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The Secret History of Deodorant
August 9, 2012 9:27 AM   Subscribe

The secret history of deodorant: How Advertisers Convinced Americans They Smelled Bad
posted by apricot (173 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Instead, most people’s solution to body odor was to wash regularly and then to overwhelm any emerging stink with perfume.

Based on my experiences in buses and on elevators, this is still a popular approach. Well, possibly excepting the first step.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:32 AM on August 9, 2012 [26 favorites]


I was at a reptile show last weekend. Apparently advertisers haven't been targeting that market.
posted by rtimmel at 9:32 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Living in Houston, I often wondered just how people dealt with THE FUNK before the advent of air conditioning.
posted by mrbill at 9:33 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


How Advertisers Convinced Americans They Smelled Bad

That's a rather misleading title. From the article:
[M]ost people’s solution to body odor was to wash regularly and then to overwhelm any emerging stink with perfume. Those concerned about sweat percolating through clothing wore dress shields, cotton or rubber pads placed in armpit areas which protected fabric from the floods of perspiration on a hot day.
So both smell and sweat itself were already concerns, it's just that the methods used to combat them were aimed at the symptoms rather than the cause (e.g. covering the smell and absorbing the sweat rather than preventing sweat and stopping the growth of smell-producing bacteria). I see the rise of deodorant and antiperspirant as the rise of a superior solution to an existing problem rather than advertisers convincing people that something was a problem when no one thought it was.
posted by jedicus at 9:33 AM on August 9, 2012 [73 favorites]


Americans do smell. All of them. Like too warm plastic mixed with day old cola and burnt pork rind.

However, it is also worth going to the link because it contains a link to a great article on The Saddest Movie in the World.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:34 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sea-Forth, a deodorant sold in ceramic whiskey jugs starting in the 1940s, “because the company owner Alfred McKelvy said he ‘couldn’t think of anything more manly than whiskey,’”

Awesome.
posted by jedicus at 9:39 AM on August 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


MuffinMan - you're right, that is a great article.
“You can’t tell them something horrible has happened to their family, or tell them they have some terrible disease,” says William Frey II, a University of Minnesota neuroscientist who has studied the composition of tears.
posted by iotic at 9:39 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was at a reptile show last weekend. Apparently advertisers haven't been targeting that market.

You want to sell deodorant to reptiles?!? You, sir, are a monster!

Bsesides, how do you decide where to apply it on a snake?
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:40 AM on August 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


Get your diet right, Americans, and you won't need all those weird-ass chemicals you rub under your arms. You are what you eat.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:40 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


People tend to get used to their own smell or smells around them pretty quickly. Last winter when I had gross bronchitis and was a sweaty unwashed lump for about a week, my house got mad stank and I didn't even notice until I went out to the pharmacy and came back - I thought a hobo had broken in or something. NOPE IT WAS JUST ME.

See also: cat owners.
posted by elizardbits at 9:41 AM on August 9, 2012 [53 favorites]


“I like to rub my body in pure grain alcohol after a bath but do not do so regularly,”

Back in college, a roommate and I gave those "natural" deodorant crystals a try. We both developed a funk so bad that it couldn't be removed with soap and water. Pure grain alcohol was our salvation.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:41 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, it's nice to learn the back story for this song.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:42 AM on August 9, 2012


I thought a hobo had broken in or something.

Hobo Blues*

* why, yes... yes i WILL take virtually any opportunity that arises to link to that performance. why do you ask?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:45 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Get your diet right, Americans, and you won't need all those weird-ass chemicals you rub under your arms. You are what you eat.


How do you explain the fact that one of my armpits smells and the other one doesn't? Genuinely curious. Anyone can answer, actually.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:47 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Get your diet right, Americans, and you won't need all those weird-ass chemicals you rub under your arms.

Hey, it's not our fault that we were born with more apocrine glands.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:47 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


. . .What have we
here? a man or a fish? dead or alive? A fish:
he smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish-
like smell; a kind of not of the newest Poor-
John. . . ."
Shakespeare used BO as a point of humor in the seventeenth century. I don't think it was any kind of marketing coup which led to the success of deodorants as a consumer product.
posted by valkyryn at 9:48 AM on August 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


Bsesides, how do you decide where to apply it on a snake?

I just had a great idea for a convenient deodorant application device for a snake. Basically, it's shaped like a donut, with little ball bearings that are covered in deodorant. As the snake wriggles through, it gets a coating of fragrance. I'll call it the Snake Desmeller™.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:48 AM on August 9, 2012 [21 favorites]


All the stuff in the article about how people in the early C20th found it too, too utterly shocking to allude to bodily fluids is just poppycock. There was massive advertising and selling of laxatives, for example, during this period. And as Jedicus points out above, the article basically contradicts itself on the central claim that the Odorono people invented the idea of the need for an antiperspirant.
posted by yoink at 9:50 AM on August 9, 2012


Hey, it's not our fault that we were born with more apocrine glands.


Ah, my left armpit is Asian. That explains a lot.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:50 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Basically, it's shaped like a donut, with little ball bearings that are covered in deodorant.

You came up with this device to rub deodorant on snakes? Riiiiight.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:50 AM on August 9, 2012 [37 favorites]


Get your diet right, Americans, and you won't need all those weird-ass chemicals you rub under your arms. You are what you eat.

It is not only Americans that eat foods containing pungent spices, beans, and curry.
posted by FJT at 9:51 AM on August 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


You know what? I don't give a crap about EVIL ADVERTISER BRAINWASHING, I consider the popularization of deoderant to be a civilization advance, in the same league as written language and the polio vaccine.

