Body Odor and Race

This is a followup to the older piece, Do the Races Smell Different?

According to this interesting but very un-PC paper, Human Body Odor, which I was afraid to even write about, yes, they do.

Blacks seem to sweat more than other races. That they sweat more enables them to cool off better in a hot climate, as perspiration is a way of cooling yourself off. So Blacks are ideally adapted to staying cool in a very hot place, Africa, which is where they came from.

Whites sweat quite a bit too, but not as much as Africans.

Asians seem to sweat least of all, and the paper says that Asians are well-known for having little body odor. Asians actually have more active eccrine glands than Caucasians do, but due to the low number of osmidrotic apocrine glands in axilla (armpit), they have less axillary odor than other races. Asian apocrine glands are either poorly developed or nonexistent.

It’s not so much how much you sweat, but it has to do with the apocrine glands in the axilla, since it is from the axilla that the odor comes from. So there are glands for sweating and glands for producing odor, and they are different. Blacks have about 20% more apocrine glands as Whites, but the glands are larger, wider and more active in Blacks. Blacks also have more active eccrine glands. All other things being equal, Blacks will produce greater body odor when they sweat than Whites do.

Many people have noticed body odor differences in the races, but I never have, and I have a great nose. Then again I never played football with Black guys. This probably is not a problem with Blacks most of the time, as long as they are not sweating like pigs. On hot days, there’s always deodorant. I carry a stick around with me at all times and periodically whip it out and apply it during the summer.

I’m going to make this article available for download on the site since it’s a bit hard to find.

References

Hart, Robert. 1980. Human Body Odor. Nexus 1:1. Available for download on this site here.

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76 Comments

Filed under Asians, Biology, Blacks, Evolution, Race Realism, Race/Ethnicity, Science, Whites

76 responses to “Body Odor and Race

  1. Pingback: Body Odor and Race « Robert Lindsay | Hyperhidrosis - How To Stop Sweating

  2. lafayettesennacherib

    That’s interesting. I remember saying to someone once that Japs have no sweat glands under their arms or something like that, and the guy asked me where I heard that. ” that would mean they were a different species” he said. And I recalled that I had read this in a James Bond book when I was very young. So of course he was skeptical, and I doubted it myself when I thought about it. Well, obviously I got it garbled a bit, but seems it was sort of right.

  3. Stopped Clock

    Thanks for following up on that other post with this one.

  4. I have hear this before about Black vs Whites or Asians, but nobody ever mentions Jews or Arabs- and as if all Whites are of one race. Yesterday, a friend of mine (who happens to be Persian, in case you are wondering) was saying that he can smell differences in all races, including Jews, and that I smell like a Jew (lol, Somebody call the Anti-Defamation League!) which is interesting to me because I have mixed ancestry with some Jewish and I wonder if someone like me with mixed heritage would smell more like one race or another.

    • Andrew

      People from the middle east are in the Europid taxon as are the Jews however upwards of 80% of People who are Jewish are decsended from the Ashken peoples of eastern Europe who converted to Judaism during the dark ages as Christianity was moving south from Russia and Islam was moving north. And are from the G haplo group.

    • Amin

      The U.S. Census defines a White person as any individual with ethnic origins in North Africa, Europe, or the Middle East. A Persian is legally White and will be categorized as such on any ID.

      If you want to get really technical, Pakistanis, Afghans, North Indians, East Bengalis, and Singhalese Sri Lankans are also all White, historically.

  5. franzish

    Indians have the most body odor in the world. Even women have it. Evry single indian has it.. even their houses smells like them even their sofas everything they come in contact with will eventually smell like them.. even a new born indian have body odor.

    • Xera

      correction they have the worst body odor*

      • Jim Wangsness

        For Indians it’s a food odor that comes from the spices they use copiously. I work daily with black children and they all have a very distinct and acrid odor that is unique to them and is not food related. They call it “mustin” as in musty.

