What Is The Bad Smell I'm Encountering So Much Lately?

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AndiFlatland | 19:26 Sat 06th Jul 2019 | Body & Soul
41 Answers
I didn't really know where to put this one, so this'll have to do.

I wonder if anybody else has noticed this, and winced at it, like I do.

For the last few years, I've been increasingly noticing a very unpleasant smell that more and more people seem to be trailing around, whether in shops, public buildings or in the street. It's hard to describe, but I would say it's a sort of sour, rancid aroma that suggests poor hygiene. It seems to be primarily, though not exclusively associated with black, African and Asian people, but also seems to be related to some white people of what I would term a 'gipsy-ish' persuasion, and people with eccentric dress sense and hairstyles (without wishing to be derogatory to any of those people). Some of them don't seem to have had a good wash for weeks - indeed, only a couple of months ago, an Indian chap moved into the flat adjoining mine, and I hear what he does when he gets up in the morning, and comes home in the evening. While he looks smart and clean, I don't recall that I have ever heard him use his shower or obviously having a wash, and that same smell is beginning to emanate from his flat and permeate the house.

The worst of it is, you really can't just go up to people in the supermarket or the library, and say 'What is that awful smell? I think it's about time you had a good bath', can you?! But sometimes it is so pungent it makes me gag, and I have to get away from it as quick as possible. I may not sometimes be the freshest-smelling person around, and frequently go without a shower for 4 or 5 days - but I don't think I ever smell like that!

Any ideas or suggestions as to what it might be? Have you noticed it too?


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"....and frequently go without a shower for 4 or 5 days - but I don't think I ever smell like that!"

Funny, that's what all those others say too.
Not noticed. I guess it depends on the folk in your area.
No I haven't noticed it thankfully and if everyone around me stank, I'd move pdq.
Monkeys can't smell their own muck. I bet you reek, Andi.!

What a horrible post this is. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Andi......if you go five days without a shower then the problem is obviously you.
Good grief sir, how dare you express an opinion. Pass Tilly2 the smelling salts Jeeves.
To reply to your question. People’s pores exude aroma from the spice’s and herbs they ingest. Also alcohol and tobacco smell endure on clothes. Not to mention unfortunate toilet mishaps. So I won’t mention it.
Then you get the plain and simple lazy, can’t be bother to get wet type. Don’t get me start on breath. I’m off for my bath.
When you've worked in a hot cotton mill, amongst all those types of people, like I have, then you'll REALLY know about a bad smell. It's nothing new!
A lot of people ,as David Small has said exude odours from their pores. Garlic is a well known culprit and also lots of spices have the same effect. There is also a medical condition where the person smells 'fishy'. I used to work with someone with that problem. Although she seemed oblivious to it the rest of us found it embarrassing .
It may well be that a lot of people don't shower or bathe on a regular basis but I'd also bet that a lot of the smell comes from dirty underwear or smelly trainers.
I might notice the occasional person smelling in hot weather, or my son when he was a teenager. Can’t say I’ve noticed it hanging around like a fug.

People can become “nose-blind” as they say in adverts, so perhaps you don’t know how bad you smell, Andi, after five days without a shower.
Are you one of those who say deodorant is only for smelly people?
Immigrant food maybe?
I have a bath every week
even tho I often dont need one !

the house gets - with the windows open - a good whiff of leaking sewage ( smells like a Mediterranean beach - classic) - and I have asked people
and they say it is not me ....
oh is it time to recall
in olden times, muslims thingeys used to sue dogs to smell out christians ? during the crusades

and the explanation ( if it were true ) is that the christians reek of pork fat and the muslims garlic
so the dogs wouldnt have had much problem

just saying
From your description my first guess would be stale towels and possibly even other items. Starting with the towels, if they don't dry out quickly after use they will go a kind of sour way and the smell is quite distinctive as well as being unpleasant. If used in that state the smell will transfer to the skin and, if washed at a low temperature, not rinsed really thoroughly and/or dried slowly, the transfer can reach other items too, particularly underwear and reappear as soon as the item is used.

The reason is that our skin sheds cells and excreted matter such as sweat and oils. These are digested by micro-organisms which proliferate in moist conditions - just the sort of washing/drying conditions I have described and in fabrics the organisms mature and die as well. This smell is particularly common around single live-alone young males, those who have not developed a rigorous routine regarding towels and laundry in general. Race and/or culture have nothing to do with it and I have most often come across it among "ordinary" white guys, simply because they are the type I most often move among. A single, long, hot wash of everything affected followed by multiple rinses will permanently clear the smell.

A small story: I once sat beside a young guy on a flight, we got into a conversation and he asked me if he smelled. I said no and he explained that he hadn't washed for many weeks (I seem to remember three months) because he had been on an expedition, he was deliberately going home without washing (for conversational effect ?). On reflection, I said, maybe he had a smell about him but I did not find it offensive or even bothersome, it was quite low level and struck me as natural. The point is that daily showers/baths are to an extent self-necessitating because the natural microbial balance on the skin is constantly being disrupted in favour of particular strains. They are more likely to be necessary, if only to cool down, in hot climates, not in northern Europe. Having showers resembling what is featured in films and advertising, whereby the water is constantly washing over people as they apply the soapy stuff (washing the soap straight down the drain) is a bit absurd, really just a rinse and not a wash. For a wash you turn off the water after wetting yourself, then soap yourself all over before rinsing - if not you might need to rinse daily or even twice a day in hot climates. I have always wondered at the habit found in places such as Australia, USA, etc. of going to bed sweaty, then showering (probably just rinsing) in the morning. Is the bed appealing after a night or two ?
Sorry is this a wind up ?
//When you've worked in a hot cotton mill, amongst all those types of people, like I have, then you'll REALLY know about a bad smell//

Perhaps you should start a new thread about it 10C? ;-)
didnt Napoleon wire or mobile Josephine
I am coming home - dont wash for three days?

and Marlborough, served the insufferable Sarah his Duchess,
directly after getting off his horse
( returned home from the really big one - Blenheim?)
Last cotton mill in Manchester closed 1968
so Clarion must be around 120 ....
When my then-teenage son was on a school exchange trip to Germany, the mother thought it quite bizarre that he showered every day.
// Sorry is this a wind up ?// yes
but the alternative is Brexit Part quarante-cinq ( today )
or TTT's impossible:
my fu-fu is stuck up my ju-ju and that's no good!

[but it sounds painful]
yeah, when I was in Egypt my patients didnt wash much
but we were in the desert

hey did anyone see Bettany Hughes ( you know andies sista) last night and the new stela in Komombo ? None of the godless lot cd read hieroglyphic not even the cartouches ....

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