The dude a few cubicles away from me who hasn't yet become acquainted with its wonders represents a less-advanced civilization. He probably hasn't even invented the granary yet, and will soon be overcome by the Zulus.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:52 AM on August 9, 2012 [68 favorites]


Shave your pits.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:52 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Get your diet right, Americans, and you won't need all those weird-ass chemicals you rub under your arms.


but, that of the Colorful Peacock smells like Sweet Fruits, Butternut Squash, mashed Potatoes, and whatever he Eats: because, if you do not Eat much Rotting Flesh for 20 Years, your Bowels will not smell like it; but, if you Eat a LOT of Flesh, which is Guaranteed to ROT and PUTREFY within your Bowels, your Dung will most certainly STINK;

I believe the Swangkee's have moved to Mexico.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:53 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Americans do smell. All of them.

No, sir! You smell. We stink.

(Leafers, not so much).
posted by BWA at 9:53 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


You came up with this device to rub deodorant on snakes? Riiiiight.

It's the only way I'll move product in Alabama.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:54 AM on August 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


I only eat flowers.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:54 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't mind the smell of humans, even stank ones. But a classroom or a bus full of perfume and body spray fumes is instant stomachache.
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:55 AM on August 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


I only eat deodorant.
posted by Kabanos at 9:56 AM on August 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


I wear deodorant about three days out of seven, because there are orchids more resilient than my skin. I've tried a bunch and they all do it. I figure it's better to stink than to constantly be scratching my pits.

Also, I shower, shave and wash my hair with Dr. Bronner's soap. So maybe I'm just a hippie.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:58 AM on August 9, 2012


The Saddest Movie In The World: "...It has helped determine whether people are more likely to spend money when they are sad (they are)...."

Thanks a lot Ricky Schroeder.
posted by mule98J at 10:01 AM on August 9, 2012



I don't mind the smell of humans, even stank ones. But a classroom or a bus full of perfume and body spray fumes is instant stomachache.


God no one knows how to put on perfume/cologne. I shouldn't be able to smell it unless I'm necking you and then it should compliment, not overwhelm the natural body scent.

*dabs Black Phoenix under the shirt, the one that makes you smell like fresh chocolate cake.*

Thats right motherfucker, I'm cake.
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 AM on August 9, 2012 [19 favorites]



I only eat deodorant.


I'll see you in the SmellDome. We'll settle this.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:02 AM on August 9, 2012


If you're seriously going to argue that BO and sweat are not that big of a deal, I have a bus ticket that I'd like to sell to you.
posted by schmod at 10:03 AM on August 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


I don't mind the smell of humans, even stank ones. But a classroom or a bus full of perfume and body spray fumes is instant stomachache.

A good compromise might be underarm shaving and unscented antiperspirant. It's almost as effective as full-on antiperspirant + deodorant + scent.
posted by jedicus at 10:03 AM on August 9, 2012


flapjax at midnite: "Get your diet right, Americans, and you won't need all those weird-ass chemicals you rub under your arms. You are what you eat."

TOXINS!!!!!
posted by schmod at 10:03 AM on August 9, 2012 [16 favorites]


The worst is walking down the street into a cologne cloud and there isn't even anyone within half a block of you. Either there is a cologne ghost or someone's coworkers are plotting to kill them.
posted by elizardbits at 10:03 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Advertisers also had to convince people to change their underwear every day. The idea that not doing so is dirty is an invention of the twentieth century.
posted by Ragged Richard at 10:04 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Get your diet right, Americans, and you won't need all those weird-ass chemicals you rub under your arms.

Everyone I've ever met personally who has held this opinion has tended to smell like a combination of cycling jersey, wet ferret, and bongwater. It is difficult to judge the intensity of your own smell. same goes for that damn hippie crystal 'deodorant'
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:05 AM on August 9, 2012 [73 favorites]


Scentless clear antiperspirant ftw imho
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:06 AM on August 9, 2012


TOXINS!!!!!

That's right! Now you're getting it! Continue your studies, and eventually you will reach enlightenment, my son!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:06 AM on August 9, 2012


Either there is a cologne ghost or someone's coworkers are plotting to kill them.


Level 4 Cologne Wraith.
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 AM on August 9, 2012 [14 favorites]


Another tip: men can use women's deodorant with no ill effects on their testosterone levels. The active ingredient is the same, and I'd rather have a whiff of dainty cucumber (a fan of Dove) than whatever minty ballsweat smell is in all that shit marketed for men.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:07 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Thank heavens I naturally smell like roses and super-clean kittens!

Mostly because I only eat roses and recently-washed kittens.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:08 AM on August 9, 2012 [14 favorites]


How Advertisers Convinced Americans They Smelled Bad

Now if they could just convince the French. BOOM!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:08 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Old Spice deodorant was good enough for my dad and it's good enough for me.
posted by tommasz at 10:11 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


The spirits of those who died in Cologne during WW2 returned incensed!
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:11 AM on August 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


The secret history

oh how those deodorant pioneers navigated the waters of the great depression
posted by phaedon at 10:12 AM on August 9, 2012


The active ingredient is the same, and I'd rather have a whiff of dainty cucumber (a fan of Dove) than whatever minty ballsweat smell is in all that shit marketed for men.

I always use man-scented stuff because most women's stuff smells like fermenting fruit.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:13 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always use man-scented stuff because most women's stuff smells like fermenting fruit.

But I like it too!*

You probably won't get the reference if you're under, what... 50?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:14 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


It is difficult to judge the intensity of your own smell.

Ain't had a complaint yet.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:16 AM on August 9, 2012


Advertisers also had to convince people to change their underwear every day. The idea that not doing so is dirty is an invention of the twentieth century.

