Your feet and anus produce noxious fumes on a par with the noxious fumes produced by any hair band of the 1980s. Or Journey. Or Styx. But most people don’t put deodorant on their feet or anus. No, deodorant goes beneath the arm because the armpit seems to be the locus classicus of all dirty, filthy, stinking, sweaty odors. But is that being fair to the armpit?
In a word: Yes. Definitely, yes.
The sweat that is produced in the armpit is different from the sweat that gathers at your temple or on your back or down your chest. The sweat produced beneath the arms is stronger, muskier and just generally more offensive. But not at all times. Fresh sweat even up there in the crux of the armpit does not normally have a naturally bad odor. The problem is that armpit perspiration, which is naturally stronger than sweat elsewhere, decays and decomposes quite rapidly. That is just one reason why your armpit sweat smells so bad.
Another is the things you eat. Your diet can play Waterworld with your perspiration. I don’t Waterworld in the sense of making it more wet, but rather in the sense of making it stink worse. (You get it? Waterworld was a really bad movie, but it also works in the, oh, well forget it.) Vegetarians tend to smell less offensive than meateaters. Drunks tend to produce sweat that just lends another reason to why you wouldn’t want to spend much time with them, whereas teetotalers don’t smell nearly as bad beneath armpit. Junk food makes you stink worse than a well-balanced diet.
Then there are the hormones. Always the hormones, I must say. Hormonal changes can make your sweat go completely mental, I must say. That is why a 13 year old kid who comes into the house after playing baseball smells worse than the very same kid did when he was 12 years old. Puberty makes sweat smell quite bad.
Your clothing choice is another element toward perspirational problems. If you eat junk food, drink beer regularly and are middle-aged, you really should stay away from synthetic fibers if you ever had to the hell of high humidity known as the Gulf Coast along the Gulf of Mexico. Synthetic fabrics hinder the ability of sweat to evaporate. If the sweat can’t evaporate, it just sits there and continues to decompose. The result? Nobody wants to get near you. A cotton or silk long-sleeved shirt would therefore make you sweat less odoriferously in hot weather conditions than a short-sleeved polyester shirt.
One final word on perspiration and sweat odor: witchhazel. Or is that two words? Witch hazel. Whatever, if you give yourself a healthy splash of witchhazel or witch hazel, you may be able to safeguard getting antiperspirant/deodorant stains on your shirt. Witch hazel is a natural deodorant.