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Do You Smell? Here’s How To Tell

By Chidirim Ndeche 26 October 2017   |   3:00 pm

The human nose can detect over a trillion different scents. Ironically, it’s not so good when it comes to your own smells. There is a high possibility of you not knowing when you are emitting bad odours. If you try to sniff the air around your body, you probably won’t pick up any odours. You’ll think everything is alright, even though you smell like something died in your shirt.

In this part of the world we live in, the weather can get pretty humid and you’ll find yourself sweating the moment you step out of your house. And let’s be honest, sweat smells. Sweat usually means bacteria, and bacteria is what gives off the stench.

The thing is, after being bombarded with the same smell for so long, your nose basically shuts down the receptors for that particular smell.

So, how do you figure out that you smell, or a certain part of you doesn’t smell so fresh? Here are a few tips to guide you.

Remove your clothes and smell them

To check yourself for body odour, you need to smell your clothes away from your body. Find somewhere private and take off your clothes. Smell everything piece by piece. Focus on the places you sweat most and really get your nose in there.

Smell your clothes. Photo: Good Health Nigeria

Know the golden rule of odours

If you can smell any odour on yourself, others can smell it much more than you. This includes your breath, body odour, or even the perfume you spray. If you can detect your body spray, cologne or perfume on your body after a while, others can smell it way more than you so take it easy when spraying things on your body. If you can detect any smells, put on more deodorant, clean up quickly with wet wipes or change your clothes. Note, however, that putting on cologne to mask the smell will only enhance it more.

Check your hair

You don’t only sweat on your body. Your scalp can get dirty if you don’t wash it often. It’s a part of your body, so not washing your hair for a week is like not bathing for a week. There is a simple way to check if your hair is smelling. Wash your hands with hot water. Don’t use any soap because that will cover up the smell you’re about to check for. Run your clean fingers along your scalp, not your hair, over and over again. Then smell your fingers. That should give you a good idea of what your hair smells like.

Do a breath test

There are a few quick ways to check for stinky breath. You may be taking care of your teeth properly but not talking for long and other things may cause your breath to smell funny.
Hand test: Hold your hand(s) up to your face and exhale into them to get a good whiff. This works best when done with hands washed with only water, or you’d just be smelling your hands.
Spoon test: Scrape the back of your tongue with a clean spoon. Leave it to dry a little and then sniff it.
Taste test: If your mouth tastes weird to you, then it’s likely your mouth is giving off an odour as well. Also, you can assume you’ll have garlic breath if you ate garlic, alcohol breath if you drank alcohol and coffee breath if you just drank coffee.
Or lick the back of your hand and sniff it when your saliva dries on it. That should give you a good idea.

Ask someone you trust

Last, but not least, you can ask someone you trust to smell you and tell them not to hold back on their words and tell you exactly how you smell. This is the most effective method. Someone who is close to you may be fairly used to your smell and unable to tell you, so ask a coworker or friend to be honest with you. It may be awkward and embarrassing, but don’t feel bad. It’s good to get it over with and handle the issue once and for all.

Note:
You will need to reset your scent palate before conducting a smell test. Sniff on something you can access easily like coffee to give the receptors in your nose a quick break from what it’s been smelling all day. Coffee doesn’t, however, reset your nose senses totally. It can take several weeks to reset your scent palate totally. That’s why you can sometimes notice the smell of your house after you’ve been away for a few weeks. And since you can’t really get away from your own body, it is hard for your nose to become sensitive to your own odours. Coffee will do though.


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