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sniff, sniff....was it something I ate?

Okay--obviously garlic and onions will linger on your breath after a meal, but do any of you have other foods that affect the way you smell or taste after eating them? I had a salad with carrot ginger dressing on Wednesday and I swear I can still smell ginger and tahini when I put my nose near my skin and inhale deeply--this is after running at the gym and sweating profusely (apologies to the people around me who had to smell that!), taking three showers and brushing my teeth six times. My friend swears that whenever he eats fried fish he can shower four or five times but he still smells fishy two or three days later--especially in sweatier areas (pits). Are there any foods that make you body odor smell better or worse?

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  1. Curry, sometimes. And pork, sometimes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: silence9

      Curry--oh, curry. I had a bus ride with a fellow once who favored it--and I could tell that just by sitting next to him.

      I think pork makes me stink a bit, too. Like, sweaty and salty. Like a pork rind.

      1. re: erikka

        I used to share a parking space with a lovely Indian family. Meaning, we had the keys to each other's cars, and whoever parked behind the other had to move the other's car in the morning. I would get into their car, and would have to hold my breath, because the smell of curry was so strong..I would emerge from the car gasping for fresh air.

        1. re: galleygirl

          I had to sit next to a curry smelling guy on a 4 hour plane ride. I felt so sick. I thought maybe he'd gotten on the plane after working a shift in an Indian restaurant.

    2. I was a tour guide for five years. One night I ate at a lovely little French restaurant in Eureka (Northern California) run by a husband/wife team. I had the most amazing caesar salad I've ever eaten. It was loaded up with anchovy and garlic to the point that nearby diners were fainting and falling out of their seats just from proximity.

      That night I took advantage of the steam room at the hotel and took a shower afterwards. The next morning I took another shower and had breakfast. When I got on the bus, the driver sniffed and said "Did you have a garlic omelet for breakfast?"

      Garlic aroma was wafting out of the pores in my skin, strongly enough to bother the people around me. Not a good thing on a bus (and a job where you depend on tips!). Now I'm more careful about eating too much garlic before "personal public appearances."

      3 Replies
      1. re: klmonline

        Same thing happened to me, also on a bus tour, but it was skordalia in Greece.

        1. re: klmonline

          I saw an experiment where a cut clove of garlic was rubbed on the bare soles of a person's feet. Five minutes later, the garlic could be detected on the person's breath! Dunno how that worked (and against gravity, yet) but there it is...

          1. re: silence9

            Yup, goes in through your fingers too. Might as well eat the stuff!

        2. stinky tofu -- I'm usually the bystander that can't stand the smell.

          1. Garlic and Curries all 'get in your skin'. People actually eminate it from their pores. I have a friend in college who's husband for their anniversary asks for 100 clove chicken because that is the ONLY time she will make it for him because he REEKS for days...


            4 Replies
            1. re: Dommy

              And peppers too... I once smelled of poblanos for days!! (I think all BO smells like green peppers, but that's a whole 'nother story!)

              1. re: Katie Nell

                To me, Fritos (not just corn chips, but Fritos) best approximates hardcore BO.

                1. re: silence9

                  No, to me Fritos=Smelly Feet. It also signals when my dog needs a bath... LOL!!


                  1. re: Dommy

                    It's also what cheap chardonnay tastes like...

            2. Foods with lots of cumin in them tend to be noticeable a day or so later.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Candy

                Oh, but in such an alluring way! The scent of cumin makes my knees weak, whether first or second -hand.. ;)

                1. re: galleygirl

                  I bought a cookbook at goodwill and when I opened it I smelled cumin. It was lovely.

              2. Hoegaarden beer!
                Drank a lot of it one night, and even after showers and brushing teeth, the smell was seeping out of my pores.

                1. I worked in a cheese shop when I was in grammar school, and my job was to grind the coffee beans. My pores smelled like pancakes for months after Winter break. There are worse things to smell like than pancakes, I suppose.

                  1. I once went to a party with a group, after we'd all shared a home-cooked meal. The party host turned us away, saying we all reeked too badly of garlic... and we'd not even realised we'd eaten any.

                    1. Whenever our Korean relatives visit, the make the house smell like Kimchi even though they don't eat any while they're here. I find a lot of Korean people smell like kimchi (except the ones who don't eat much kimchi, of course). Somehow the brine gets exuded from your pores.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Humbucker

                        I was swimming laps in a public pool. Doing the breststoke, every time I breathed OUT in the water, I seemed to taste garlic. i caught up with the swimmer ahead of me at the wall, where it's suctomary to let the overtaking swimmer go ahead. he graciously allowed me to go, but when he spoke, it was clear he (a Korean) was kimchi eater, and the garlic breath I was "tasting" was his in the water. Since I am a kimchi afficianado, this has made me REALLY apoligetic when i eat kimchi, and come in contact with "civilians" on land.

                      2. I'm not sure this is what you had in mind, but asparagus makes certain excretions smell funny!

                        3 Replies
                            1. re: eLizard

                              It's the sulferous compounds. Cooked tomatoes have a similar (but much nicer smelling) effect.

                            2. My hubby had a Mexican stable boy working for him years ago...for a year, this fellow was seen eating only corn tortillas and beans. Hubby said that the fellow ALWAYS smelled like slaked corn, from the tortillas, and it was overpowering when he sweated!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: kmr

                                I have that problem when I eat too many tortilla chips.

