Body odour has held four in 10 people back socially, survey claims

Over one third of respondents say smelling badly has stopped them hugging someone

Alice Hughes
Wednesday 06 March 2019 16:55 GMT
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Embarrassment about body odour can lead to people feeling isolated and now a new poll of 2,000 British adults found 30 percent had avoided talking to someone amid a fear they will be offended by the smell of body odour or musty clothing.

Over one third said the fear of smelling unpleasant had even held them back from hugging someone and left them feeling unhappy and unattractive.

One in 10 have said they had avoided asking someone out on a date, while a further 40 per cent had felt the need to isolate themselves and so avoid close proximity with others.

Four in 10 said they had been aware of their aroma at an interview and a further 36 percent took pains not to give off a bad whiff in the office. Another 37 per cent said they are most self-conscious of the issue on dates.

Body odour had also led to one in 10 avoiding working out at the gym and doing workout classes with others.

“We live such active, busy lives these days, and increasingly live in our gym kit," said Laura Mcilwaine, a spokeswoman for Lenor Unstoppables Active which conducted the research. ‘’However, synthetic fabrics trap bad smells, meaning active wear is hard to keep fresh and this can really affect your confidence.”

The research also revealed body odour was respondents least favourite scent to smell on themselves and their clothes, followed by smoke, sweat and mould.

As a consequence 38 percent admitted to spraying their clothes with deodorant to get rid of such smells.

Smelling unpleasant made six in 10 feel self-conscious and another 47 percent report smelling unpleasant left them with a “dirty” feeling.

By comparison, favourite smells overall are freshly cut grass, coffee and bacon.

Freshly washed laundry was fourth on the list of favourite smells, and newly baked cakes placed in fifth of the smells we love to get our noses around.

Fifty-five per cent reported an upswing in confidence when they’re pleasantly fragrant, with 20 percent believing this helped in the gym during exercise.

The survey also revealed three quarters said it’s either “very” or “extremely” important to them that their clothes smell good.


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