What To Do When You Realize That Horrible Smell Is You

Illustration for article titled What To Do When You Realize That Horrible Smell Is You

Experts say that to eliminate body odor, one should stick to a diet rich in vegetables and take chlorophyll supplements and wear loose-fitting clothing and bathe regularly and always wear socks with closed-toe shoes and think only pleasant, floral thoughts. But that advice is worth fuck-all when you've spent the weekend eating cheeseburgers and woke up too late to shower before work and you ran out of clean laundry days ago and the only socks you can find are the novelty Thanksgiving turkey socks that your mom gave you as a joke last year because they were $2 at a gas station.

If you're on Team Unhygienic or — if your various bodily perfumes, tinctures, and deodorizers surrender more readily than a Frenchman — and you can't pop into a drug store, never fear. You can MacGyver your way out of this.

Should your unexpected smelliness occur when you're lucky enough to be at a restaurant, hunt around for some vinegar (anything but balsamic will do, because even worse than having smelly armpits is having two giant, dark brown salad-scented armpit stains). Ask for a little ramekin of the acrid stuff, and if the server asks you what it's for, just say, "It's for my armpits HAHAHAHAHA" to reduce suspicion, because how silly to think one would do something so crazy as to use vinegar for armpit-related activities. My stars.


Once the nosy server has brought you your elixir of stink killer, go to the bathroom , soak a wad of toilet paper in it, and apply it to the underarms. Obviously you'll want to disguise the fact that you're taking a food item to the bathroom. If you absolutely won't be able to sneak it to the bathroom, very shadily dip your napkin into the vinegar until most of it is absorbed and then take your napkin to the bathroom. Act like you're just absently carrying it. Carrying a napkin is less weird than carrying a small bowl of vinegar. You can also use corn starch to absorb odor, although asking for cornstarch is probably more strange than asking for vinegar.

You're going to smell at least a little bit like an Easter egg for the time being, but smelling like an Easter Egg is better than smelling like a rotten egg, unless all of your friends have done so much cocaine in their heydays that they can no longer process smells or are literally weasels.

If you're at someone's house, don't use their deodorant or cologne, especially if you're at a boy's house. People know how their own deodorant smells and will know that you went into their medicine cabinet and rubbed that thing that they rub on their armpit every morning on your own armpit and, yuck. If you smell like man-deodorant when you leave the bathroom and you weren't wearing man-deodorant before you entered, your faux pas will be even more terribly obvious.

However, the don't-use-the-host's-deodorant-rule doesn't mean that you shouldn't raid your host's medicine cabinet a little bit. Do they have baby powder? Apply a light layer to your underarms or underboobs (because underboob sweat is real, and it's terrible) and be sure to double check for telltale stray powder. Otherwise, survey the cupboard for anything that purports to kill bacteria, since it's bacteria that are causing you to emit cartoon-like stink rays. Try hydrogen peroxide, hand sanitizer, or rubbing alcohol. Many men keep talcum powder on hand to keep their scrotums pleasant and itch-free, and since talcum's an astringent, it can help absorb sweat. Avoid bathroom cleaning products like Comet, unless you have skin made of ceramic tile like some kind of crazy bathtub robot or you really enjoy having unsightly rashes.


Armpits aren't the only body part that can cause troublesome unpleasant odor; it's a scientific fact that feet are the second vilest part of the external human body, right after the taint. And boy, can foot odor cause problems, especially if you find yourself in one of those no-shoes apartments on a day you didn't wear socks and your paws are hosting a conga line of bacteria eager to festively make their olfactory presence known. You could make a beeline for the bathroom and try the peroxide, hand sanitizer, alcohol, talcum powder or baby powder tricks. But if your feet are truly, truly disgusting, you could always try to tell the host that you're taking medication for a "foot problem" and can't take your shoes off.

And finally, if we Ladies learned anything from vintage ads, if your vagina smells, just spray some Lysol in it. Everyone knows that.


Now, what have we learned from this adventure? First, always carry a travel sized deodorant or anti-perspirant in your purse at all times, as well as a clean pair of non-holey socks. If you don't typically deodorize with that sort of product, try wipes soaked in witch hazel. Also, stop sleeping through your alarm and learn how to shower or bathe yourself often enough to stave off stink, because you're an adult now. And do your laundry. My god. Who raised you?

Image via Olaru Radian-Alexandru/Shutterstock.com

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Posts like this make me wish I were a cat. Not only do they clean themselves constantly, but they're totally unself-conscious about washing their kitty bits in front of everyone.