christmas in Jinja, apparently), involve excessive stress, or intense physical activity (such as working out and/or sexy times!), that you are more likely to be smelly even after the adjustment period. But this, I think, is pretty common sense… I’d also like to put it out there that some of the comments that were attached to these articles were pretty funny!
There are also several “tips” that include things like, “shower” or “make sure to dry yourself afterwards” or “clean/wash your clothes,” which I also think are fairly common sense. I especially like the ones that say quit wearing deodorant, and then in the next paragraph go on to suggest basically bathing in perfume or some other non-deodorant fragrance! I mean, yes, it does save you from wearing deodorant as far as hiding your body odour, but it’s really no better!
Question two: Can you eat your way to a natural fragrance?
Now, this one has some truth in it! It doesn’t mean you can go deodorant free, but apparently what you consume has direct results on how you smell! So, I suppose if you eat all the right things, you will eventually smell pretty good! But, I should warn you, some of the items on the many, many, MANY lists are kind of painful to think of removing from one’s diet!
The third and final question: If the above is true, which foods are best?
So, yes, we have established that there is truth in this. But what are the best and worst foods for pleasurable body odours? Well, let’s take a look!
Because the list of things to avoid is a little bit soul crushing, I thought it best to start with the bad, in order to attempt an uplifting end, by leaving you with the good! Here goes!
- First, and possibly one of the most obvious is fried, processed and other classifications of junk foods. The oil involved in the most former of the three, is the main culprit of your smelliness. But many of the chemicals that go into processed foods can also leave you smelling anything but sweet.
- Spicy food is another of the most widely recognized offenders in the realm of offensive body odours. Again, this makes sense given the pungent smell that these foods naturally have. I guess we aren’t just what we eat, but also smell (like) what we eat…
- Red meat was also noted frequently as a food that can lead to stinky people! It’s probably not so good that the summer, when it’s already hot and sweaty enough, happens to also be a time when lots of people are consuming bottomless portions of BBQed red meat**.
- Another of the more obvious stinkers is alcohol. I mean, I think we’ve all had the pleasure of smelling someone (maybe it was yourself!) the morning after a good night out. It’s not so pleasant, is it?
- Okay, this one is going to hurt, so I’m trying to give you a bit of warning by putting off naming it. But let’s just say its “America’s” favourite morning bevvy… of a caffeinated variety. Yes, it’s true. I regret to inform you that coffee is one of the reasons you smell bad. Life is cruel. Moving on to something that won’t make you feel so bad…
- Asparagus! Now, I know we who have consumed asparagus have all experienced the most amazing science the morning after. You know what I’m talking about – you wake up and are greeted with not only the offensive scent of the first pee of the day, but also the subtle accent of the night before (and no, I don’t mean alcohol or regret). No, I’m talking about asparagus pee! It’s (sadly or wonderfully – you decide) one of my favourite things, and second only to beet pee in terms of my favourite types of pee***!
- Foods that contain a lot of fibre are also believed to make us human-folk smelly. But, I’ve also read that a low-fibre diet can also make you smelly… so… I’m confused. I’ll leave this one to you kids to test and report back to me!
- This next one surprised me - chewing gum! Why? Well, gum is technically a processed food, so it’s full of sugar and other chemicals. These ingredients leave a build-up in your mouth which actually produces the growth of bad bacteria – the nasty, smelly ones! This is also a reminder to all of you gum chewers to not use gum as a replacement for brushing your teeth! Even those “sugar-free” ones contain pretend sugars, which lead to the same outcome, so be sure to brush after you chew, or just don’t chew gum at all!
- Dairy is another offender. The odour resulting from eating dairy is because of the negative reaction between the proteins these products contain and your tummy! It’s also related to the next one in this list.
- Who loves the smell of sulphur? No? Well, you should probably stop eating broccoli, cauliflower, and any other foods that contain it, as they put the “stink” in “you stink!”
- It turns out that fibre amounts in the diet aren’t the only thing to be conscious of. Apparently, a lack of carbs can lead to repulsive odours! This has to do with the process of digestion. Who knew?! Carb it up, kids!
- It likely won’t surprise you that eating fish can leave you smelling like you’ve just been scooped up from the ocean… and not in that I’ve been at the beach all day kind of way! This just reiterates my earlier statement that we smell (like) what we eat!
- Garlic is yet another obvious one! But, garlic. Is. Awesome. And, I would argue smelling like garlic isn’t so bad! It keeps vampires and unwanted romantic encounters**** at bay!
So, that’s the list of the biggest offenders! As an added bonus, you might find it interesting to know that using a drinking straw can make you smelly too! This is because you suck up air when you use them, which leads to, well, you know… gas-related bodily functions!
Allow me to take a second to check in – how are you? Do you have any soul left? Do you need a minute? Still want me to continue on? Too bad – I’m doing it with or without you following on! Here’s the really, really, REALLY short list of things you should consume in order to smell pretty…
- One of the best foods you can eat to achieve a pleasant smelling body is citrus! These fruit varieties smell great, I’m sure you can agree, and have an effect on how you will, as well! The good thing about citrus is that there are a number of selections, and many of them have added benefits, such as vitamins and other nutrients, and detoxification properties! Water with lemon appeared in a few of the lists I reviewed, as being really good for improving your body odour! I might also add a personal recommendation to enjoy a cup of hot water with fresh lemon juice to get you started in the morning! …especially since we can no longer take coffee!
- Not all spices are bad, it seems. Cardamom can actually make you smell good! Fenugreek, another Indian-associated plant can be positive when it comes to the desirability of your scent!
- But, the previous items are not the only contradictions. Yogurt was noted as one of the foods you should eat in order to send welcome wafts of body odour into the world! I can’t seem to find a good explanation for this, so I’ll just leave it here!
- Finally, a number of herbs can help you improve how you smell. Herbs such as cinnamon, peppermint, rosemary, and thyme are identified as the best of the best! This is also rather obvious, since they all smell pretty wonderful on their own! Another personal recommendation – when your lemon water is getting old, throw some fresh peppermint into you glass of water!
So there you have it. When it comes down to deciding whether to give up deodorant or coffee/garlic/spicy food, I’ll take the risks of deodorant any day! Plus, your diet would be pretty limited if you followed the suggestions exclusively… which might I add is not recommended! I guess the point really is, eat as healthy as possible, and just be aware of what you consume.
I hope this was helpful!
-the Orange Canadian
Do you have a question you want answered by the Orange Canadian? Hit up the contact thingy to the right, or send a note via Twitter @orange_canadian!
*I feel kind of like Inspector Gadget – which is pretty awesome, I must say. Except for instead of Penny and Brain, I have a bunch of useless goats and chickens, and as much as I try to will it, my hand will simply not turn into a phone.
**Mmmm wouldn’t a blue steak with fried onions and mushrooms be amazing right about now? Don’t even care that I’m allergic!
***Yeah, I have a favourite kind of pee. And yes, I am VERY aware of how weird I am!
****Not actually sure which of these two is the better benefit here…