How to Tell If You Smell…

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How to Tell If You Smell

Patrick Allan

7 minutes ago

Filed to: Odors



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Illustration by Sam Woolley.

The human nose can detect more than one trillion distinct scents, but it’s not so great at picking up your own odors. There’s always a chance you reek something foul and just don’t realize it. If that’s a fear of yours, here’s how you can find out for sure.

If you just lower your nose and take a big whiff of the air surrounding your body, you’re probably not going to pick up on your body odor. You’ll assume everything’s fine and go about your day smelling like something was living in your shirt, had a family, died, was eaten by its young, and then they all died too. Why? It’s nearly impossible to smell yourself, even if you’re smelling funky. The receptors in your nose that would normally respond to your own particular brand of smells practically shut down after being bombarded with the same scents for so long. Basically, your nose goes numb to your own stank so you don’t go mad.