How Bad Do You Smell? [Three Minute Read]

We have all had that moment. When you catch a whiff of body odor and think to yourself….oh, no! I hope that isn’t me! Frantically trying to remember if you applied deodorant that morning and giving yourself a discreet sniff.

Or have we??

On the other hand we all seem to have run across someone who seems completely oblivious to their own body odor. Whether it is the distinctive BO or any other unappealing smell coming off someone. The ways that a human body can smell are quite varied, as you know if you are a human.

This article is specifically referring to “BO”. That armpit smell that is  your sweat mixed with the bacteria on your skin to create that tell-tale skunk odor. It is secreted by the apocrine gland. This gland is not just found in humans. Or in your armpit. We also have them in a few other discreet locations.

Here is the kicker of a fascinating fact that I learned while reading Packing for Mars by Mary Roach Read my review here!

Some people can not smell body odor!!

There is a condition called anosmia which means that you can’t smell. This can be something that you are born with or a temporary condition caused by allergies or head trauma.  Sometimes you can’t smell anything. Other times what you cannot smell is very specific.

Have you heard that if you eat a bunch of asparagus your pee smells? Some people cannot smell the change in urine that occurs after eating asparagus. Scientists think the smell is from the way that our body processes the asparagusic acid. People can smell everything just fine, but not smell the odor of asparagus pee.

Scientists have narrowed down not being able to smell asparagus to a specific gene combination of over 800 genes and smell receptors. There are chemical compounds and hormones in sweat that could contribute to people being anosmic to body odor.

Having weird smelling pee is not nearly as embarrassing as the fact that you can clear a room with your body odor and not even know it. Have you never smelled yourself? Is it possible that YOU can not smell body odor? If you know what I mean when I say BO, then you are probably okay. If you have been confused this whole time, then you might have anosmia to it.

This is a fact that everyone should know. It is one thing to just get used to the way that you smell and not really smell it anymore. It is another thing to be smelling and not even be aware of it. Perhaps that stinky co-worker has no idea that they smell so bad or perhaps they have some other medical condition that is causing massive amounts of body odor or anosmia. Try and be a little sensitive to it. While we obsessively slather on some more deodorant, that is.

Have you enjoyed this post? Check out another three minute read:

Asteroids: A Three Minute Read

3 thoughts on “How Bad Do You Smell? [Three Minute Read]

  1. Pingback: Packing for Mars [Book Review] |

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  3. Pingback: Wasps [Three Minute Read] |

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