Body odor, smelly armpits

(© Satjawat - stock.adobe.com)

The survey, commissioned by Old Spice Total Body Deodorant and conducted by OnePoll, breaks down just how much men fear their body odor is stinking up the office. Overall, 52 percent worry that they smell bad without being aware of it, and 51 percent express uncertainty about how to address their body odor.

Despite these concerns, 59 percent of respondents stated that they would appreciate someone informing them if they were giving off an unpleasant odor.

When it comes to specific body parts, men are most concerned about the odor emanating from their armpits (71%), neck (40%), head and hair (39%), arms (30%), and hands (25%). Interestingly, the body parts that men considered “important” to keep smelling good included their hands (25%), chest (21%), and groin (15%), with a notable 71 percent emphasizing the importance of maintaining a pleasant armpit odor.

infographic on men having anxiety about body odor

The fear of lingering body odor is so pervasive that 75 percent of men worry about their scent being embedded in their clothes even after they have taken them off. This self-consciousness has led an alarming 48 percent of respondents to cancel plans with friends over concerns about their stench.

Men identified specific situations where they felt most likely to have bad body odor, including their first sexual experience with a new partner (34%), job interviews (18%), and after a workout (11%). Similarly, they believed that the most critical occasions to smell good were during the first sexual experience with a new partner (35%), job interviews (19%), and first dates (18%).

When men notice body odor on themselves, they employ various tactics to address the issue, such as applying more deodorant (62%), changing their clothes (49%), or applying powder (45%). To control odor specifically from their groin area, men reported using deodorant spray (57%), taking extra showers (53%), and limiting physical activity (49%).

Man washing his hands
The poll shows that the body parts most men are concerned about smelling bad are the armpits, head, neck, and hands. (© maridav – stock.adobe.com)

“While having body odor all over is normal, it’s a concern for guys who aren’t quite sure how to address it beyond their armpits,” says Dr. Maiysha Jones, Principal Scientist, North America Personal Care for Old Spice at Procter & Gamble, in a statement. “Body odor originates from odor-causing bacteria at skin folds, so it’s important to fight odor where it starts and are gentle enough to use all over.”

The survey found that 78 percent of men use products to control their body odor at least twice per day, with an average of three different products in their daily routine to ensure they maintain a pleasant scent. Respondents also confirmed that they feel most confident when friends (37%) and family members (22%) compliment how they smell.

Body odor has even been a factor in ending relationships, with 35 percent of respondents reporting that they have been broken up with due to how they smelled. Interestingly, 38 percent admitted to initiating a breakup because their partner had an unpleasant body odor.

“We are seeing in our research that many guys who worry about body odor often suffer in silence,” said Kate DiCarlo, Senior Director, Communications, Personal Care Portfolio for Old Spice at Procter & Gamble, adding that “men value 24/7 odor protection.”

As the survey demonstrates, body odor is a significant concern for American millennial men, affecting their confidence, relationships, and daily lives. By shedding light on this often-unspoken issue, the study highlights the importance of addressing body odor concerns and the need for effective, gentle, and long-lasting odor protection solutions.

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 millennial American men was commissioned by Old Spice Total Body Deodorant between September 29 and October 19, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About Patrisha Antonaros

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8 Comments

  1. Daniel says:

    Just imagine your only worry in your life is your body odor. Just use Drakkar Noir body spray. Three squirts will do ya.

  2. Coffee says:

    Bullshyt

  3. SF says:

    Cannabis has terpenes and a compound that is the same or similar to actual skunk oil. So you you consume weed you DO smell like a skunk! Garlic, onions, alcohol are strong orders that will show up in your sweat. In Vietnam War non native soldiers had to learn to eat the local food so their order and even the order from the deification was the same as the locals. Otherwise they could be easily tracked and located by SMELL. NO JOKE. Grandma was right, you are what you eat.

    Oddly there are adds for food on this page. Hello!

    1. Plato v2.0 says:

      In Vietnam War non native soldiers had to learn to eat the local food so their order and even the order from the deification was the same as the locals. Otherwise they could be easily tracked and located by SMELL.
      BULLSHIT and everybody in the world has seen Uncommon Valor the movie where you got this bullshit idea from! Oh and are you sure about the ORDER these imaginary soldiers were omitting??? Good Grief!!!

  4. rd scott says:

    Sissy boys all.

  5. Rumplestitlskin says:

    I’ve always had heady body odor and I learned how to kill those bacteria by using alcohol. I sprits my palm with a cologne and then put some alcohol in my cupped palm, rub my hands together and then massage it into both pits while also running my armpit hair through my fingers to get the alcohol all over all the hair where the bacteria like to hide and work.

    Modern-day antiperspirants are loaded with chemicals you should not put on your body, and remember alcohol is cheap compared to antiperspirants.

  6. j says:

    stopped requiring showers for gym class.
    Stigma-fied taking showers after athletic endeavors with same sex showers…ewe Gay …..

    Now entire generation stinks and wonders why, DUH

  7. Glee says:

    Well maybe it’s because men don’t bathe before going to bed and sleeping on the same BO-soaked, nasty sheets and pillows for months. I just washed sheets and blankets from a rental property, adding vinegar because they smelled. They still smelled. Washed again with a deep water cycle and a laundry additive that removes pet odors. Nope…still stunk to high heaven. Washed a 3rd time using hot water and a fabric softener. At least it masked the odor.

    Look boys…you don’t stink because you are male, you stink because you’re nasty. Good news…the latter is fixable. Bathe before even thinking about getting in your bed, use a mattress cover and zippered pillow covers you should wash at least once every other month, don’t lay on top of your blankets or top bedding, and ALWAYS use a top and bottom sheet and pillow cases you’ll wash at least once a week. Not sleeping on filth will go a long way in solving your BO problem.