                                I generally have a problem with carrying the smell of garlic and onions (cooked or raw) with me for days after I eat/touch/look at them. Mint Assure, those little capsules filled with parsley oil that you can by in the toothpaste aisle, work wonders for my sociability.

                              2. Yup, I see a recurring smell here. Garlic. I recently purchased a garlicky salami from a reputable deli in the city, and noticed a day or two after eating it that I smelled of salami on various parts of my bod. I was walking around smelling like this garlicky salami. WTF ?!?
                                I guess certain types of garlic causes an odor to seep out of our pores when we perspire.
                                I'm happy it has stopped, at least for now, or until the next panino.
                                It gives a whole new meaning to 'We are what we eat'. <We are what we seep>.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Cheese Boy

                                  A former BF and I used to take an aeribics class together, on saturday mornings. i walked in late, one time, and the whole room smelled like garlicky salami. Over lunch, he admitted that he'd been taking straight garlic for his immune system, and his body totally replicated the odor in the classroom.

                                2. Garlic, definitely! I love the stuff but at some point my body decided that I was abusing its ability to combat that fragrant plant's special goodness and when I have even a smidgen of it, people'll faint upwind.

                                  Blue cheese is also another favorite food but there's something about it (the strength, odor, taste, dairy) that puts out an offensive shield for several days.

                                  I make sure I only indulge during holidaze and around summer where I'll be outdoors for hours at a time. Otherwise, as others have pointed out, I bring light and happiness to an enclosed space by vacating it.

                                  1. Certain kinds of fresh fin white fish (deep water) are with me the next day in a most annoying way - I'm glad I'm not alone, although that doesn't actually help with the problem. I don't think the mint thingies mentioned above will address the issue, but I may try them.

                                    1. Paprika. The smell of paprika coming out of people's pores is a ubiquitous background odor in Portugal, though I only realized that after coming back to the States... One day my BF and I made a fabulously authentic-tasting grilled chicken recipe from a Portuguese cookbook and the next morning I found myself sniffing the air, trying to figure out what was making the house smell like Lisbon. And then I sniffed my own arm, and then my BF's arm, and realized the familiar smell was a subtly transformed version of paprika emanating from our skin.

                                      1. Fenugreek comes out of your skin really (i.e. perspiration) strongly. It's an herb used in a lot of middle eastern cuisine.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. I've tried taking fish oil caps for their omega-3's, but can't take the persistant odor. I feel like a walking salmon steak! not good....and I love salmon and all fish....anyone else have this problem?

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: toodie jane

                                            Oh crap, I never thought about that. I've taken them inconsistently for a few months and I'll have to check if that happens to me as well. What brand are you using? I was told to buy the higher-end brands because of mercury concerns and because the oil is more beneficial than cheap ones.

                                            1. re: erikka

                                              The fish oils labeled "molecularly distilled" have been cleansed of heavy metals. Not sure what others might be able to make such a claim.

                                          2. tj's--sposed to be from waters where there is neglible mercury in the tested fish: mackerel,salmon, etc. traveling, don't have the bottle with me or I'd check. I taste it all day, and suspect the odor surrounds me.

                                            1. There's one brand of fish oil that has lemon oil added, which doesn't seem to have that problem. I don't have the bottle with me, but I got it at Whole Foods -- just check the bottles until you see one with lemon oil added.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Chowpatty

                                                GNC sells deodorized fish oil capsules. Don't know about the provenance of the fish, though.

                                                1. re: Debbie M

                                                  Do you know if it's EPA or EFA oils?

                                                  I wonder if any other vitamins give you BO as well?

                                              2. I've read that milk and cheese gives westerners a sour smell that asians notice, don't know if that's true or not.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: steinpilz

                                                  I grew up in a pretty multicultural neighbourhood, and the Asian kids did generally think that Anglos (and their houses) smelt vaguely of pork and dairy. I remember that making me a tad paranoid - it doesn't sound like a particularly charming combination.

                                                  Also, I'm not sure it is available in the US, but for whiff-free omega-3 supplments, try the Greens+ brand.

                                                2. Not quite the same as reeking of a specific smell, but I remember learning long ago that a high-protein diet makes your sweat stinkier.

                                                  1. Kimchee absolutely, but what seems to be a pretty distinctive, lingering smell is Bulgogi (Korean BBQ). I ride a bus every morning through an area that has a decent-sized Korean community, I often notice that many of my bus "neighbors" smell exactly like Bulgogi. Not that that's a bad smell, but it's a little odd first thing in the morning. The other odors I notice from most Asians (me being one as well) is old rice!! I don't know if anyone else is familiar with the smell of leaving rice out in the rice cooker the next day (I think most American palates wouldn't like the smell) but it's sort of comforting to me. But on morning breath-- that old rice smell isn't very pleasant.

                                                    Thai curry seems to stink up my breath more than Indian curry.

                                                    Last but not least, Philly Cheesesteaks!!! OMG! My husband's band was playing in Philadelphia and we all decided to check out the famous cross-street rival cheesesteak establishments: Gino's and Patsy's (I think that's their names)-- anyways everyone had Cheez-wiz cheesesteaks and talk about pore-odors!!! Whew!