Sometimes, I smell. I cannot help it because, like you, I have sweat glands. Unfortunately mine are a tad more excitable and pronounced at times.
I’m not a walking gym towel though: only my hands and the bottom of my feet are the hyperactive hot spots paired with sometimes salivating pits. The resulting life I lead is one with slippery, cold hands and feet that stank up shoes resulting in a medicinal pink liquid soak. Pair this with an occasional center-body odor akin to chicken noodle soup and you can see how much of a winner I am.
Oftentimes my sense of smell seems to lead me astray since no one else ever seems to notice. While this might be incredible manners on someone else’s behalf or a true lack of odor, my own lack of discerning is concerning. So what can be done?
First, know that your sense of smell is better than you think and that you probably are onto something if you sense a smell. We might not have a refined sense of smell but we can get there: just know you are as good as you think. Gizmodo explains why through science.
The human olfactory bulb is bigger than most animals’. Humans have roughly the same number of neurons in it (around 10 million) as other animal species, give-or-take an order-of-magnitude. But we also have a much more complex brain for interpreting the things that we smell.
Experiments have verified this. We’re far more sensitive than rats or monkeys, for instance, to the smell of certain chemicals like 3-mercapto-3-methylbutyl formate (a molecule in coffee), although we’re worse than rats and about as good as monkeys at smelling 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-3-ol, a leek, meat and onion-y smelling compound. We’re just as good as dogs at smelling amyl acetate, the chemical that gives bananas their smell.
So how do you tell if you smell? Comparison. Specifically, compare your scent base to the cleansing dryness of something like coffee beans. Lifehacker explains.
Coffee, fore example, is a strong, single-scent component that gives the receptors in your nose a quick break from what it’s been smelling all day (you). That’s why department stores keep coffee beans handy in the perfume section. You can smell a perfume, reset with some coffee, then smell a different perfume. Coffee is also easy to access for most people. It’s in the break room of almost every type of workplace, and it’s easy to snag a little before stealing away to smell yourself.
Coffee isn’t a perfect scent breaking item but it does the job. Another suggestion is to just ask someone you trust to see if you stank. They should give you an honest answer.
If you’re super concerned, invest in antiperspirant products. If you need a serious fix, you can try my pink stuff: it’s Hibiclens Antimicrobial and Antiseptic Skin Cleanser Liquid and is basically very serious cleaning agent to get all that gross business out your body.
And, above all else, abide by the most important beauty tip: wash your ass.