        • Chygirl

          @ Jim Wangness It may be true that every race has a different body odor. However, all races have a distinct body odor. Many blacks think that whites smell like dogs when they sweat. While, as you pointed out, whites thinks that blacks have a distinct odor. Funk is funk. Body odor is not pleasant no matter what race you are.

    • tiredofsmellyindians

      You are right ! I can’t handle anymore ! They want to mingle with others, but they need to take care of this first ! My zumba class has like 6 smelly indian girls. I just left the class this morning, because even before the music started their smell was bad already ! Made me sick ! Blargh !

      • Regina Jackson

        I am Black and there is NO OTHER RACE that smells as bad as a Caucasian! The smell LITERALLY makes me want tp puke!!! When I am in the presence of 1 or more caucasians, And theyre bumping them gums talking… The smell of THAT BREATH sickens me and I am nauseated!!!! They utterly smell like Wild Animals Wet or dry. And ALL the hair confirms their Animalistic Nature!!! They are wild furry creatures!!! And I don’t particularly think sweat has anything to do with it. Because white people will have JUST GOTTEN OUT OF SHOWER and dried with deoderant AND STILL HAVE THAT GOD-AWFUL WILD DOG SMELL!!!!!!

        • Thanks sweetheart. I always knew we White folks smelled so fine!

        • I don’t own a dog. But the dogs I’ve been around and petted and been friendly with do not smell anything like any human of whatever race. You are just using the dog for it’s lowly status to make a point that has zero truth to it. Black folks have a very distinct fragrance that is distinct from other races regardless of diet, but diet is going to influence the body odor of anyone. Not a bad thing at all. The important thing is that everyone should bathe often. After that, just enjoy the different body aromas.

        • Jim Hedges

          Wow! Racist much Regina? I don’t know about people smelling like dogs, but your racist views smell like a pile of dog crap.

        • PurpleGums

          Clean Whites taste like watermelon with sugar on top. If they haven’t showered in while their skin forms kind of a salty chicken grease which only enhances their sweet inner juice. Delicious people.

    • Kurt

      When I was a kid there were a couple Indian families in my neighborhood and their houses stunk! I remember hearing that the smell was caused by the spices they use in their food, but smell seemed to attach itself to the Indian kids as well.

      I also remember several black kids who always had awful b.o.. I’m not sure whether it was because they sweat more. It could have been because it was not in their cultural customs to shower daily.

    • Galo

      I dunno maybe Africans. North Africans smell like something is rotten and Africans from the western areas have this scent which is indescribably horrid. It’s enough to make someone pass out.

  6. Iquo

    its really informing and funny to know that people from different races have different body odor and describe them in very funny ways. For me Caucasians generally smell like raw flesh or putrid meat; something close to the smell of blood which i do not like at all (no offense intended). Its simple, within each race there’s a distinct odor; Italians along with the raw skin bloody odor have a distinct garlicky odor. i am African; a Nigerian to be precise and i am aware too that Africans are said to have a distinct odor too. But i find it disturbing when a foreigner comes into Nigeria with his or her odor and labels Nigerians or Africans generally as foul smelling! Many Africans are particular about their odor particularly because of the hot and humid weather in Africa. i bath sometimes 3-4 times a day when i am on holidays or spend more time at home. when am at work i bath 2ce a day. each time i use the loo i wash up with water and soap or i clean my pubic region thoroughly with wipes or toilet paper.i brush my teeth twice a day and use mouth wash, and perfumes and body spray. daily. it can be very annoying when a putrid smelling foreigner who in his/her own land baths once a day or sometimes once in 3 days or even once a week and comes into my country and does the same labels clean Africans as foul smelling! i am glad this article is here to educate and inform people especially those prejudiced against Africans that body odor of races are particular to each race.

