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How to tell someone that they smell without offending them?

How to tell someone that they smell without offending them?

You are already aware that Super Deodorant was invented many years ago for a cancer patient who was an immediate family member. However, the seed of an idea for a deodorant was planted 6 years before the first formulation was born. In 2004, an idiot manager believed he could ace at delivering the most cringe-worthy feedback of them all. The body odour feedback! He thought that I would perform better if I prioritized personal hygiene.

I took two showers per day, wore clean clothes, and reapplied a popular clinical strength antiperspirant deodorant all day. This was the fact and also my truth. His truth was predicated on the assumption that I hadn't done any of those things. It was pointless feedback because there was nothing I could do with it. Even though I couldn't smell my body odour, I was always proactive in mitigating the situation by using deodorants and antiperspirants, hoping that I didn't offend anyone. I wasn't offended that day because I was aware of my reality, but I was irritated while listening to that feedback, and I eventually lost all respect for him.

I still think about this feedback and wonder what he could have done differently. Perhaps I would have responded more positively had he made an effort to understand what I was going through instead of arriving at a conclusion prematurely. I feel that empathetic feedback free of assumptions and judgments would have made the situation a little less awkward.

What would you have done differently if you were put in this situation? How would you tell someone that they smell without offending them? Leave your strategy in the comments. Let us all learn from one another.

1 comment


I have a couple of friends who have had the same meandering journey with BO – sometimes terrible, sometimes manageable. To introduce the subject I asked them what they use for deodorant currently and then I shared my lifelong hunt for an effect solution to my body odour problem. We’re good friends, I let them try mine for a day and at the end of the day when neither of them had even a whiff of odour, I gave them the rest of my used tin (I have a travel one and one I keep in my purse) – they both buy superDeodorant now and enjoy a life free of odour induced anxiety.

Approaching the topic empathetically, when I’m in the middle of a deodorant crisis I ask everyone (BO or not) what they use and about how effective it is. I haven’t had a crisis since I started using SuperDeodorant but when I see someone in need I share my journey and the frustration with them – I’ve given away a few tins, too ;). If it helps someone else feel free of that burden of BO it’s well worth it… I just hope you guys never stop making this!

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