I Stink, Too, and I’ve Got to Do Something (Natural) about It….

When I was pregnant with my son, I noticed that my hormones were out of control….and so was my stench. Happily, CodeNameMama wrote a post on the very thing called “I Stink.” I thought, well this sucks, but I guess it will be over after the baby comes.

Well, as too many unfortunate people can attest, it has not gone away.

What I have noticed since having my son, even though it’s only been 8 months, is that I am most likely forever changed. It could simply be awareness, but I cannot eat wheat and sugar and drink caffeine the way I used to. Even (cow) dairy seems to be a possible trigger. (Sugars?)

Whatever it is, at times I am left feeling embarrassed and horrible for all the people in my community and out and about that have to deal with me and my stench. (My family can deal, but still….)

Over the years, I have tried all the natural deodorants on the market that don’t stink to high heaven themselves (like that Kansas coming out in me?). I have found temporary success with tea tree or lavender oils or baking soda, but nothing lasts. When it’s 100 degrees (which it seems it’s been all summer), I come out of the shower smelling.

Now, one caveat here is that in addition to wanting to address this smell of mine, for the good of all humanity, I also want to go no soap. Everything I have read tells me this is not good (for me). In fact, I believe it could be part of the problem. The little time this summer I spent not eating wheat and such and resisting soap usage were some of my least stinky days.

It’s hard not to resort to the temporary solution of soap when I want to fix the issue. Right now, though, I’m in limbo using other things while I figure this out more clearly. Those things, mostly tea tree and such, are hard for me to apply, though I have in mind a spritz bottle concoction of my own.

More than those quick fixes, I want to know what is going on with me that I smell when everyone else seems to be ok with their odor. (For all I know someone else may have this problem and be masking it with conventional remedies, but for right now I feel pretty alone and frustrated.)

Well, enough moaning, here’s what I’ve come up with after thinking and researching for a while:

Some Potential Problems

  • bacteria (from sweat)
  • toxins in the body (or diet–“studies” show red meat consumption can contribute….obviously that’s not applicable to my dilemma….)
  • deficiencies of magnesium and zinc can cause odor
  • blocked lymph glands
  • too much garlic, onion and curry. (I’m Indian, after all!)

Some Potential Solutions

  • apple cider vinegarΒ (1 tbsp up to 3 times per day)
  • chlorella (How? Didn’t find out, but I put it in smoothies when I don’t mind a bit of a … thick-textured feeling.)
  • grapefruit seed extract Β (Added to water)
  • baking soda
  • tea tree oil/lavender oil

What I tried immediately: Apple Cider Vinegar

I saw the most comments from folks on ACV. I liked that I can take it internally (which I plan to try). However, the fact that I could put it right onto my pits appealed to me.

Skeptically, I wet a cloth with some ACV and rubbed each armpit.

While the commenters mostly said to rinse with ACV, wait at least a few minutes and then rinse with water when showering, I had to forgo that part. Life happened, and I found myself out and about running around a park with a toddler while babywearing an 8 mo in the sun.

I was sweating as usual, so surely I would stink when I did a quick sniff check…….but I DIDN’T!

Seriously, I rubbed on some ACV around 2 pm and by bedtime my pits still didn’t smell at all. Mind you, this is only Day 1 of the experiment, but wow. If I hit on this one so early in my research, I feel much more hopeful that I can rejoin society confidently soon enough.

To all the folks who have smelled me and chosen to stay away, I apologize. To all of you who have smelled me and chosen to stay around, I am grateful. To all the folks who find themselves around me in the future, I hope you have no idea that I battled body odor this way.

Did you smell in pregnancy? Has your smell shifted over the years, perhaps with hormones? What has worked for you?

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dawnselene on August 19, 2012 at 8:41 am

    OK, so, no kids here, as you know, but I turned forty this year. Which amazes me because I still feel like I’m 25.

    I have been doing the no-poo routine. I use baking soda to “wash” my hair and ACV to “condition.” I have been doing this for about 8 months. I do still feel the need to use something stronger (AKA soap) about once a month. Usually, I put a few drops of Dr. Bronners soap in about 8 oz of water and slosh that through my hair, scrub vigorously and then condition with a natural conditioner. For “deodorant” I’ve been spraying rubbing alcohol with a few drops of lavender onto my pits. That seems to work pretty well, but not always. I’ll have to try the ACV.


    • Dawn, you *look* 25! Young thing, you. I hear you, though. I haven’t done no poo so much as no nothing. Ha! This week I tried ACV by itself (no BS first) and found it to be quite impressive. I like that my natural oils stay intact because I need them. I’ll have to try BS.

      I heard about the rubbing alcohol, but my guess is the ACV will do the trick for you. If it can help me I have faith it could help anyone. It REALLY worked!!!


      • Posted by dawnselene on May 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm

        OK, so I’m just seeing this reply now πŸ™‚

        Thank you!!

        It’s time for to use this again πŸ˜‰ Getting warm out there.

  2. Posted by dawnselene on August 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks, Sheila!!
    The BS is great, because it removes the dirt without stripping your oils. It’s very little, 1 Tablespoon / cup water. I have two old mustard squeeze bottles that I use. Both fit about 2 cups of water, so I just use what I feel I need as I go, then fill up when they’re empty. I used BS for deodorant today on the suggestion of a friend and found it worked great.
    I have a hunch that your body odor isn’t as bad as you think it is, by the way. πŸ˜‰ But I will say, that when I first started getting off of the “produced” stuff, there was quite an adjustment period. I smelled… weird.

    By the way, I am loving you posts about being a parent. It gives me hope for humanity!


  3. So how did the ACV work over time as a deodorant? Do you just apply it once a day to your underarms and you are body odor free all day? I’ve noticed that during this pregnancy my deodorant doesn’t seem to be working as well and I end up reapplying it throughout the day. I would love a natural solution to the same problem. I swear, baking soda and ACV is the answer to EVERYTHING!


    • ACV All the Way, Jennifer! I have never smelled as much as I did after coming fresh out of the shower with tea tree oil. Mind you, I’m going no soap, so it may have been a combo (a perfect storm of contributing factors). The stink is gone, though. I don’t even have to apply ACV every day. (Again, I think the no soap is probably a key piece as well, and that allegedly takes a few weeks for most folks.)

      I simply dump some ACV on some kind of transferring device (cloth, cotton ball, toilet paper) and wipe thoroughly. Everything I read said the longer you can leave it the better. I put it on for hours or after a bath.


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