Actually, this is a fashion that has come and gone repeatedly over time. For example, in Europe in the 16th century it became fashionable to have a large stable of undergarments which were changed regularly, while bathing became less prominent. Then, in the 17th century, having lots of undergarments and changing them frequently fell out of fashion, although one would still change one's undergarments once or twice a week. Then it came back in the 18th century.

Obviously only the wealthy could actually afford a truly large number of undergarments, but typically whatever was fashionable for the rich was also fashionable among the poor and middle class, just proportionally less extravagant.
posted by jedicus at 10:17 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Level 4 Cologne Wraith.

I had a co-worker that spawned those. He would be going out with some of his other co-workers on Friday night and would get ready at work. He was the only one who needed extra primping before heading out for a night on the town straight from the office. He wore so much cologne that after he walked, without pausing, straight from the bathroom to the door, you could still smell it...on Monday.
posted by VTX at 10:24 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


What? No has mentioned the song by The Who yet?

She was happier than she'd ever been
As he praised her for her grace
But his expression changed, she had seen
As he leant to kiss her face

It ended there
He claimed a late appoinment
She quickly turned
To hide her disappointment

She ripped her glittering gown
Couldn't face another show, no
Her deodorant had let her down
She should have used Odorono

posted by twoleftfeet at 10:26 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


He wore so much cologne that after he walked, without pausing, straight from the bathroom to the door, you could still smell it...on Monday.

Every so often I have to get up out of my seat on some Tokyo train because the smell of someone's perfume is just too intense. I hate to start sneezing repeatedly in public.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:28 AM on August 9, 2012


Re: stanky men's deodorant scents, my guy is uber loyal to Mitchum unscented because unlike lots of stuff labeled unscented it actually comes pretty close to not having a smell. He panicked when it looked for a while like they were discontinuing it, for the reasons alluded to above about how all men's products have a crazy strong vaguely-mint-mostly-spewishly-nasty smell.

(doing the "I'm Asian and my sweat doesn't stink quite so bad as normal, even when I go to the gym and wind up slick all over" happy dance...similar to the "my earwax isn't gummy" happy dance :b)
posted by ifjuly at 10:34 AM on August 9, 2012


I don't think that they convinced Americans they smelled so much as, in the interest in selling product, made the assertion that unless they wanted to die alone in a green fog of funk they must apply acidified, fiber eating red stain to their scraggly armpits before bed.

No wonder most people just opted for washing and blotting instead.
posted by custardfairy at 10:34 AM on August 9, 2012


I knew a guy who didn't wear deodorant, and sure enough he stank. He didn't notice any difference, and his girlfriend claimed she liked it.

I think this is a common couples set-up: guy thinks he's more manly and upfront for not wearing it; girlfriend thinks he's more manly for not caring about a little thing like smell, guy thinks his girlfriend is more horny for liking her man 'in the raw'... so the two of them sit there in a haze of his armpit smell, feeling a bit superior and raunchy.
posted by colie at 10:35 AM on August 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


(you still have to put up with bullshit eye-roll-inducing "men's marketing" from Mitchum though...they're the ones who had goofy taglines like "if your idea of a vegetable is a corn dog, you're a Mitchum man" on their stuff. It helps if you quote these in your most over the top bulldoggy testosterone-y "manly man" voice, like my husband does, making your wife giggle)
posted by ifjuly at 10:36 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


> feeling a bit superior and raunchy.

must steal this phrase and incorporate into descriptions of my husband and self somehow, thx
posted by ifjuly at 10:36 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: a bit superior and raunchy.
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


(doing the "I'm Asian and my sweat doesn't stink quite so bad as normal, even when I go to the gym and wind up slick all over" happy dance...similar to the "my earwax isn't gummy" happy dance :b)

I'm Asian and neither of those things apply to me. Sad face.
posted by snickerdoodle at 10:43 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm Asian and neither of those things apply to me. Sad face.

Asia is a VERY big place....
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:45 AM on August 9, 2012


elizardbits: "The worst is walking down the street into a cologne cloud and there isn't even anyone within half a block of you. Either there is a cologne ghost or someone's coworkers are plotting to kill them."

The worst for me was an 11 hour flight stuck next to someone doused in perfume who visited the bathroom every couple of hours to reapply. By the time the plane landed in Frankfurt my sinuses had totally seized up. Ever since I've been so hypersensitive I can't use scented laundry detergents, deodorants or pretty much anything with an added fragrance without my sinuses having a similar reaction.
posted by the_artificer at 10:47 AM on August 9, 2012


I'm a non-deodorizer (no complaints as far I know), but I've started using those body sprays when it's hot.
posted by PJLandis at 10:50 AM on August 9, 2012


"I knew a guy who didn't wear deodorant, and sure enough he stank."

Did you notice the smell before or after you knew he didn't wear deodorant?
posted by PJLandis at 10:51 AM on August 9, 2012


I'd rather there be a deodorant for the piehole. I have smelled some ghastly odors emitting from the mouths of certain massage clients that I can't imagine what a dental hygienist has to contend with.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 10:52 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Did you notice the smell before or after you knew he didn't wear deodorant?

I knew him for 10 years of standard deodorant usage. Then he started surfing a lot and got the girlfriend who approved of non-wearage. Then he smelled.
posted by colie at 10:54 AM on August 9, 2012


have not used deodorant for more than 15 years thus my pores are clear of any chemical
overlay
If I do need an occasional cover up a nice Italian powder works fine
posted by robbyrobs at 10:56 AM on August 9, 2012


have not used deodorant for more than 15 years thus my pores are clear of any chemical overlay

I actually like to rotate 3 or 4 different deodorants, and sometimes double them up, just so my pores don't start to think they're ever going to get a break.
posted by colie at 10:58 AM on August 9, 2012 [15 favorites]


Get your diet right, Americans, and you won't need all those weird-ass chemicals you rub under your arms.

