So now I’m going to talk about the assumption that most people who live in Japan/Korea or have a lot of physical contact with asians have and that is that ‘asians don’t smell’. Now despite the title, of courseee asinas have B.O. everyone has a little bit of it at least! But they just tend to have it less.
Maybe you’ve heard of this assumption, maybe you haven’t, but it’s known that in Japan and Korea, deodorant is definitely not common whatsoever and Japanese and Koreans just never really wear it. At all. Why? HOW?! Because they don’t need to!
Various youtubers have covered the topic of deodorant’s availability in Japan but nobody has really explained why Asians don’t need to wear it. Why they don’t smell (as much as westerners can). People have guessed of course, culture, diet etc. and this is actually correct! It’s their diet that really results in this cultural difference and on another level genetics.
Apart from the fact that Asians tend to have a much healthier diet than westerners, they also eat considerably less animal fat than us. Animal fat contributes to B.O. so the more animal fat you eat the worse the odor will be when say, you’re sweating.
My dad, for example, does not by any means follow a vegetarian or vegan diet but he stays away from lots of animal fat. He eats meat yes, but as little animal fat as he can. In fact, upon thinking about it, he follows a diet very similar to an Asian diet. Beans, vegetables, greens, rice, grains, pastas/noodles. Because of my dad’s avoidance of animal fats, he does not have bad B.O if any at all. In fact, I remember a day a few months back when I hugged him when he was sweating (he’d been up to the allotment) and I sort of cringed a bit, but then he said ‘look SNIFF ME I DON’T STINK!’ and he shoved my head near his armpit to which I smelled…nothing! He was sweating and it smelled of almost nothing! Whatever odor was there was almost undetectable from where my head was and would certainly be non-existent if you were stood any further away than literally face to face. That was when he told me that because he didn’t eat animal fat his sweat didn’t smell. It’s true! My dad does not have B.O. not really anyway and it dawned on me that this was most definitely contributing factor in why Asians do not smell and more over why they do not need to use deodorant!
Kanadajin3 has done a recent video on deodorant in Japan which is quite informative and she mentions that if you stop wearing deodorant, for a few days yeah you might stink a little, but then your B.O. just goes naturally. The decrease in your B.O. is most likely because of your change in diet.
It has also been shown that most Koreans and Japanese actually have a genetic ‘mutation’ (although it’s not much of a mutation and more of a blessing!) that ensures that the bacteria under the armpit is non-existent! This doesn’t stop them smelling because of the food they eat or if they’re sweating because of lack of showering however, it just means that daily sweating under the arms doesn’t smell. Here’s more on this point, an article by scientificamerican.
So there you have it. If you’re not part of the 90% of East Asians who lack the underarm chemical that produces B.O. then don’t eat too much animal fat! (: