What's that smell?! OMG it's me :(
March 17, 2010 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Ack! I forgot deodorant and I'm starting to smell like B.O. I'm at work and can't get to a store, plus my shirt's starting to smell anyway. Help me smell better asap!

Wow this is embarassing, but what the hell, forget anonymity. I need help, stat.

I forgot deodorant this morning. I have some perfume here, I can go wash my pits in the bathroom I suppose, maybe smear on some purell, put some tissue paper under my armpits. I sure as hell hope someone's got some better tips out there.

I tend to sweat a little, I shouldn't go without deodorant. I don't have a change of clothes, and I've got to meet some friends right after work, no possibility of getting cleaned up then.

What the heck do you do to remedy this sort of thing?
posted by lizbunny to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Smell is caused not by sweat, but by the bacteria that live in that warm moist environment. Wash your pits in the bathroom, then smear on a layer of Purrell. It'll kill the bacteria and help with the odour.

With regards to your shirt, do you have access to any baking soda in the kitchen/kitchenette? If you can, rub a little into the pits. It will help absorb any odour

Hope it helps!
posted by valoius at 8:56 AM on March 17, 2010

Go wash your pits in the bathroom. Repeat as needed. (I am a sweaty bastard myself, and I feel your pain.)
posted by restless_nomad at 8:57 AM on March 17, 2010

Possible solutions: Room freshener, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, maybe even rubbing alcohol from a first aid kit? Or some of those wet wipes?

For future reference: I keep a sample sized deodorant in my desk for this kind of thing.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:57 AM on March 17, 2010

The liquid soap from the work bathroom makes an excellent deoderant. You put it directly under your arms, like you would liquid deoderant, and don't wash it off.

If you don't have liquid soap, then make a lather with the bar soap, and put that on.

This won't stop sweating; it stops smell. Which is the important part.

Alternatively, if you feel that your sweat smells more than average and you need something stronger, toothpaste used in the same way is a really strong deoderant. If you shave your underarms, it may sting mildly. But it's a stronger deoderant than most deoderants (and convenient when staying over at someone's house). Obviously, squeeze the toothpaste on to your hands without touching what remains in the tube.
posted by jb at 8:58 AM on March 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

With regards to the shirt -- just wipe the inside with Purell. That stuff has a strong perfume in addition to the very strong alcohol smell. Of course, you don't want to smell like a distillery either.
posted by jb at 8:59 AM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Go down the street to the Walgreens. Get a deoderant. Be sure to get the scented kind.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:06 AM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's probably your clothes holding the smell, not your armpits. In this emergency situation, hand sanitizer on the fabric itself might hold you over.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:11 AM on March 17, 2010

Do you have coworkers? Ask around, one or more of them probably has an emergency travel-sized deodorant stashed away somewhere (I always do). Sure it's a little embarrassing but no worse than asking the entire internet.

Don't have coworkers? Own the stink; no biggie, it happens.
posted by jamaro at 9:12 AM on March 17, 2010

Does it matter if you smell bad for one day? If you have time, you can make a quick phone call and tell one of your friends to bring you some deodorant.
posted by biochemist at 9:31 AM on March 17, 2010

Try the Purell. Whenever I feel like my deodorant is failing me halfway through the day, I use rubbing alcohol under my arms and it kills any smell immediately. So hopefully the alcohol in the Purell will do the same. I usually reapply deodorant after that, but obviously that's not an option for you at this point.
posted by thejanna at 9:44 AM on March 17, 2010

Go to the lavatory. Get a little soap. Put on fingertips. Swipe under both arms. Rinse fingertips. Move on.
posted by humannaire at 9:48 AM on March 17, 2010

Scrubbing with soap and putting on a layer of purell quickly abated the smell, albeit temporarily.

I'll give the liquid soap as deodorant a shot, though I think the idea of using toothpaste isn't a great one, even if I had some... i'm in a short-sleeved shirt and that would give me ridiculous white marks. But in a moment of desperation, i'll remember that :P
posted by lizbunny at 10:09 AM on March 17, 2010

Geez, this could have been written by me - I did the exact same thing today! I dashed out at lunch to pick deoderant, but once in the store got distracted, bought $60 worth of other stuff I "needed" and returned to the office without deoderant. So now I'll just sit here with my dampish armpits and be glad I'm not seeing clients today. (This isn't a helpful response, is it? Although I may try some of these ideas....)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:37 AM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Soap then purell works well. Bathroom soap smells nasty so you want to use it on you and your clothes, then get as much of it off as you can.

Anything with alcohol works well in place of Purell. Mouthwash? Minty fresh!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:00 AM on March 17, 2010

Purell always works for me too, but I also keep either a travel-sized deodorant or a can of FDS in my purse for those days when I sweat more than normal.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:10 PM on March 17, 2010

I've heard of people putting pantyliners in the armpits of their shirts as an emergency measure as well - seems like a pretty sensible idea to me!
posted by ukdanae at 2:54 PM on March 17, 2010

I did that in the hottest part of summer last year, on the way to the chiropractor. Nothing like a little body work when you're stank!

(washing up did it for me, thank god, but I keep febreze travel size now for just such an emergency - won't melt in my gym bag)

posted by Space Kitty at 11:53 PM on March 17, 2010

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