How not to create a stink

Discussion in 'All Things Japanese' started by thomas, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. thomas

    thomas Unswerving cyclist

    This summer - one of the hottest and muggiest on record - has been quite a challenge, not least in regard to body hygiene. There is a (perhaps not so) new word in Japanese,すめはら (smell harassment), used to describe situations when bad breath, body odour, perfume, fabric softeners, etc. create a stench that's intolerable to others, especially in the office.

    Here's an interesting article on how to prevent or reduce body odour in summer:

    How not to create a stink at the office | The Japan Times

    [...] There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Depending on the area of your body, sweat from one or two of these glands mixed with sebum and/or lipid will give off various odors — an oily smell from the scalp, an odor of sourness from the armpits and a nattō fermented beans-like stink from the feet, Oku says.

    Furthermore, old-person smell is caused by a substance called nonenal from around the chest and back area, while a middle-aged odor called midorushishū is triggered by diacetyl around the head and back of the neck area. During the session, participants were asked to smell three different types of artificially recreated body odor: general sweat, middle-aged smell and old-person smell.

    Oku says the strongest scent is the middle-aged odor that is distinctive among men in their 30s and 40s. However, participant Koji Fuchino expressed surprise that he couldn’t smell it. “I was the only one who couldn’t smell the middle-aged odor at all, so I guess that means I am used to it,” says Fuchino, who oversees wedding receptions. “I thought I was being careful, but I better take even better care of myself.” [...]

    Interestingly, there's another (scientific) school of thought that preaches *not* to shower, at least not too often:

    What Happens When You Quit Showering? - The Atlantic

    Doctor hasn't showered for months to debunk health and hygiene myths | The Independent

    How have you survived in this summer? Any tricks to share? :emoji_grinning:
  2. thomas

    thomas Unswerving cyclist

    How is your request related to this thread?
  3. Vincent3

    Vincent3 後輩

    Not to get semantic, but the word harassment is awfully aggressive for something like this. It sounds like somebody is actively choosing to be unhygienic, or overdoing fragrances, for the sake of annoying people.

    When I was in Japan (1997-2004), it was hard to find effective deodorant.
  4. jt9258

    jt9258 後輩

    Visit the Onsen more often.

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