There was a bit in the Steve Jobs biography about that. He ate some kind of macrobiotic diet that he swore made it so that he didn't need to bath or wear deodorant. He smelled so bad that Atari made him work nights so that the other engineers didn't have to deal with it.
posted by octothorpe at 10:58 AM on August 9, 2012 [15 favorites]


Still waiting on the grenade form-factor for deployment at geek conventions. Punching a hole in the bottom of an aerosol with a screwdriver and then throwing it in the room ahead of you gets questionable coverage at best.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:59 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


> have not used deodorant for more than 15 years thus my pores are clear of any chemical overlay

One shower takes all the deodorant residue off, though.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:59 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I read
“I like to rub my body in pure grain alcohol after a bath but do not do so regularly”
I heard Sterling Hayden in my head.
posted by usonian at 10:59 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


I heard Greg Nog.
posted by elizardbits at 11:00 AM on August 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


I was taking a walk in Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary, NC, when I passed by a guy who was wearing a freaking forcefield of cologne. You could detect that guy's stench up and down the entire path he had walked, and up and down Swift Creek. It was unbelievable. Maybe he hated nature, and as trying to defoliate the entire preserve while choking to death all the chipmunks that strayed a little too close.

I try to picture this escaping his cologne bubble, and I imagine what happened when people tried to escape Haven in The Tommyknockers. He would probably just push and push against the invisible barrier until finally it became obvious THERE WAS NO ESCAPE.

And it was winter, too. Something about that crisp, dry air just amplified the smell of that poison cloud. You smelled nothing, not even soil, and then a clear shining knife of gas station cologne ripped through your nostrils. What kind of body smell could he possible have been trying to cover up when he took a bath in that violent, brutal stink liquid?

As for me, I started to see the benefits of deodorant when I was an academic camp counselor and the kids wrote on my whiteboard that I was a stinky hippy or something. Yep, cured me pretty quick-like.
posted by Coatlicue at 11:01 AM on August 9, 2012


Another tip: men can use women's deodorant with no ill effects on their testosterone levels.

Wait... was this facetious or do people actually think there's something more than bullshit behind gendered marketing of deodorant?

/is another smug user of Mitchum unscented (which is obviously for men--women all want to smell like someone dumped babypowder on their head)
posted by hoyland at 11:06 AM on August 9, 2012


(which is obviously for men--women all want to smell like someone dumped babypowder on their head)

No, modern Female Marketing is to make everything smell like the food they can't eat cause they're so clearly unattractive.
posted by The Whelk at 11:08 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


I dab a lil Versace on each side of my neck and I get complements on my scent all the time.
I smell like a gay nightclub, in the best way possible.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:09 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]



One shower takes all the deodorant residue off, though.
The chemicals have been pushed into the pores for years one shower will not undo that
posted by robbyrobs at 11:10 AM on August 9, 2012


You're missing sweat, fruit-based vokda drinks, acne cream, and leather there.
posted by The Whelk at 11:10 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


> No, modern Female Marketing is to make everything smell like the food they can't eat cause they're so clearly unattractive.

This is a huge fucking pet peeve of mine. "Cherry sundae with orange creamsicle frosting and bon bon topping!" lipgloss and eyeshadow and body lotion and aaaargh. So thinly veiled as a "Ladies, you can't eat this shit but you wish you could so here we are to the rescue!" ploy.
posted by ifjuly at 11:12 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Antiperspirant will clog your soul.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 11:12 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


also balls
posted by en forme de poire at 11:13 AM on August 9, 2012


Never use it. Never will.
posted by Xurando at 11:13 AM on August 9, 2012


that was a reply to Whelk but also works for ICS
posted by en forme de poire at 11:13 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


I have never understood scented deodorant. Why would anyone want to smell like their deodorant?

"Mmm, you smell good."
"Thanks. It's my deodorant."

So very unsexy.

And then top that off with scented laundry soap and fabric softener on your clothes. And scented shampoo and conditioner on your hair. And scented soap. And possibly scented hair product. And scented feminine products. And scented lotion. And then people put perfume on top of ALL OF THAT.

*hack* *hack* *cough*

Usually the big abusers I've found are men in their 20s who smoke. And then douse themselves in cologne. Honey, that shit doesn't cover the stink up. It just amplifies it.
posted by jillithd at 11:14 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Advertisers also had to convince people to change their underwear every day. The idea that not doing so is dirty is an invention of the twentieth century.

"cleanliness is next to godliness" actually refers to wearing fresh underclothes and not to bathing, so these views have come and gone multiple times over the course of history.
posted by atrazine at 11:14 AM on August 9, 2012


> The chemicals have been pushed into the pores for years one shower will not undo that

This sounds like woo to me. Do you have a cite?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:18 AM on August 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


a freaking forcefield of cologne

A few weeks ago I had to apologize to all my friends for the miasma of cologne stink I was carrying around. I tried to put on just a single squirt, but apparently the bottle had been leaking, and I wound up with great puddles of the stuff on my hands. It was impossible to wash off.

(Also now my nightstand reeks.)
posted by uncleozzy at 11:20 AM on August 9, 2012


Balls do clog your soul. That's why you should try my new Minty Ballsweat soul unclogger.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:20 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The chemicals have been pushed into the pores for years one shower will not undo that

I do not think this is how the human body works.
posted by elizardbits at 11:20 AM on August 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


how people dealt with THE FUNK

01. dance
02. shout
03. shake your body down to the ground
04. repeat

posted by elizardbits at 11:22 AM on August 9, 2012 [25 favorites]


MuffinMan: "Americans do smell. All of them. Like too warm plastic mixed with day old cola and burnt pork rind."