    • Vincent Alonzo

      I would even bet if we both take our shirt off and let 100 clean people from different countries smell the armpit area of our shirts they would say that my shirt doesn’t have any smell at all and that your shirt stink. I never wear any deodorant and I would bet that if both of us will not take a shower, your smell after 5 days will be worse than me after 2 months. DON’T MAKE ANY EXCUSES. YOU STINK PERIOD. Accept it and find a solution to it. Commenting here is just like fooling yourself that you take a bath PROPERLY everyday. You can fool some of us but you can’t fool YOURSELF. DEAL WITH IT.

    • I am an American, and i bathe twice daily sometimes 3or 4 if its my ladies time of month. I have been criticized for this on more then one occasion. I have had people frown and ask why i bathe every day if not sweaty or dirty. Also, as a woman i truly believe you cant get completely clean your private parts with just a shower unless you have a water pic and hose it all down. I have had people say yuck sitting in the tub your marinating in your own dirt ! Not true because i rinse with a pitcher of water before i get in tub then submerge and soak for at least 20 minutes, wash rinse repeat then rinse again then get out. my tub water is never dirty .
      I love the feeling of aclean refreshed body and for all those i know who dont shower or bathe enough, how could you not want that super CLEAN feeling.

  7. W Johnson

    I had a black student once who had such an intense body odor that he could walk past and leave a wake of odor behind him.

    • anonymous

      I like the expression “a wake of odor.” I’ll bet you didn’t have a problem with students nodding off with him around in class!

      • Kiva Karmen

        That just sounds as if that PERSON did not wash his behind on a daily basis, and that would be matter of hygiene and not his race. Some people just need to be informed that a good bath will cure some basic things.

  8. edson

    I live in Dubai where odor is not a subject to be discussed publicly. Offending someone would put the offender in trouble, you know. In all fairness, body odor is not just limited to Indians, but to many other people living in the region (including Pakistanis and Iranians).

    You really cannot do anything with this issue if the one with the odor is totally immune to his smell or takes it the way around – that to have such a “smell” would make you truly a human being and sexy. Or to have a smell is to be wise. Why wasting precious water, why spending on soap and deodorant? All people smell – even those who claim they do not smell, just take away water and deodorant, they will smell as bad as those whom they accuse of having body odor. And in the end, our bodies are made of dust, and in the process of becoming dust (at death), you and I will smell dirt.

    I think – to demand a billion people to take a bath once a day and use deodorant is like chasing the wind. A billion people who take body odor as pleasant or simply deny its existence – tell me, how can you convince them? And if you can’t beat them, be like them! Peace!!!

    • mickeyb

      I so agree we all have smells and be accustomed to our own odors. I will say that I looked up this issue as I am 52 and was never aware that races had their own distinctive odor. I thought odors were primarily related to diet and hygiene. Then on a train full of African American people myself being the token Caucasian could not handle the odor as recently diagnosed with lymes disease and for some reason my olfactory sense is heightened. I felt so bad primarily with myself for not being able to deal with it. These were all good people on the train they just had a different odor. All is well. Thanks for being very scientific about the explanation.

    • Galo

      Arabs smell like rotten hamburgers.

  9. anonymous

    What people eat also makes a big difference. I remember going to a gym and being on an elliptical near a man of apparently Indian descent. The smell from the fellow gym-goer was unimaginably awful. I’d guess it has something to do with how the body processes spices, because it seemed to have that kind of component to it.

  10. Pingback: How Japanese and Belgian Sweat Differ | nippaku

  11. Renata

    I find Hispanic men, the darker ones, have an offensive smell that comes through their pores even if they keep good hygiene. I have not found that particular odor in light skinned men or blacks. I’ve always been curious as to why that is if anyone comes across info to that regard.

    • Diet plays a huge role regarding BO, asside from that, skin color also plays a role, , if 2 guys of different skin color, have the same diet, the darker one will smell stronger because he has more eccrine glands

    • Galo

      Black Americans smell like maple syrup when they sweat. All that fried chicken must be coming out their pores.

