Anuoluwapo Adebayo: @anu_chayil shares tips on how to always smell fresh

Most of us pride ourselves in being really clean and would probably step out smelling nice even if for a few hours and then our ‘real’ scent sets in. The truth is that as individuals, we have a peculiar whiff that’s a combination of our ‘house smell’, how and where we store our garments, grooming products or habits and our body fluids. Most people do not like to admit this but note that not all body scents are offensive yet we should be careful and attentive.

The smell associated with our living environment can be influenced by our cleanliness, in house pets, the climate, products we use often including cooking spices. It is worthy of mention that the most important is cleanliness; ALWAYS clean your living space and do so often. Some people use the excuse of being busy to clean their house just once a month, this can never be sufficient. If you are that busy, get a cleaning person to help you out on weekends. Air out your space often; change your sheets and your towel; do not leave damp items lying around; do not use dirty or used water to mop your floors; open the windows while you cook; invest in neutralizers, air fresheners and disinfectant; use bleach and natural products like coffee grounds, vinegar or lemon to clean your space as they are very good odour absorbers; dispose garbage daily; flush toilets; pay attention to clogged drains.

You will be surprised how unpleasant your place smells but you do not realise because it has become a familiar scent to you. This can transfer to your belongings; imagine if your wardrobe has mould because of wood and moisture, in no time your clothes will have an unpleasant damp smell. Or you live in a small studio apartment and the only thing separating your kitchen top and bedroom is a curtain, of course your clothes will smell of spices.

How often you use and wash your garments matter, some people may argue that as long as they are not visibly dirty it is not a problem; the usual suspects are bras, boxers, socks and jeans. I will not question our reusable ability however know that after the first or second use, it will no longer smell or feel fresh no matter the amount of perfume or deodorant used.

As stated in a previous post about storage and laundry, you should be attentive when cleaning and storing your clothes; pests can cause irreparable damage; beyond just using soap while washing, removing odours should be a concern as well. Air out your shoes and clean them as they trap odours too and can cause you discomfort.

Take a bath! This seems obvious but you will be surprised how often people ignore this; taking a thorough bath with soap gets rid of dirt and unwanted elements that have attached themselves to you through your day and your night. Dry yourself properly after your bath especially hidden areas or parts where skin folds. Please pay attention to your feet as well.

Also wash your hair often or cut it if grooming seems like a big task. While there are some parts of the body that hair has no business being; hair traps sweat and other things we do not need lurking.

Your habits and lifestyle influence your scent; for instance do you smoke or drink alcohol or coffee habitually? Do you eat particular foods like garlic or onions often; are you on medication with particular side effects? Do you sweat excessively? Do you work outdoors? These will even require extra care; our mouth odour and sweat coming out of our skin reveal more than we realise.

Lemon, mint and baking soda are mild enough to be used for oral care and on our bodies; they get rid of odours accumulated or bacteria left behind after our toothbrushes and sponges don’t do the magic.

Develop small but useful practices like rinsing your mouth after meals; drinking a lot of water during the day; making better diet choices and eat foods that eliminate bad toxins and promote good odour like yoghurt, green vegetables, cinnamon etc. Clean up properly when you use the toilet; bring your feet out of your shoes a few times when you are alone; get a pedicure and manicure even if its DIY method; clean your ears. Use deodorizing antiperspirant (there is NO excuse not to do this); wear suitable clothes for your weather or job as this can help with sweating.

It is not only about smelling nice but being clean and avoiding embarrassment; not just for aesthetic reasons but for your health too.

You may be a clean person already practicing the above however sometimes, you may experience this lingering smell or you seem to be sweating more than usual and it’s beginning to get on your nerves and you worry how many other people have noticed. Sometimes it’s in our head or a momentary thing like last night’s dinner from a new restaurant or a change in deodorant or a health concern and you should see a physician. It’s better to be cautious than not care at all.

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