Lemon juice deodorant

Colder weather has inspired me to eat some different spices and a little more meat lately. I’ve noticed that my armpits stink like the stews I’ve been savoring, despite my use of deodorant. When you can smell your own armpit stink, it’s a clue that it might be a strong odor.

A month's supply of deodorant that costs about $1.

I decided to look online for a remedy that I haven’t already tried, preferably cheaper than a $10 tube of “clinical strength” deodorant. I came across a website where a woman extolled the virtues of applying fresh lemon juice to neutralize body odor. I spied a few wrung-out lemon rinds left over from dinner, waiting on the kitchen counter for me to toss them onto the compost heap. Instead, I swiped the rinds up and down my armpits.

Revelation! The sour stew odor disappeared instantly. I was so excited that I trotted over to my husband, who was reading on the couch, and asked him to take a whiff. He looked up from his book and stared blankly at me. I nudged and he indulged, responding that he didn’t smell anything. Exactly my point.

ABOUT THIS COLUMN: Some odors are especially sticky: in my nose, in my brain and in my heart. Those are the smells that are the topics of this weekly Wednesday feature, Reek of the Week.

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  1. Sure, but could he smell anything beforehand? You might have been the only one who could smell it. :-P

  2. Ralph Kramden says:

    ” When you can smell yourself it’s not good “…
    No, actually, when you can smell yourself it means your body is getting rid of stuff through your lymph glands; a natural process.
    When you CAN’T smell yourself, you’ve successfully blocked you glands from getting rid of stuff it is designed to, well, get rid of.
    Lsh, if you smell that bad, try eating less foul stuff. Like, try avoiding meat.
    So it’s a tossup, I guess. Stink a little, and be healthy, or succumb to the pressures of society and get poison yourself, possibly leading to cancer.

  3. @Ralph: I think that most armpit odor is not stuff that you exude, but rather the metabolic byproducts of your armpit flora (bacteria and fungi.) They feed on that sugars and such that we do exude, and thrive in the dampness and dark.

    Everyone has a different ecosystem in their ‘pits, and their own scent. I find that many people have a pleasant or at least unobjectionable scent. It is rare that I find someone’s scent truly unpleasant.

    So, there are three reasonable ways I can see to change one’s odor:

    1) Alter the food you give your flora (via diet),
    2) Alter the armpit flora ecosystem itself (via washing and changes to salinity or acidity),
    3) Alter the scent compounds themselves, via denaturing chemicals (natural or artificial).

    My bet is that the lemon juice and salt deodorants react with the sulfur compounds and also restrict what microorganisms can survive.

    I agree that the approach of blocking the glands themselves is pretty suspect, but I don’t think it will necessarily hurt you systemically.