  12. jay

    I am living with an arabian guy for about a month. He has got the second strongest BO I’ve ever smelt. well… even though some ppl have strong BO, sometimes they don’t stink. at least sometimes. but His BO is sooooo consistent. He exhales BO 27/4. His BO is sooo spicy. smells like something spicy is burning. like perpper, garlic, and capsicum etc. Luckily, I do not spend time with him that much but I need to share a bathroom with him and it smells really bad. but I’ve never mentioned it to his face. Wish somebody let him know. His BO is really rude.

    • Galo

      Tell that blood claat he stinks! That will spare everyone. I am Jamaicna and I can’t STAAAAAAAND that fishy smell some of us have. It’s repulsive. I know some Haitians who smelled like stale garbage.

  13. June

    I went to South Africa recently and many of the people had a very offensive body odor. I wondered if it was because they didn’t wash themselves or because they didn’t use deodorant.

    Just Curious

  14. dynevor

    Diet will affect body odour, but it’s PC nonsense to suggest that most people of negro organ do not smell distinctive. An eminent writer of Indian organ weird of the ‘bouquet Afrique’ to non maliciously describe the smell at a political meeting in the Caribbean on a hot night. I’ve experienced it through participating in sports with mainly black teams and through various sexual relations. The smell is not offensive to me but it is distinctive. It’s just a fact of life. whether I smell distinctive or offensive to other races is unknown to me. We know dogs can smell an individual smell. That such smells might run in families and in groups that have been genetically isolated seems a ‘no brained’ irrespective of one’s own experience.
    I feel obliged to add that there is no credible science to suggest a difference in IQ between negro, caucasian, Asian.

  15. Dy…you are such a@&$;$@& …I’m sure you smell like a floral shop…and I’m sure your IQ..is lower than a ducks ass…..

  16. mary glover

    I understand the south american indians have a sweet body odor. How pleasant that must be.

  17. Stray Wylk

    Different persons are sensitive to different smells. In American society to mention someone’s odor is offensive. This leads to some of us denying that we smell what we smell.

  18. Andrew

    An excellent book on this subject is RACE by professor John R Baker
    professor of Anthropology and Zoology. He addresses the issue in depth of why some races produce more body odor than others. And many more subjects on various Homo Sapien species.

  19. Pingback: Ambitchous | Anonymous

  20. Grey

    A good discussion. I’ve been in two flights seated next to two different Indians and they both smelled so horrible that i attempted to move to another seat in the second flight. Living in London has made me assured myself that there is a relation between races and body smells. Though i would say the japanese sweat a lot but their sweat is not thick. Aah i don’t know how to put it right.

  21. People are so ignorant. You guys are using information from an outdated article written in the ’80s! I cannot even use an article that old as a reference in a research paper if I’m trying to make a statement that has been back by evidence. Just use your heads. As a child, I have been taught some not too nice things about other races. But as an educated grown woman who can make my own decisions, I know better than that. A lot of things can boil down to race relations, but odor is from the diet & poor hygiene. A shower/bath, some body hair landscaping, sometimes deodorant does a body (every body) good. Ignore the haters, don’t stoop to their level & live a blessed life.

  22. Denise Weems

    As an Asian, I can say I’ve never needed deodorant for underarm odor. There is a difference between Asians and others on that point. I never knew it had to do with the lack of apocrine glands in the axilla. I wonder what the purpose of those glands is?

  23. Crystal is wrong

    The purpuse of those glands is to smell like shit like blacks, and Crystal is wrong. Even accounting for when a black person takes a shower and its the same things as others, they smell musty and disgusting. So yes, it boils down to some races being much smellier and disgustingly funky than others – different races DO smell different.

    • Chinedu

      I can’t believe this stupidity. Some of the stinkiest people I’ve known have been white. The most rank, disgusting and stinky vagina I’ve ever encountered belonged to a middle class white woman from a good family. The filthiest home I’ve ever gone into belonged to a white couple. You needed a hazmat suit to be there.

      Generally speaking, black people are fastidious about cleanliness, even the poor ones living in the ghetto. The streets might be trashed, but their homes are clean.

