Is It Possible to Have No Body Odor? (with pictures)

Alex Tree
Alex Tree
A stick of deodorant.
A stick of deodorant.

Though some people are genetically programmed to not produce underarm odor, it is not possible to have no body odor at all, because humans are designed to have certain odors to attract partners, help recognize family, and much more. Even if a person managed to have no body odor, that person would likely not be a healthy individual. If the body odor a person experiences is too strong or smelly for him, her, or other people, there are ways to reduce some smells. For example, using deodorant or antiperspant can help manage underarm odor, while washing more frequently can reduce the strength of vaginal odor or general body odor in teens.

A good soap or body wash and regular showering can often combat body odor.
A good soap or body wash and regular showering can often combat body odor.

Many smells on the human body are beneficial in some way, and the belief that having body odor is bad or wrong is thought to be unique to modern humans. The bodies of both men and women are designed to produce and release smells in an attempt to attract a partner. Even genital odors are attractive to some people, to the point that historical records show that some men asked their wives not to wash. In fact, it is not uncommon for a couple to find each other’s sweaty smells attractive. In addition, research shows that mothers know the unique smell of their infant, and infants know the scent of their mother’s breast milk.

Sweat must be washed away with soap and water to prevent bacteria from producing foul odors.
Sweat must be washed away with soap and water to prevent bacteria from producing foul odors.

Having no body odor would mean having saliva, sweat, and genital secretions that are odorless. The bacteria that help cause odors would have to be nonexistent too. People can control their body odor to a certain degree, such as by avoiding smelly foods, but some odors are natural and will not go away. Even if a person thinks he or she smells like nothing, it is only because he or she is used to the subtle smell. Essentially, people can never be 100-percent without some kind of odor, especially if they are breastfeeding, exercising, or even just eating on a regular basis.

Foot powders can help lessen foot odors.
Foot powders can help lessen foot odors.

Many grooming and beauty products are meant to reduce the severity of odors or cover them up. Deodorant and antiperspirant are designed for underarm odors, while toothpaste and mouthwash can help lessen bad breath. Foot powders are good for lessening foot odors and eliminating odors in shoes. Perfume and colognes are some examples of beauty products meant to cover up rather than lessen odors. People who use any or all of these products still have body odor, however; it is usually both significantly lessened and covered up by the product’s smell.

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Discussion Comments

literally45

There was a doctor on TV the other night who was talking about how we excrete hormones through sweat which attracts the opposite sex. Interestingly, these hormones don't have a scent but our brain knows to recognize them. This means that technically, we are not attracted to others because of their odor, but the unscented hormones released by them.

burcinc

@ZipLine-- We all have a natural scent and this is normal. But I don't think it's normal to have very foul body odor.

We all can develop odor from bacteria in sweat and usually it's not much of a problem if we shower often, wear fresh clothes and use antiperspirants. But some people have such foul odor that these precautions are not enough.

My brother was suffering from foul body odor for years. He tried everything he possibly could to no avail. Eventually, he was diagnosed with a metabolic syndrome. He was given a list of foods to avoid by his doctor. When he did that, the odor slowly went away.

So a lot of body odor is a cause of concern.

ZipLine

So it's normal for people to sweat and smell bad?!

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    • A stick of deodorant.
      A stick of deodorant.
    • A good soap or body wash and regular showering can often combat body odor.
      A good soap or body wash and regular showering can often combat body odor.
    • Sweat must be washed away with soap and water to prevent bacteria from producing foul odors.
      Sweat must be washed away with soap and water to prevent bacteria from producing foul odors.
    • Foot powders can help lessen foot odors.
      Foot powders can help lessen foot odors.