How to Smell Good

Three Parts:Getting Back to the BasicsStepping It Up a NotchGetting Creative

Smelling good goes hand-in-hand with proper hygiene and well-maintained health. Above all else, you must adhere to a few essential hygienic practices in order to smell remotely good. If you still need a little more help or want to smell even better, you can take a few extra measures to keep your breath, skin, and clothes fresher than ever. Keep reading to learn more.

Part 1
Getting Back to the Basics

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    Bathe regularly. On average, you should take a shower every one to two days. Even if you are unable to smell an unpleasant odor on your skin by the end of day two, you should still wash up.
    • Bacteria and moisture will build on your skin fairly quickly, causing potential health problems as well as a notably foul odor. Regular bathing dries out the skin and strips it of odor-causing bacteria.
    • Wash up more frequently during the summer, especially if you catch yourself sweating a lot during your work or play hours.
    • Use warm water and soap. The soap is an essential aspect since it removes dirt and grime trapped in your skin's natural oils.
    • Wash your hair as needed. You may not think that your hair is contributing to body odor issues, but oil, dirt, and bacteria can build up there, as well. Washing your hair every one to three days will usually prevent this from causing an issue.
    • For an extra boost, use a scented soap and scented shampoo.
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    Shave your armpits.[1] Remove the hair from your armpits as often as possible. As sweat leaks out, it gets trapped in your underarm hair, causing bacteria to grow and fester. This causes odor to build.
    • You should shave your armpits every few days in the summer, especially if you sweat a lot. You can last longer in the winter, but you should still shave every couple of weeks to preserve optimal freshness.
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    Use deodorant.[2] You should apply deodorant to your underarms as soon as you get dressed in the morning.
    • For best results, choose a deodorant also labeled as an antiperspirant. These deodorants not only apply fragrance to your armpits, but also reduce sweating and odor-causing build-up.
    • A good deodorant should last for at least 12 hours, but you may need to apply it more often if you end up sweating a lot during the day.
    • You can purchase spray deodorants and stick deodorants. The latter tend to have a better reputation, though.
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    Wear clean clothes. Wash your clothes regularly and change into something clean each day. If smelly sweat soaks into the fabric below your arm, you should change into something fresh.
    • Your undergarments are especially essential to change. During particularly hot weather, you may even need to change your underpants and socks twice a day.
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    Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Bad breath can be caused by unpleasant food odors, but more commonly, it results from the build up of bacteria in the mouth. You should brush two to three times each day in order to strip your mouth of bacteria and reduce the effect of bad breath.
    • Brush your teeth as soon as you wake up in the morning and right before going to bed. You can also brush your teeth in the middle of the day, shortly after lunch, to promote even better dental hygiene.
    • Run your toothbrush over your tongue as you brush. Not many people think about it, but bacteria that builds up on your teeth also builds up on your tongue. Gently scraping your tongue with your toothbrush is a good way to remove most of this bacteria.
    • Use dental floss at least once a day to remove the dirt and bacteria lurking in between your teeth.

Part 2
Stepping It Up a Notch

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    Exfoliate your skin. The exfoliating process gets deep into your pores, completely clearing out any foreign bacteria or dirt lingering there. Invest in an exfoliating body wash and use it in the shower once or twice a week, or as directed on the label.
    • Alternatively, you could also exfoliate your skin using Dead Sea salt or Epsom salt. Mix 2 to 3 Tbsp (30 to 45 ml) salt into a full tub of hot bathwater and soak in it until the water gets cool. Only use salt once or twice a month, though, or else you may dry your skin out too much.
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    Layer scent.[3] When possible, use soap, shampoo, lotion, and other fragrance products that all come from the same scent line. Doing so will increase the potency of that smell, allowing it to last longer.
    • If you cannot find the same exact smell in multiple products, use different products that each have similar elements in common. For instance, opt for multiple rose-scented products even if each product is manufactured by a different company.
    • Begin with a scented shower gel and layer on a scented lotion as soon as you dry off. If possible, complement the smell further with a scented deodorant.
    • You can also use perfumes, colognes, body powders, and aftershaves to add further layers.
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    Learn the best way to apply perfume or cologne. Proper application begins with choosing the right product. From there, you also need to know where to apply the product and how much to use.
    • As far as perfume goes, products labeled as "perfume" have the highest concentration of scent, followed by "parfum," "eau de toilette," and "eau de fraiche."[4] A higher concentration of scent means a longer-lasting smell.
    • As far as cologne goes, an "eau de toilette" has the highest scent concentration, followed by "cologne" and "eau de cologne." Aftershave has the weakest concentration.[5] As with perfume, a higher concentration of scent means a longer-lasting smell.
    • Only apply perfume and cologne to pulse points along your body. These areas are the warmest part of your body and diffuse the perfume most effectively. Try the inside of your wrists, nape of your neck, inside of your elbows, and behind your knees.[6]
    • Resist the urge to douse yourself in fragrance, as this is often overwhelming to the people around you.
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    Use a tongue cleaner. Use a tongue cleaner every night before going to bed. Gently run the scraper over your tongue and rinse your mouth out with water.
    • A tongue cleaner is even more effective at stripping your tongue of harmful bacteria than a toothbrush. As such, this can be an especially handy tool to have and use if you struggle with bad breath.
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    Freshen your breath with mints. While proper dental hygiene is your most effective weapon against bad breath, you can use breath mints and other breath fresheners after a meal or whenever a “stale” taste develops in your mouth.
    • Breath mints, chewing gum, and breath sprays are all decent options worth considering.
    • Be forewarned that overusing these products can actually lead to increased tooth decay, especially if you use mints and gum with high sugar contents.
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    Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins. Body odor can also result from the buildup of toxins within your body. While there are special diets designed to flush these toxins out, the simplest way to keep your body free of odor-causing toxins is to consistently stay well-hydrated, since simple water is nature's way of flushing out your system.
    • Try to drink six to eight 8-oz (250-ml) glasses of water daily.
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    Eliminate foot odor.[7] Since feet tend to sweat easily, dirt, bacteria, and odor develop rather quickly. As such, foot hygiene and deodorizing is another important aspect of smelling good.
    • Clean your feet every day. Use a pumice stone, foot brush, or other exfoliating scrub to scrub away the dirt and dead skin cells on your feet.
    • Use foot powders to absorb moisture as needed.
    • Wear open footwear in the summer. Open footwear allows your feet to "breathe," preventing sweat and odor as a result.