      • Kurt

        Chinedu, that is the most absurd thing I have ever read! “black people are fastidious about cleanliness” – are you serious??? Blacks are notorious for smelling as bad as Indians!

  24. Completely agree with you, I also know that through an article

    http://happiershopper.com/bvct/organic-deodorant-antiperspirant-deodorant-spray/40/body-odor-are-there-body-odor-differences-between-the-races.html

    Body Odor – Are there body odor differences between the races?

    Body Odor in diffent races – Dr. Matignon, a French medical authority has just made a curious statement to the effect that each nationality has an especial body odor which differentiates it from all others – members of the white races as well as those of the dark and yellow.

  25. William

    Apparently East Asians don’t have sweat glands in their armpit- surely a climate adaptation. I have Mestizo family and friends and they actually smelled better than us Caucasoids. I think any natural inclination can be handled with hygiene.

  26. Cindy

    Come on all of you! It comes down to washing! In third world countries they hardly have enough water to drink for God’s sake. So, why would they waste it washing when their children are near death of dehydration?

    I was on a treat mill recently and the white fella next to me smelled so sour it made my stomach do flip flops. He was literally sweating out some really stanky! If you don’t shower before your morning workout at the gym, No matter what race you are, you’re going to start to go sour jogging on the treat mill in 15 minutes. Fini. In a perfect world, we’d all be able to luxuriate in a sudsy bath morning and evening and the world would smell like one giant botanical garden!

  27. Jeffrey P. Caesar

    The tone of your comment about blacks “swearing like pigs” is a bit offensive. I will assume you didn’t intend it to read the way it sounds, it does read negatively. I think you could remove the analogy of “blacks” as pigs all together. We have enough problems with people comparing us to livestock as it is.

    Also, the term “Blacks” is also a bit dated. Try African American.
    Hope you find my feedback helpful.
    – Best wishes

  28. Kurt

    When I was in high school, there was a middle eastern kid who was a year behind me who would change in the locker room near me and he always had rank b.o. Eventually, a meaner kid told him he needed use a car wash to clean off his stink!

    There was another kid a different year who apparently didn’t wipe his ass properly after dropping a deuce and always had skidmarks on his underwear. I never saw it, but I heard about it and people would joke that he always smelled like ass

  29. minsjo

    I came here looking for info on whether there is any truth to the stereotype that Armenians have particularly strong body odor. I’ve actually heard Armenians mention it themselves, and a couple of Armenian guys I worked with did tend to get stinky quicker, not that it was any stronger than anyone elses B.O., it just manifested itself very quickly if they were sweating.

  30. Danny

    Regarding indians, it’s also that they don’t wash clothes. In my experience that wake of odor, that smell which stays in the elevator. .. it’s not spices. It is lack of hygiene. Not all indians, certainly many professionals are clean and fragrant. But many when I walk past them… you see the shock on my face, it’s just unbelievable. And smells just like my European under arms when I have not cleaned for a few days, and my sports clothes if not cleaned. So it’s all about hygiene.

  31. Do you guys really believe this shit? Im indian and guess what? I barely sweat when im doing activites. Im pretty much the missle that just destroyed this 1980! hint: “1980” article. Why? Because I believe it’s either genetics or something that some unfortunate people get. It’s not all about your race, it only comes down to you as a indivual and how you manage to take care of your body even when sweating. You guys are like a flock of sheep to take the word of a 1980 article. I’ve been blacks and indians, and let me tell you, some of them smelled but the rest were in good shape and didn’t even reek of sweat not once. Like i said it comes down to how you take care of your health and body.

    • All right Sahib, I am banning your ass for this. The article is not from 1980 you idiot! In 1980, the Internet was still two decades away.

      Back to Bharat Mata with you.

      HAVE A NICE DAY!

    • The South African

      You’ve been blacks and indians? Well there is your problem then why you can’t smell different races, because you’ve been both of them.

      No but for real now I am convinced that there is merit in what you are saying about how you take care of your body. I simply can’t think that Barack Obama and Robert Mugabe can smell the same.

