Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rant: Don't People With BO Know They Stink?

Bad body odor is everywhere.  I'm talking really strong, revolting, couldn't-eat-food-around-it body odor.  Elevators are the worst.  Musty unwashed hair, sour backs of necks and smelly feet trapped in a metal cage leave me gasping for air.  Which, of course, only gives me more of the same.  During these painfully long elevator rides, I ponder (it's good to keep one's mind busy to avoid passing out):

Do you know you stink?

Followed by:

When was the last time it occurred to you to f-ing shower? 

Then come the theories:

You have no idea that you stink.
You lost your sense of smell years ago.
You know that you stink but hope no one notices.
You know that you stink, but you don't care.
You fear you might stink, but no one has said anything, so you're in denial.
You've been surrounded by your own stink for so long that you no longer notice.
Your whole family stinks so you think it's genetic.
You love your own stink.
You were raised by wolves.

Last week, I stepped into a new Aveda boutique downtown just to wander and play with new smells.  A well-dressed woman came over to help me and I was nearly knocked over by her body odor.  I'm sure I visibly flinched.  And she wouldn't go away.  The stinky ones never do.  I began smelling the body sprays that mirror each chakra, but in the small space of the store, they all had a base note guessed it...BO.

And don't even talk to me about perfume being annoying to sensitive noses unless you also address the assault of bad body odor.  Show me signs that say, 'No shower, no service' or 'Must shower before boarding this airplane.'  In fact, why can't airport security include a stink-o-meter that indicates who may or may not get on the plane?  Offensive perfumes and stinky asses would all be excluded. 

Tell me why that wouldn't work.

Look, I don't expect people to be clean freaks, but an occasional shower with deodorant never killed anyone, whereas rotting body odor has almost killed me on more than one occasion.  If you're unwilling to do that, then at least have the decency to take the stairs.

image from


  1. hehee I don't wear deodorant. I like a little b.o. But I also don't like when you know someone hasn't cleaned themselves in days and days. There are a lot of those type hippy kids here in my town. Sometimes I wanna pull them aside and tell them to take a bath. In fact, I did tell that to a friend of ours once. He was over ripe.

    Also, Europeans do not wear deodorant often, so you may have bumped into one at that Aveda place. I would have liked to be there with you to see what I thought/smelled of her! ;)

    My favorite sexy smell- b.o. and turpentine on a young male artist. Sigh!

  2. Hi Carol - I love your comments and the fact that you often share a perspective that lets me think about something in new ways. I admit to having a low tolerance for body odor (must be the Virgo in me), but can see how others might see it differently. And BO with turpentine? Even I can see how that would be sexy. From a distance, of course.:)

    Maybe the real question is, where is the line between earthy/sexy and just plain smelly?

    1. ;) I'm a Libra, doesn't that explain everything! Well also I must say that not all b.o. is created equally. Some folks I cannot stand the smell of, period. I think the line is after a days or two..(again, depending if you like their smell to begin with and the heat/humidity weather aspect).

      The BO and turpentine brings me back to my art school hazy crazy days...sigh!


  3. I think I am sensitive to smells until I read about Daphne! Wow, that must make the world seem rather dangerous. Most Americans smell like roses compared Europeans!

    Hmmmm, BO and turpentine...add a six pack(stomach thatis) and I'm IN!

  4. Hi Mermaid - I actually like being sensitive to smell and experience a lot about the world that way. Not that Daphne isn't annoying. What bugs me most about body odor is that it's...unpredictable, invading my personal space when I least expect it. Bad perfume is similar, but at least the person tried to adorn themselves and failed miserably. Bad body odor is the result of not bathing for days, the sheer laziness of which brings out my inner Judgie Wudgie, as you say. :)



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