Saturday, August 16, 2008

comment if you've been offended by my body odor

Yesterday one of my few friends in the world let me my body odor was offending him (perhaps this is why I have so few friends). He did it in a private, tactful, polite, and loving way. But I did get the feeling that he thought I was hygienically impaired in some way. Like I was living an oblivious, rather than a considered, life. Kind of like when Brenda once said, "You do know you have to use water AND soap when you shower, right?". Believe it or not, for the last few years, I do use water and soap in the shower everyday. But I've always gotten rashy using any deodorant besides the aerosol Right Guard (pictured, left). 

Well this summer, as things started getting really hot, even Right Guard was making me feel rashy, lo, even just soap and water was making my armpits feel exceedingly tender, sore, and itchy. So, in an effort to avoid any unnecessary discomfort to myself.  I stopped using deodorant altogether. "Hello, my name is Carl, and I don't use deodorant. It has been sixty-seven days since I last used deodorant." I haven't really kept track, nor have I been attending bodyodorolics anonymous. 

Perhaps you noticed my stench at Camp Alpine and thought, "well we are camping after all". Nope, I smell like that all time.  In my freshman high school French class we got extra credit points for not showering or changing clothes for a week. I discovered that was my kind of assignment. I came to believe that deodorant is something corporations manipulated us into needing, and that not smelling like the Good God intended is more of a cultural than a universal, and definitely not a gospel habit. I wore deodorant on my mission, because it was in the white handbook, but I did a lot of things on my mission that were a little or a lot bit crazy. Wikipedia, which we all know to be infallible and sanctioned by the Good God HimSelf, claims that sweat alone is nearly odorless, but that bacteria in moist, warm, dark places ferments the sweat into the pungent aromas anyone that has spent time near me is familiar with. Well, was anybody offended when Jesus turned water into wine? 

Yea verily, the Good God, in His Infinite Wisdom, even sent me a wife with anosmia as divine approbation of my policy. So, while I am perfectly comfortable with my own stench, if it offensive enough for those around me to have to pull me into a corner and say, "they make this stuff for people who smell like you..." I'll put some on. Because of my sensitivities, I bought this hippy stuff (pictured, right) that will hopefully be more soothing than soap and water alone, but with any luck, will intensify rather than diminish my offensive b.o.

Hit the comment button, you know you want to, it is your chance to pull me into a corner...


carl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
velvetelement said...

I love you Carl, stinky or not.

Sweet Polly Purebred said...

Carl, you are so funny! Just a thought...when I was a little girl, our housekeeper/my babysitter used baking soda. I can still remember how sweet Geraldine smelled.

Ken said...

It is funny how we cant realy smell ourselves. I don't notice how bad it is until I take a shower and then smell the clothes I was wearing!

I get that rash too. Especially if I use antiperspirant. Must be genetic. I use Speed Stick deodorant until it starts to bother me, and then switch to Right Guard. I was reading an article the other day about what kind of chemicals they put in antiperspirants. Lots of aluminum to block the pores. No wonder it bothers us.

If you could find a bacteria that gives off a sweet odor, that would be da bomb!

brenda said...

Polly, I love your sweet southern memories.

You know how I feel, Carl. It sure sounds mean when I hear myself quoted on the world wide web. I guess that's just my big-sister assignment, to be rude, which is doubtless even more offensive at times than your aroma. If only there were something stronger at the pharmacy for me.

Mike has the same problem with the rashes and found something good via the internet. I'll send you a link. Or maybe a box in the mail. It's an old tom's of maine stick, not found in the stores anymore. There HAS to be a good soap out there.

You won't like this solution, but don't vegans have a pleasant natural odor?

In the bath shop where I used to work they sold these crystal balls that you just rub on your pits for odor control. Probably similar to the baking soda method. I knew about brushing teeth with baking would probably replace soap effectively, too.

After all, no one wants to have you rashed-out for our sakes! We love you, Carl!

Mike said...

Tom's of Maine Unscented. Don't buy the long lasting, it has the aluminum stuff in it. Don't use antiperspirant; it ain't natural. I've also found that cotton clothing seems to smell less than the poly/poly blends. Maybe it inhibits the fermentation process. My friend says that Japanese don't have BO because they don't eat much dairy or red meat.

I've got to go now, it's starting to stink here in the corner.
- Mike

Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

We (your extended family) have often commented on how lucky it is for you that Velvet can't smell. Your post was cleverly written, and what a lot of good suggestions in the comments. I'm sure you'll figure out what to do (or not do) about the complaint made.

Love you no matter how you smell.



Los Bluemels said...

Velvet, I didn't know you couldn't smell? You were talking about wikapedia, well in massage school we study subaceous glands and hair, skin, etc. Your right b.o. is bacteria as you described, part of what facilitates that is hair. I've shaved my pits before to avoid deodorant, not sure how well it works and with sensitive skin, maybe not a good idea. Miss you guys. Later, Dave

So Many M's said...

Hey Carl, I just realized Julie had you linked on her blog, how fun is this? You should check out our sometime
so back on track, I totally remember you coming to our apartment after your weekly shower and not liking the feeling so you would do pushups just to sweat a little, you are too funny Carl, I miss ya. You are lucky to have someone like Velvet. My lil sis lost her sense of smell sometime in her teenage years and didn't realize it until friends of hers smelled a skunk and she had no clue. How long has Velvet been dealing with it. My sis will have to find someone like you who's a little ripe who doesn't care. We need to get together sometime before we move again.

Moose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moose said...

Carl you smell? Don't say it's so. You should create an anti antiperspirant/deodorant day where we all support you in your cause and get smelly! -paul e.