You are standing in line at the grocery store. You are five customers deep at a register that appears to be operated by a cashier-in-training. It is going to be a long checkout process. Suddenly, without warning, your nose detects an unpleasant odor. You look behind you and discover its source. The next customer in line has apparently bathed in perfume.
The scenario described here is something most of us are familiar with. Maybe you have not encountered exactly the same situation, but you have undoubtedly experienced something similar. The reality is that some people carry around unpleasant odors wherever they go. Could you be one of them?
The Acclamation Conundrum
Lynne Richardson, dean of the College of Business at the University of Mary Washington and Free Lance-Star contributor, wrote an interesting piece in November 2019 discussing the distracting odors she encounters on campus every day. Though her entire post will not be dissected here, Richardson made a few compelling points worth discussing.
In her piece, she explained how the nose can become acclimated to certain scents. She described a situation in which a person begins using a fragrant perfume. After a while, that person’s nose gets acclimated and the perfume can no longer be smelled. So the user applies more. This cycle repeats until he or she is using so much perfume that it becomes overwhelming.
Yes, the idea of being nose blind is real. We get used to those scents that we are exposed to regularly. We get so used to them that we don’t smell them anymore. But guess what? Others do.
Unpleasant Food Odors
Heavy perfume odors have already been discussed, so there is no need to go any further with that. Here’s another unpleasant issue Richardson encounters: food odors. In other words, some of us are big fans of certain kinds of foods that create problems just by eating them. In Richardson’s case, eating garlic causes her to carry that odor around with her for a couple of days.
The thing is that you can carry food odors that are created when you cook. For instance, do you do a lot of frying on the stove top? It could be that your home smells of fried foods even though you no longer notice it. Do it frequently enough and your clothes might smell like fried chicken and French fries.
For these types of things, essential oils offer a workable solution. According to Salt Lake City-based Zephyr Fresh, essential oils are volatile oils whose rapid evaporation makes them quite aromatic. It is possible to combat unpleasant odors in the home by diffusing essential oils into the air. You can do so with tabletop diffusers or more advanced units that integrate with your heating and cooling system.
Unpleasant Body Odors
The one place you may have hoped this article would not go is that of body odors. However, there is no way to avoid it. There are some people whose body odor is distracting at minimum, and very unpleasant in a worst-case scenario. Among all the unpleasant odors one might carry around, body odors can be the most difficult to deal with.
If body odor is just a matter of poor hygiene, the solution is simple: practice better hygiene habits. If the issue is an underlying medical problem, solutions are not as easy to come by. For that reason, approaching someone about an unpleasant body odor is a delicate exercise. One must tread lightly indeed.
Unpleasant odors are all around us. Some people carry them wherever they go. Could you be one of them and not know it?