      But of course then I have to disagree with your timestamp on this, because back in the 80’s people could basically proclaim racist things from street corners and be fine, whereas this article was so carefully written as to not offend any race, and even to such an extent that it makes one still wanting an answer afterwards so this is defintely a 21st century articly

  32. The South African

    You cannot comment on an article like this without sounding racist, but you won’t stumble upon an article like this if you didn’t search something related to the fact that someone stinks and you want to know why. So I’ll share my experience.

    I am from South Africa and I am white. Now first of all I believe most people who commented here that “they do not smell anything” are not from africa and surely they cannot know what a true black person smells like out of it’s true climate and food source supplies.

    I’m writing this comment at 5 o’clock in the morning because I just left my hotel where there obviously slept a black person before me. The smell was so bad that it woke up so many times during the night that I simply could not get back to sleep… Does that make me a racist for noticing my hotel bedding smells awful and knowing what the source of the smell is? NO OF COURSE NOT! It simply points to the fact that what almost every white person from South Africa will tell you “Black people from our country have a distinct odor that we define as stinky”.

    To all of those thinking it’s a prewritten response for me let me point out that I was born after Apartheid, I have no racism in me and infact have a lot of black friends who I hold dear, and infact I have asked them why they smell so bad as well. They notice it but don’t know why.
    On university we had one class that followed after a black class on every monday at 9:30. Due to enough written complaints by the students the lecturer was forced to relocate our class to another room for the timeslot. It was only later that we found that the black class who came before us left at 8:20 already meaning that smell lingered for more than an hour.

    To anyone claiming me to be a racist. Feel free to not be so judgemental and come to ANY southern african country (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mosamique, Zimbabe, all the way up to the congo) walk into literally any place with black people and I can guarentee that you will remove your comment calling me a racist.

    When I was in France I noticed the black people practised better hygiene and the smell was not as noticible, in Germany even less, in basicly most European countries I’ve visited it was much better than any African country.

    I would love to see an article on this. Not the mere fact that races smell differently, but the fact that races smell differently in different countries. And no of course it is not the food we eat because all of my black friends eat just as much KFC and McDonalds as me, we eat the same amount of pizza and hot dogs and we braai every other day (braai is like barbeque, only with actual meat and not just sausages or patties) so they don’t simply eat pap and chicken while I’m eating a fillet or a T-Bone it’s the same food yet the smells differ from east to west.

    I came to read this article because I wanted to know why I needed to leave my hotel, but it is obvious that political correctness might be the cause for us never finding a real answer to this honest question

    • Hugo

      I have lived all over the world, and what you say is true. At the other end of the spectrum are those from SE Asia, who are like cats – odourless.

  33. Cedrick White

    This is not to be offensive, but what is it about Turkish people and folk from the Caucasus mountains, especially the males. I’ve noticed quite a few who must choose not to wear deodorant, and the odor is like “knock out” pungent…nothing like you’ve smelled before.

    I’ve come across guys from the Middle East and India that can emit an otherworldly scent too, who must mot wear deodorant. As with the Turkish males even when they are apparently cleaned up, possibly wearing deodorant, that undercurrent must will still somehow seep through. I know they are considered a part of the Caucasian race. Is there something special about their genetic makeup?

  34. Hugo

    Saying that you’ve never noticed the body odour of different races, after all the evidence you present, and they claiming to have a “great nose”, is contradictory at best. I don’t claim to have a great nose, and have noticed it. Chinese find whites to a have strong odour, and blacks much worse.

    • I do have a great nose. I smell things other humans can’t smell at all. I just can’t smell other humans, that’s all. But now that I read this post, I am quite glad that I can’t smell other people! Yuck! I like my humans to smell like sugar and spice and everything nice, not curry, garlic, wet funk and wet dogs!

      Phew!

      Excuse me, I have to go outside and get a breath of fresh air. This thread is stinking up my room here!

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