Part 3
Getting Creative

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    Keep your closet and dresser fresh. Fabric can absorb unpleasant odor, so even clean clothes may begin to smell bad as time passes. Take a few extra precautions to keep the area you store your clothes in smelling fresh in order to keep yourself smelling better, as well.
    • Air fresheners are, perhaps, the most obvious solution to try. Choose an air freshener that neutralizes odors instead of merely masking them. When possible, look for a freshener specifically labeled for use with clothing.
    • Lay fabric sheets in your dresser drawers to preserve the fresh "laundry scent" longer. You can also stuff fabric sheets into the shoes stored in your coat closet.[8] Fabric sheets stuffed into shoes should be changed daily, but those in your dresser drawer should only be changed once they lose their scent.
    • Sprinkle soap shaving in your closet or dresser. Shave a bar of soap using a box grater. Collect 1/2 cup (125 ml) shavings to put into a plastic bag, and place these plastic bags open in your drawers or along the bottom of your closet.
    • Fill a cloth mesh bag with potpourri and place it in your dresser drawers. Change the potpourri as needed.
    • Place an open box of baking soda at the bottom of your closet. Baking soda absorbs odor, so the space should begin smelling fresher within a few days to weeks.
    • Place chalk in your closet.[9] Chalk absorbs moisture, thereby limiting odor-causing dampness in your closet. Tie a bundle of chalk with sturdy string and hang it out of the way inside your closet.
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    Take scented baths. Treat yourself to a scented bath once or twice a week for an extra fragrance boost. Pour a little bubble bath into your bathwater or mix in a few drops of essential oils.
    • If washing your hair, wait until after you finish washing your hair before you add the scents.
    • Women should avoid soaking in strong, heavy scents or chemicals. These products can cause irritation to the sensitive vaginal area, thereby upsetting the chemical balance of that area and leading to a stronger odor.
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    Apply extra fragrance to your armpits.[10] Carry a mini roller-ball fragrance with you throughout the day. When you sense your armpits are in need of a touch-up, excuse yourself to the restroom and roll the perfume around the perimeter of your armpit.
    • Note that this should not be used as a replacement for deodorant. Alone, fragrances like this will not be able to combat body odor. Only use this tactic as a backup for your regular armpit freshening routine.
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    Neutralize body odor with vinegar.[11] If you want a way to reduce the odor coming from your underarms without relying on chemicals and heavy scents, you can apply a little apple cider vinegar to the area in order to neutralize the odor.
    • Soak a cotton ball with concentrated apple cider vinegar and thoroughly swipe it over your armpits.
    • Perform this at least three times each day: in the morning, at noon, and at night.
    • If you choose to do so, you can still apply a little deodorant after applying the vinegar. An antiperspirant is especially helpful since it reduces odor-causing sweat.
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    Combat odor with food and drink.[12] Certain foods have deodorizing properties that linger on your breath and skin for hours after you eat them. Pungent-smelling foods do not need to be avoided altogether, but you should consume them alongside foods that can counteract the odor.
    • Cinnamon has a strong, pleasant odor that lingers on the skin.
    • Cardamom and fenugreek seeds act as mouth fresheners.
    • Citrus fruit can leave your mouth feeling fresh, and since citrus is easily absorbed by the body, your skin may give off a slightly freshened odor, as well.
    • Swap the coffee for jasmine tea or green tea, when possible. Jasmine tea has a pleasant, long-lasting floral odor, and green tea contains polyphenol compounds that remove odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. Moreover, green tea and herbal tea improve your digestive health over time, thereby improving your body's odor.
    • Balance out the smell of garlic and onion with milk, parsley, or mint.

Things You'll Need

  • Shower gel or bar soap
  • Shampoo
  • Razor
  • Deodorant
  • Clean clothes
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Tongue scraper
  • Dead Sea salt or Epsom salt
  • Scented lotion
  • Perfume or cologne
  • Breath mints, chewing gum, or breath spray
  • Water
  • Pumice stone or foot brush
  • Sandals
  • Air fresheners, fabric sheets, soap shavings, baking soda, or chalk
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Cotton
  • Citrus fruit, tea, cinnamon, cardamom, milk, and fenugreek seeds

Article Info

Categories: Sweating and Body Odor Hygiene