Odious or Odiferous Body Odor

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One of the things about being in Europe is the prevalence of body odor.

Seriously.

Particularly in the heat of Rome.

Prevention of body odor with the use of antiperspirants is a relatively new thing given the history of mankind. So body odor in the past was likely even more prevalent. I have heard all sorts of arguments to the contrary, but really folks, nothing beats modern chemistry (aka sticks of antiperspirants).

Why is body oder so taboo now?

Is it really that unpleasant, or are we just conditioned to believe that it is in order to sell toiletry items? Are we merely pawns in a diabolical marketing scheme?

Is body odor something that we would stop smelling and stop noticing if it were more ubiquitous?

Can body odor be erotic? I have noticed that certain body odors are less offensive than others, particularly if they are emanating from a big hunk of a sexy guy. Why is that? Is pungent body odor a part of pheromone attraction and we are potentially missing out on a good match by eliminating odors?

These are the things that I think about as I am circling the Roman Colosseum.

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22 thoughts on “Odious or Odiferous Body Odor

  1. It is important for me to know how a potential partner smells under it all; it is very basic for me. I think we Americans are too…I don’t know, removed, distanced, from earthiness and sensuality. I lived among the Amish for a time, and apparently they don’t use it. Only once in a blue moon did I find someone seriously offensive. It indicates to me a serious imbalance in the body when one is that fetid. But I love cologne, candles, essential oils, herbal smells – and yes, I use deodorant (not antiperspirant though) when I am among others šŸ™‚

    Interesting post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t know if it is a serious imbalance versus a genetic unfairness, and one, for all we know, that has some balancing advantage, as we have discovered about other odd lacks.

      Just as some folks are born producing more anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, and thus are cursed with worse breath, and must be more assiduous at drinking fluids and scrubbing their tongues, so some have more stinky compounds and stinky sweat glands gifted to them in underarms or feet–the poor things. Others have muskier scalps and smell more like dirty dogs. What a blessing that the sense of smell is also unequally distributed so that partners are possible for even the most offensive among us!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am very paranoid about whether I smell. I make sure I don’t. I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life, and I’m pretty brainwashed by mainstream media.

    I really just wanted to comment because your last picture made me smile. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like this. These thoughts have crossed my mind constantly…especially after weighing the health risks of antiperspirants, and deciding to drop them all together….which mind you has NOT been an easy task. I find all these natural deodorants useless…and my natural sweaty scent isn’t….erotic….at all. What do you recommend, Doc?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry it took so long. I had to ER back stateside to really be able to research. You have probably already tried alum. Other than carrying around a wet wash cloth with you, I am stumped!

      Like

    • I have not tried it, but the head of Maintenance here smells delightfully fresh after a very long and hard work day, and he says he uses only baking soda after his shower, followed by a slice of lemon. I would have a rash in a day from this, but if your skin is not as sensitive, you might give it a go.

      The other possibility is to go high-tech. The device has been around forever. I have not researched it at all, but believe it was originally prescription, is safe for long-term use, and works by swelling shut the pores. (You’ll simply perspire non-smelly sweat out of your other skin pores.)

      Good luck.

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  4. About the pheromones aspect… With so many women (and men too…) removing ALL their body hair, aren’t they also eliminating an important scent “holder” intended to attract others? As you suggest, scent is such an important part of attraction! (*I* always thought so, but Wise and Important Published Studies concur.)

    Hmmm. Maybe a study should be done on the advent of deodorant & body hair removal vis-a-vis the divorce rate!

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  5. Okay. Adorable, wonderful photo to illustrate this post. Possibly would have been even better for a post about halitosis (dragon breath–tee hee!), but still great. So cute, and romantic.

    if I remember the film I Love You To Death correctly, at one point, Kevin Kline, as the macho husband, is readying to mount from above, in an oh-so-manly fashion, his prone wife played by Tracy Ullman. The camera angle looks up at him from her perspective. He is quite confident–full of himself and his own wonderfulness. Just before he plunges in for the kill, he rears up and proudly takes a deep, inspirational, and wholly-satisfactory whiff from one of his own armpits.

    Like the Scandinavian “Every man likes the smell of his own farts.”, there may be something to this armpit thing, as well. And when one is fond of one’s partner, there is, for me, a definitely turn-on in his underarm smell, unless he has gone unbathed for over-long. Sexy…

    Liked by 1 person

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