If I eat Taco Bell too many days in a row, I get this weird ass funk emanating from me, and it's really quite disturbing.
posted by symbioid at 11:22 AM on August 9, 2012


Fun fact: When a group of people (i.e. my platoon out on maneuvers) eat the exact same thing for weeks, and have no access to showers, they (and their crap) starts to smell exactly alike.
posted by Harald74 at 11:23 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The chemicals have been pushed into the pores for years one shower will not undo that

Your skin replaces itself entirely every 30 to 40 days... so, no.
posted by sbutler at 11:23 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


weird ass funk

Sound like you just have gas.
posted by VTX at 11:24 AM on August 9, 2012


Remember, shame fuels the economy! (MST3K YouTube link)
posted by JHarris at 11:24 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I use the New York City subway system on a regular basis, and I have to say that the deodorant advertisers still have some work to do.
posted by freakazoid at 11:25 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Right after my wife died, there was a week or so when I didn't bother showering. I Just. Didn't. Care. I was in the house by myself, and when I ventured out for food I went through drive-thrus so I didn't have to deal with other people except to exchange money for grub. Slept a lot, which made me even sweatier. And, I'm a big (fat) guy.

Eventually, it did get bad enough that I grossed myself out when I sat up on the edge of the bed and got a whiff of ballsweat funk and pits and a metallic tang from one of the meds I was on. Spent the next half hour in the shower with the water as hot as I could stand it and about a third of a bottle of Irish Spring body wash.

Nowdays, I might go two days without a shower, but only if I'm lazing around the house on a weekend and don't have to leave the house or be around other people.

If you're one of the people who I was around at that time, I'd like to apologize, as I know it must not have been pleasant but I was being given leeway due to the situation.
posted by mrbill at 11:27 AM on August 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


I hate to be the one to tell you this, Americans, but on the subject of smelling your fellow human beings, you have... issues...
posted by Harald74 at 11:27 AM on August 9, 2012


Now if they could just convince the French. BOOM!

In a packed Paris métro once on a warm May afternoon, I saw a very elegant woman peer around disdainfully at her fellow Parisians, reach into an inner pocket, and produce some perfume, which she dabbed on her upper lip.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:27 AM on August 9, 2012 [17 favorites]


There was a bit in the Steve Jobs biography about that. He ate some kind of macrobiotic diet that he swore made it so that he didn't need to bath or wear deodorant. He smelled so bad that Atari made him work nights so that the other engineers didn't have to deal with it.

If the interviews in The Ultimate History of Video Games are legit, he also regularly passed out at work, warning everyone to not send him to the hospital.
posted by griphus at 11:30 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


The chemicals have been pushed into the pores for years one shower will not undo that

This sounds like woo to me. Do you have a cite?


Hey, it only makes sense. The body absorbs all that crap. The skin brings stuff in. That's how skin works.

On preview:

I do not think this is how the human body works.

Deodorants, Antiperspirants, Parabens & Breast Cancer

Confirmed: Aluminum In Crystal Deodorants Is Absorbed

And there's a lot more info out there, if you wanna look around.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:30 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


...smell like a combination of cycling jersey, wet ferret, and bongwater.

I see that we went to the same university!
posted by generichuman at 11:31 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can we not talk about ball sweat while I'm eating?
posted by stormpooper at 11:39 AM on August 9, 2012


And there's a lot more info out there, if you wanna look around.

This is not the same as the assumption that armpit pores are clogged to bursting with deodorant debris such that little crud mountains form and cannot be removed without going 15 years deodorant-free.
posted by elizardbits at 11:39 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Re: stanky men's deodorant scents, my guy is uber loyal to Mitchum unscented because unlike lots of stuff labeled unscented it actually comes pretty close to not having a smell.

This also has the awesome side effect of making it unisex (since I don't like smelling like flowers OR like manly-deodorant-smell). It also works as well as any other I've tried, and better than many.
posted by randomnity at 11:41 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're missing sweat, fruit-based vokda drinks, acne cream, and leather there.

To be fair, Senor Cardgage does offer $1 well drinks on Thursdays and Saturdays between 4-7, so he's still pretty popular. His dance floor is kind of small, though (or so I have heard).
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:41 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The secret history of deodorant

Not to pick on you in particular apricot but this "The secret history of ... " thing has gotten a bit cliche and in this case really crosses into silly territory. A massive advertising campaign hardly qualifies as secret. Almost precisely the opposite actually.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:44 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm a little jealous of people who can use antiperspirant without it doing to their armpits what the Ark of the Covenant does to Nazi faces. Deodorant's a godsend, though.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:50 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is not the same as the assumption that armpit pores are clogged to bursting with deodorant debris such that little crud mountains form and cannot be removed without going 15 years deodorant-free.

Um... what? I must've missed the "15 years" bit that you refer to now, so I don't know what you're talking about. Your comment, however, which I was addressing, was an answer to this, which you quoted:

The chemicals have been pushed into the pores for years one shower will not undo that

So, you understand that what's being discussed here is not just "armpit pores", but the fact that the skin absorbs chemicals and brings them into the body, right? You understand that's what the links I provided are talking about right? Or... perhaps you didn't bother to read them.

Anyway, hey, anyone who wants to put this stuff into their bodies, via their skin (a surprisingly absorbant organ!) is welcome to do so. I personally wouldn't do it, but, hey, knock yourself out, man! No worries from here!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:53 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Get your diet right, Americans, and you won't need all those weird-ass chemicals you rub under your arms. You are what you eat.

My vegan friends are the stinkiest people I know. Tell me what this unscented wonder diet is that you speak of, and how to tell if you actually stink or not if the people around you are too polite to say so?
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:57 AM on August 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


flapjax: Here's the 15 years comment you seem to be missing.

On that note, shaving of the pits combined has made me able to use much less and weaker deodorants than I ever thought possible. It used to be that only Mitchum gel anti-perspirent would work for me but now I can get by with using the simple crystal bars rather easily.

I am a bit disheartened to learn that they may share the same aluminum problems as the more powerful stuff. Jesus, you just can't win with the whole "avoid evil things for your body and harm the world as little as possible" thing can you?
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:59 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Argh, my kingdom for an edit feature. I meant to say "shaving of the pits combined with a witch hazel/talc application"
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:00 PM on August 9, 2012


there is a reason why in the tourists areas in Puerto Rico i'd hear back in the day people saying "esos gringos apestan". i grew up with a house smelling of lavanda and my mom dousing me in Nenuco.

these things didn't really catch on here in the US until the 1990s. it was then when companies like Colgate-Palmolive (i worked there during the 1990s) saw the huge market share they were losing among US latinos by people importing their Caribbean & Latin American manufactured products from their home countries. it also coincided with the huge product approval process changes within the FDA (1994-95). that's really when the explosion of deodorants and personal hygiene products happened in the US.
posted by liza at 12:01 PM on August 9, 2012


So, you understand that what's being discussed here is not just "armpit pores", but the fact that the skin absorbs chemicals and brings them into the body, right? You understand that's what the links I provided are talking about right? Or... perhaps you didn't bother to read them.

Not only do I know how to read and comprehend the written word, I have done so! With your links! It is a party for everyone! An awesome party with awesome people! Possibly there is cake.

The original comment to which I was responding seemed to present the idea that the usage of antiperspirants or deodorants leaves a semi-permanent "chemical overlay" within the pores. I have no argument with your data about the chemicals absorbed by the human body through the skin, because that is a true fact.
posted by elizardbits at 12:04 PM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


> Get your diet right, Americans, and you won't need all those weird-ass chemicals you
> rub under your arms. You are what you eat.

When you're ripe enough to smell yourself stinking, you're pretty ripe. I noticed myself being pretty ripe in the afternoon not long ago for the first time since high school, which was the last time I had to endure preseason football practice in summer. This year, as my one and only new years resolution, I vowed to walk or bicycle to work every.single.day unless there was an actual lightning storm going on. I started doing that on Jan. 2 (the coldest part of the year, but no great ordeal in Athens GA) and have continued religiously until now, roughly the middle of the hottest part (starting about the middle of June we get five months of August.) I don't have the best smeller in the world but even I started being aware of whiffs of personal ripeness right around the start of the five month August. I absolutely hadn't changed what I was eating.

I had changed one other thing. I ran out of my usual stink-no-more (bog standard Mennin Regular stick) and instead decided to use up a can of Old Spice body spray I had. This was a from-the-employer bought-by-the-truckload xmas gift and not something I would ever have bought for myself. But there it was, and it did say "and deodorant" on the tin.

Well, it ain't. Wikipedia, which actually has an entry for it (and now officially has an entry for Everything) is somewhat nearer the mark, saying it ...doubles as a deodorant." Roughly the way my bicycle and I could double as a Lake Bonneville speed-record streamliner. Both got wheels, right?

I searched around and located a place where I could shower at work, and went back to the usual topical location-specific bog standard stink-no-more and have had no further recurrences of the, ahem, problem. At least that I can detect on my own.

I have no doubt that if you dropped me into a bus in a far distant land where everyone else ate chole bhature or pad thai they would all think I smelled odd and that would be because of diet. But diet ain't the whole story. Sometimes you do just plain stink.
posted by jfuller at 12:09 PM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Possibly there is cake.

I'll take a slice!

But next time perhaps you can choose the more appropriate quote that you're responding to! Because the quote you responded to had, well, nothing to do with your comment! And made it seem as though you didn't know exactly what you were talking about! Wheee! Now, cake please!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:09 PM on August 9, 2012


That cake ain't gonna make me stink, though, is it?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:10 PM on August 9, 2012


I've mentioned it before on MeFi, but the book The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History contains one of my favorite quotes on how deeply we've been hornswoggled on the subject of human smell - - it is from a letter Napoleon wrote to Josephine:

"I will return in five days. Stop washing."
posted by fairmettle at 12:11 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think this is a common couples set-up: guy thinks he's more manly and upfront for not wearing it; girlfriend thinks he's more manly for not caring about a little thing like smell, guy thinks his girlfriend is more horny for liking her man 'in the raw'... so the two of them sit there in a haze of his armpit smell, feeling a bit superior and raunchy.

I knew a few cases like this in my younger years and I'm pretty sure the relationship in every case deteriorated after several years once the lurve period wore off and the girlfriend began to get tired of people not under the influence of his pheromones being repelled by the boyfriend's antisocial stank. (It revs up the "naggy girlfriend vs. immature dude" vicious circle dynamic but good.)
posted by aught at 12:14 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I will return in five days. Stop washing."

Maybe not five days, but someone straight out of the shower: ick. I don't like the taste of soap. Give me lightly sweaty any day.
posted by mrbill at 12:16 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


That cake ain't gonna make me stink, though, is it?

Like that worst toxin of them all, refined white sugar. Though I understand some people have a kink that makes them like the smell.
posted by aught at 12:18 PM on August 9, 2012


I'm not sure I'd use Napoleon for any sort of normative behavior models.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:20 PM on August 9, 2012 [14 favorites]


You probably won't get the reference if you're under, what... 50?

Only 48, thank you very much.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:27 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope that's hyperbole because sugar isn't a toxin. It might be unhealthy in large amounts, but so is almost everything.
posted by PJLandis at 12:37 PM on August 9, 2012


Can we not talk about ball sweat while I'm eating?
posted by stormpooper at 11:39 AM on August 9 [+] [!]


