An embarrassment called-BODY ODOUR

29 Apr

Recently, my quest for decent designs of Lakhnave Kurtas (typical collar-less shirt belonging to Lakhnow, India) took me to a renowned dress designer of my area. Her gorgeous looking boutique fully marbled and packed with exquisite dresses was simply beyond description. That tall, long curly haired lady, with flashing almond eyes dressed in a lovely attire was looking stunningly beautiful. But the thing which drifted away her sophistication and enforced me to run off was nothing other than the pungent smell of sweat that was suffocating the entire ambience. After exchanging some formal words and going through some of her latest designs I instantly bid adieu.

After this particular incident I decided to share some pieces of opinion (not advice) with people who spend bundles of money on their looks and dresses but never bother to do away with the most embarrassing problem called, “Body Odour”.

Basically, sweat itself is quite beneficial for the growth and nourishment of human body. Doctors and health specialists suggest being involved in such activities, which result in perspiration as they maintain the temperature of human body and help in upholding our fluid level.

Though perspiration or sweating is quite necessary for our body, if one doesn’t manage to resist the bacteria that react with perspiration, it results in acrid smell, called ‘body odour’. It guarantees an undesirable effect on one’s social life. Even though colleagues and comrades don’t complain about it, it becomes as difficult to work or stay with such persons as to conquer Mount Everest.

Where the asphyxiating smell of sweat annoys every second person a lot of people do not bother to do away with it. Faseeh Ahmed, a student of, says, “While returning from university sometimes it becomes a challenge for me to sit beside people in local bus. First it’s loaded due to rush hours and secondly the odour of sweat of people makes it almost impossible for me to breathe. I can’t understand why apparently “tip top” looking guys don’t manage to do away with body odour!”

Some of us might be surprised to know that sweat itself is odourless. The crisis begins when bacteria react with it. “Our body produces two kinds of sweat: Eccrine and Apocrine, out of which Apocrine is the perpetrator of body odour. It reacts with bacteria and produces the unpleasant smell. The amount of Apocrine glands vary from body to body. And obviously, people who have more apocrine glands have to suffer with body odour more than others,” said Dr Ishrat Abbass, a family physician.

How to get rid of body odour

Today markets are flooded with different kinds of perfumes, body sprays, antiperspirants and roll-ons to do away with body odour. But still there are a number of people who complain, “Despite using these products we can’t get rid of body odour.” This complaint exists because they aren’t properly conversant with an assortment of these afore-mentioned products and don’t know much about the appropriate use of them. So today let’s unravel this snag as well.

The Latin word “perfume” means “Through-Smoke”. In ancient days people used to burn incense and aromatic herbs during religious gatherings for pleasant fragrance. Later the French gave the name “Perfume” to the “pleasant smells” that drifted through the air.

A strange tendency that is found among a number of people to kill body odour is to apply perfume only. Applying perfume to the dress only can’t do the trick because it can’t resist against the bacteria. Rather sometimes it becomes worse when perfume and body-odour smell together. For better and long lasting results following products can be used.

Roll-ons and stick deodorants

Roll-ons and stick deodorants contain antiseptic perfumed substance in gel and congealed form respectively. The application of this substance (usually) to armpits creates resistance against bacteria that react with perspiration and cause body odour. A good deodorant can fight against body odour for more than 15 hours.


“No sweat-No odour” — a slogan that describes the antiperspirants precisely. Antiperspirants are the best armour against body odour. As the name suggests, anitperspirants stop the discharge of perspiration by blocking pores of the body. These powdery deodorants have the ability to fight against body odour for 20 plus hours.

Body sprays

Allowing the release of perspiration, body sprays do away with body odour by combating it with antiseptic agents, which kill the bacteria. These perfumed liquids are rich in fragrance but usually they aren’t as powerful as antiperspirants are.


A large number of people don’t use antiperspirant deodorant or body spray because during the 90s it was believed that they can cause breast cancer. However, latest research has rejected this myth.


Though perfumes don’t compete with body odour, still they are part and parcel and are being used widely all over the world along with deodorants and antiperspirants. Feminine perfumes usually are a combination of floral notes (flowery scents). And when they are combined with citrus notes they are said to be the best for summers. As far as men’s fragrances are concerned, usually they consist of tenacious, woody and spicy aromas. These beautifully bottled fragrances are being produced by a large number of companies.

Some important tips

While applying the aforementioned products, the following tips can be quite fruitful.

* Use body sprays, deodrants, etc. right after bath. Because at that time pores of the body are open which result in longer effect.

* Go for lighter fragrance during summer and stronger during winter and dry weather. These products should be kept away from direct heat and sunlight.

* For long lasting effect apply perfumes on pulse points (pulse points include: wrist, behind the ear, crook of the arm and knee, base of the throat.)

* Some experts also recommend spraying a little scent into the air and walking straight into it. It helps to diffuse the scent all over the body.

* Stronger fragrances are recommended for people with oily skin.

* Extremely heavy sweaters should use an antiperspirant/deodorant containing aluminium chloride.

* Antibacterial or deodorant soaps can also be used to get rid of body odour.

* While purchasing perfumes keep in mind that some of them take 15-30 minutes to develop truly.

* Putting a few drops of perfume onto an oil burner scents the room.

Desi remedies for body odour

Though we are living in the 21st century, desi remedies are believed to be the best for a number of people who are reluctant using chemical products. Some of the most useful desi treatments of body odour include the following:

* Use of white vinegar to wash armpits is quite helpful in keeping the body smell free all day.

* Application of baking soda to armpits is also helpful in killing bacteria because it absorbs perspiration.

* Apple cider vinegar can be used as deodorant, which reduces body odour to a great extent.

* Blend tomato juice with fresh sage leaves and apply on the area 10 minutes before bathing.

* Adding a few cups of tomato juice in bathing water and soaking yourself for 10-15 minutes in it is quite fruitful resistance against body odour.

Today, where everyone is willing to spend bundles of money for his/her looks and attires, s/he should also manage to do away with the embarrassment called ‘body odour’. The application of body sprays, antiperspirants and perfumes, etc. not only do away with body odour rather they put a pleasant impact on one’s social life. A fresh and fragrant personality is bound to fetch the attention of others and sometimes creates an everlasting impression as well. Happy odour-free summer!

(Originally Published in DAWN newspaper, by FD.Sheikh)

Posted by on April 29, 2010 in Features, My Favourites


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

8 responses to “An embarrassment called-BODY ODOUR

  1. Anito

    May 23, 2010 at 6:50 am

    No offense, but a lot of people from your part of the world do have some problem with body odor. but i do not think it has something to do with hygiene, it is probably because of the food, especially the heavy spices that you put in your dishes, that you guys eat. South AQsia and Middle east got to have the most amazing and amazing food in the world and that i8s because of the spices that you guys mix in your dishes. You said “the smell of her sweat” so I was compelled to conclude that it has some5thing to do internally.

  2. FD Sheikh

    May 24, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Yap! i agree, type of intake is also among the related factors of body odour. But still, I believe, it is not higher than hot weather conditions of this particular part of world. :)

  3. Anito

    May 25, 2010 at 3:42 am

    I am a Filipino and my country is as hot as well. But there aren’t many people who smell bad. i ride the metro railway everyday and it is always packed with people but none really smell bad, even on rush hours when everybody else is sweating profusely. our dishes are considerably bland, compared to your dishes or even to our southeast Asian neighbors. literally a pinch of black pepper is almost always enough to make a dish and a little bit of salt. actually, we love sweets more than we love spicy stuff.

    PS You are a Pakistani, right? is it true that facebook and youtube are banned in your country? or am i talking of a different nation?

  4. FD Sheikh

    May 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Yap currently facebook is banned in Pakistan. I wonder how these people call Muslims extremists and prejudice when they don’t introspect. Don’t think what actually THEY are doing. Being sane and decent human beings we ought to respect others religion, thoughts, ideas, notions and behave decently but things are all apparent for sane mind that who actually is going to violate these principles of life! Anyway, it would change the entire topic. So remaining within the scope of the article I would see eye to eye with you that spices play their role in this particular problem and as far as spicy food is concerned that’s the tradition of this part of world. :) And also if you ever visit Pakistan, I bet you would love scrumptious and mouthwatering sweet dishes here as well. :)

  5. Anito

    June 2, 2010 at 8:58 am

    When I find a job and finally is earning I promise I’ll make it a point to travel and see your country.

  6. FD Sheikh

    June 4, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    For sure! You are heartily welcome. Hope you would love your stay here.

  7. Moonless Nite

    May 7, 2012 at 3:05 am

    I like FEATURE: An embarrassment called body odour! By F D Sheikh. He write v truth in start many people ignore this thing.

  8. SadiYa Akhtar

    May 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    That’s fabulous FD and helpful indeed. Especially I liked your research work for that particular area. I think after collecting that info you yourself start liking those products i-e body sprays, perfumes etc


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: