Fragrance Is Healthy - Here's What You Should Know
All animals release natural body odor: it’s a biological part of existence that many people have forgotten is natural and healthy. Some animals utilize smells to send out warning signals to other animals and mark their territory. In humans, babies associate with their mothers through smell, and adults can distinguish fragrances for picking mates. Quite often, whether you’re a kid at soccer practice, getting ready for a job interview, or wearing a thin gray shirt on a hot day, sweat is often associated with body odor and embarrassment. However, sweat itself has no odor. Body odor is actually directly related to your digestion and is affected by your lifestyle, diet and even your surroundings. The fragrance you give off is a natural and healthy phenomenon, which is better understood than it is masked, so here are some useful tips you can use to better understand why it happens.
Sweet, Sweet, Sweat
Sweat is produced by two glands: The Eccrine glands that produce sweat that is mostly water, and the Apocrine glands that release sweat with fatty acids and proteins. Logically, the latter produces the smellier sweat. Eccrine glands are all over your body while Apocrine glands are located in more hidden, damp places—the underarms, under the feet, the palms and the groin. The Eccrine simply releases sweat as a reflex to cool the body; the apocrine glands also produce sweat but under mental pressure such as anxiety, nervousness, or fear. What most don’t realize is that it’s the bacteria that feed on the nutrients being released in apocrine sweat that are the cause of bad odor, as the bacteria release an odorous gas when they feed. (1)
Male Fragrance is More Pungent
Men have been known to have a stronger body odor because they have more glands than women. With more glands, more sweat is produced, and a there’s greater opportunity to smell. On average men have more muscle, which keeps their bodies warmer—women, as a result, have developed a faster cooling system and this allows them to utilize their Eccrine system more than men. Men also have more testosterone, which also produces more Apocrine sweat. As a result, it’s typical that men have more of a body fragrance than women.
What You Eat Affects Your Smell
Food plays a large role in influencing body fragrance. Pungent foods like curries, garlic, onions and meat are especially effective body odor makers. In addition, chilli, alcohol and caffeine are all responsible for more pungent sweat. (2) Other contributors that are related to a more odorous body fragrance are eliminating carbs from your diet and adding more fiber to your diet.
Natural Alternatives for a More Pleasant Smell
Because smell is such an important part of life, there are thousands of perfumes and fragrances developed to mask, cover, attract and compliment human odor. It’s evident that different people have different scents, so when choosing a fragrance the chemistry will not have the same effect on you as on someone else. There are even theories that we’re subconsciously trying to attract a mate when we choose a fragrance: different scents attract a certain type of personality!
If you’re looking for a more natural remedy for your smell, then here are some tips that may help:
- Brush your tongue as well as the roof of your mouth: only brushing your teeth and not your tongue will allow bacteria to grow in your mouth.
- Stop chewing gum: it causes your digestive system to create gas.
- Don’t wear spandex and sweat locking clothing longer than needed.
- Avoid wearing closed toe shoes for long periods of time. (It keeps a warm and moist environment where bacteria thrive.)
- Be sure to towel off completely in the Apocrine gland locations. This is where bacteria like to grow, especially when it’s damp.
Embrace Your Body Odor
Remember, body fragrance and odor is natural. There are many things that contribute to your body odor, such as diet, exercise and grooming techniques. If you don’t want to wear deodorants or perfumes there are plenty of natural alternatives on the market that you can use instead. Above all, remember that your smell is part of your primal makeup, so get in touch with your wild side…