Eponysterical or epon-hypocritical?
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:37 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Get your diet right, Americans, and you won't need all those weird-ass chemicals you rub under your arms. You are what you eat.

Spend a summer's afternoon in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and realize how utterly nonsensical that is.
posted by ambient2 at 12:39 PM on August 9, 2012


The woo is strong in this thread. Toxins indeed.

I love that dosage is never mentioned alongside the vague hand wavy toxins claims. As if some things are toxins and some things are not, regardless of the concept of dosage and toxicity levels.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:42 PM on August 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


And those articles above about 'Parbens and Breast Cancer' and "Aluminum in antiperspirants" are both grossly misleading.

For the Parabens, the authors agree with the FDA/NCI who don't see any evidence of parabens causing breast cancer only they think we should assume it does until there is evidence that it doesn't. Basic paranoid, fear mongering.

Here are two choice quotes: "Not nearly enough research has been done...[BUT] the researchers that have dedicated their time to this subject have shown a clear relationship between deodorants / antiperspirants and breast cancer."
A lack of research is always good for drawing clear conclusions like that.

The aluminum article is worse, based on laboratory research, that shows it's possible for some amount of aluminium ions, without any clarity on how much, might enter your skin. Getting from there to anti-perspirants are leeching aluminum into our bodies in amounts large enough to cause any effect, not even a harmful effect, requires a lot more than this. How about testing a real human beings?
posted by PJLandis at 12:54 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I knew a guy who didn't wear deodorant, and sure enough he stank. He didn't notice any difference, and his girlfriend claimed she liked it.

I'm not sure why you wrote "claimed." I don't doubt at all that she liked it. I love my husband's stank. I have often imagined bottling that smell so that I could uncork it at will. Mind you, this is provided he has been wearing cotton. If he has been wearing his "scientifically-developed" biking clothes or "moisture-wicking" tennis tops then he flat out reeks.

And he feels the same about my odors. We know all about Napoleon and Josephine. And I'm sorry for that those of you who find it weird or ridiculous, because that means you haven't experienced this.

However, I admit I don't like the smell of his sweaty head nor his smelly feet. Those areas do require regular showers. (Fun fact: My first husband was Asian. His feet never stank.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:54 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"You are what you eat"

In some specific ways, yes. But overall, we all eat different things and our bodies break them down and produce the same things, things we all need as human beings.
posted by PJLandis at 12:55 PM on August 9, 2012


Here's a real study on dermal absorption of aluminum. And this one takes into consideration that aluminum is one of the most common elements in our environment.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11267710
posted by PJLandis at 1:00 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


> I hope that's hyperbole because sugar isn't a toxin.

Just don't ever say that in a high fructose corn syrup thread.
posted by jfuller at 1:01 PM on August 9, 2012


I eat aluminum foil all the time and I still smell. Explain.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:12 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is the foil clean and fresh or are you eating discarded fish taco wrappers?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:18 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're seriously going to argue that BO and sweat are not that big of a deal, I have a bus ticket that I'd like to sell to you.

After we swap greyhound stories and I win, we will negotiate this bus ticket. I've never been to Seattle!
posted by toodleydoodley at 1:21 PM on August 9, 2012


My point was that I smell like roses and I don't use deodorant. Maybe you don't believe me, but don't call my mom a liar.
posted by PJLandis at 1:35 PM on August 9, 2012


I eat aluminum foil all the time and I still smell. Explain.

you have to wear it as underpants
posted by elizardbits at 1:42 PM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


What are 'toxins'?
posted by colie at 1:47 PM on August 9, 2012


Is the foil clean and fresh or are you eating discarded fish taco wrappers?

Are you saying that that matters? All these rules, rules, rules!
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:49 PM on August 9, 2012


TIL that my right armpit is Asian, and my left is raunchy and superior! The More You Know.
posted by clavicle at 1:55 PM on August 9, 2012


I'd rather there be a deodorant for the piehole. I have smelled some ghastly odors emitting from the mouths of certain massage clients that I can't imagine what a dental hygienist has to contend with.

Oh, for reals. I have a pretty lousy sense of smell in general, but stank breath seems to be the one odor I can pick up. Just my luck. And they never want gum, when offered. Never ever.

And I call shenanigans on the whole "you are what you eat"/smelliness-level argument. The fact that people stunk pretty bad before the advent of processed foods suggests--to me, anyway--that the two are separate deals.
posted by gypsyroseme at 2:07 PM on August 9, 2012


A particularly effective way to combat underarm odor is to rub ranch dressing under my wing.
posted by horsewithnoname at 2:15 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I like to rub my body in pure grain alcohol after a bath but do not do so regularly"

Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation. Fluoridation of water?
posted by Pinback at 2:26 PM on August 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Do you find it uncomfortable to sweat that much when you eat?

not directed at anybody in particular
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:29 PM on August 9, 2012


Is this the part of the thread where we talk about the water fluoridation conspiracy? Is this like Bizarro MetaFilter or something? wtf.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:32 PM on August 9, 2012


Sea-Forth, a deodorant sold in ceramic whiskey jugs starting in the 1940s, “because the company owner Alfred McKelvy said he ‘couldn’t think of anything more manly than whiskey

And he's right. I've often thought: how do I prove my manliness? Do some D.I.Y. around the house? Grow a sweet moustache? Train to be a boxer? Join the S.A.S.? Wrestle a bear whilst jumping out of a plane with one hand tied behind my back? Nah, fuck it, I'll just kick back and pour myself a glass of bourbon. Nailed it.
posted by ob at 3:01 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"toxins" lol. Turn off the toxin tocsin already.
posted by exlotuseater at 3:03 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


lazaruslong: "wtf"

PoE
posted by Pinback at 3:28 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I rarely sweat (blame my lazy lifestyle) and even more rarely smell (my theory is that I can tell if I smell, since I do occasionally notice something; have also confirmed with a friend sitting next to me now that I don't in fact smell at the moment, despite our presence in sticky and hot NYC). I stopped regularly wearing deodorant a couple of years ago when I finally realized it wasn't necessary. There must be others out there like me? Right?
posted by three_red_balloons at 3:51 PM on August 9, 2012


> There must be others out there like me? Right?

Get back to us after you've worked outside pulling weeds all day long or something, stinky.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:04 PM on August 9, 2012


Clean clothing goes a very long way in my book. Unless my nose is buried in your armpit, if you have on freshly laundered clothes I shouldn't be able to smell you.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:04 PM on August 9, 2012


Wrestle a bear whilst jumping out of a plane with one hand tied behind my back? Nah, fuck it, I'll just kick back and pour myself a glass of bourbon. Nailed it.

Whiskey: cheaper than a bear.
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:13 PM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone who thinks that BO is pleasant is welcome to spend three days in the Open Gaming room at our local gaming conventions. Just try managing day two without a gas mask or having to go outside periodically to retch.
posted by happyroach at 5:25 PM on August 9, 2012


There was a bit in the Steve Jobs biography about that.

"There was also the issue of his hygiene. He was still convinced, against all evidence, that his vegan diets meant that he didn't need to use a deodorant or take regular showers. We would have to literally put him out the door and tell him to go take a shower, said Markkula." At meetings we had to look at his dirty feet."
Sometimes, to relieve stress, he would soak his feet in the toilet, a practice that was not as soothing for his colleagues" - Walter Isaacson

http://maismac.kit.net/steve_jobs_by_walter_isaacson.pdf
posted by rough ashlar at 6:08 PM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


spend three days in the Open Gaming room at our local gaming conventions.


http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Randy%20Milholland It's been done.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:18 PM on August 9, 2012


I'm not sure I'd use Napoleon for any sort of normative behavior models.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:20 PM on August 9 [10 favorites +] [!]

Yes well, but have you seen this painting? Like in person? I saw it a couple of weeks ago. The girl I said something to the effect of - "mmmmmhhhhh....."

I'm on a horse indeed.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:16 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The girl I *was with*
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:18 PM on August 9, 2012


I grew up with old spice too, but then I discovered baking soda. Want to fight with bacteria, you just whack their pH. I make a paste with a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate and a few drops of water, and plaster it under my arms after showering. Sorry, Proctor & Gamble.
posted by maniabug at 7:55 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Antiperspirant will clog your soul.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 12:12 on August 9 [2 favorites +] [!]

also balls
posted by en forme de poire at 12:13 on August 9 [+] [!]

Antiperspirant is a male contraceptive?
posted by arcticseal at 8:06 PM on August 9, 2012


You want to sell deodorant to reptiles?!? You, sir, are a monster!

Bsesides, how do you decide where to apply it on a snake?


Well, if you have a pit viper, you simply apply it there. Of course, it will then instinctively try to vipe it off.

For the other snakes, a touch of Chanel No. 5 behind each ear and one upon the bum.
 
posted by Herodios at 8:12 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a bunch of filthy snake molesters.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:08 PM on August 9, 2012


I knew this thread was going to be awesome!
posted by deborah at 11:24 PM on August 9, 2012


usually lack of antiperspirant is the real male contraceptive HEYOOOOOO I'm here all night, try the poffins
posted by en forme de poire at 2:23 AM on August 10, 2012


> a paste with a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate and a few drops of water, and plaster it under my arms

I'm guessing you don't wear tank tops.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:28 AM on August 10, 2012


And he feels the same about my odors. We know all about Napoleon and Josephine. And I'm sorry for that those of you who find it weird or ridiculous, because that means you haven't experienced this.

I think a lot of us have experienced this with sex partners, and it is great, but we aslso understand that the exact same stank that pleases or gets one person horny can also nauseate others, pheromonal effects being part of the mix.
posted by aught at 7:45 AM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pinback: "lazaruslong: "wtf"

PoE

ok thank goodness that was a reference I wasn't getting. Phew.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:46 AM on August 10, 2012


And he feels the same about my odors. We know all about Napoleon and Josephine. And I'm sorry for that those of you who find it weird or ridiculous, because that means you haven't experienced this.

My theory on knowing a dude who smells and his girlfriend likes it:

- She of course doesn't smell bad at all and wouldn't dream of it.
- No doubt she genuinely likes his smell.
- He probably can't smell himself much, but likes the idea of his girlfriend being a bit wild, especially for him. Plus he's spiritually above fashion and grooming and things like that.
- If you are a guy joining these people for a beer, sitting there in the powerful smell of the dude while you yourself give off no odour, it can feel like they're both asserting their collaborative sexual predominance over you.


Do I need to get myself stinked up?
posted by colie at 8:13 AM on August 10, 2012


"he would soak his feet in the toilet"...? Steve Jobs? That's a joke, right?
posted by PJLandis at 11:48 AM on August 10, 2012


I had a coworker who worked at Xerox PARC, who claimed that they'd all switch to the other food truck line during lunch to stay upwind of Gates and Jobs.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:46 PM on August 10, 2012


Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation. Fluoridation of water?

I've heard about how Fluoride makes bones brittle. I've heard how it is a toxin - note how the label of tooth paste says 'call poison control'.

I've even heard about how it makes people docile - and tie that to Nazi concentration camps.

But makes 'em funky? Oh prey-tell show that.

(And I'm rather sure the 'being funky' we are talking about here has nothing to do with skin tone or how a Brother has more funk than a Cracker)
posted by rough ashlar at 7:02 PM on August 10, 2012


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