What to Eat to Smell Sweet—8 Foods that Make You Smell Great

Monday May 27 | BY |
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Smell Sweet

What you eat can affect how you smell—but fortunately, some foods act like sweet perfumes.

Garlic is a super healthy food, with studies indicating it may help prevent cancer, heart disease, and even the common cold. Eating it, however, can have some negative consequences—especially for your significant other.

The University of California says that all of us have our own “odor signature,” largely determined by genetics, health, and personal hygiene, but diet can also play a role. Sulfur-containing foods, for example, like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, and onions, can all have a negative affect on body odor, making you smell less attractive than you might like for up to 72 hours after eating them.

Fortunately, there are also foods that can help you smell “good,” so if you’re headed out on a hot date, or spending a weekend with that special someone in your life, you may want to stock up on those items for a few days.

Foods that Cause Body Odor

In addition to the foods mentioned above (garlic, onions, etc.), there are others that can have a negative affect on how you smell.

  • Red meat: In a small 2006 study (Chemical Senses), after men went for two weeks without eating meat, their scents were rated as more attractive by women.
  • Alcohol: Drink too much, and it may be released through your pores, giving you the same smell as your beer or wine.
  • Fish: Though most people can eat fish without smelling bad, some have a unique inherited metabolic disorder that causes them to smell “fishy” after consuming fish and other high-protein foods. If you find you don’t smell good after that salmon dinner, that may be why.
  • Asparagus: It produces that funny odor in the urine, but typically, no one but you will notice it. Since this food has so many health benefits, it’s best to eat more, not less, of it.
  • Curry/Cumin: These spices are very healthy, but they can leave you “stewing” for days, smelling like your spicy dinner all weekend.
  • Coffee: Highly acidic, it dries your mouth out, which can contribute to bad breath. Skip this one if you’re on a date, or follow it up with some better smelling herbal tea.
  • Junk food: Partially hydrogenated oils and refined flours and sugars tend to ferment in your intestines, as they’re harder to digest. The toxins are then released through your pores, affecting your scent.

Foods that Leave a Pleasant Smell Behind

Now that you know what to avoid before that big date, what can you consume that will help you give off a natural, pleasant smelling scent? Try these goodies:

  1. Citrus fruits: They’re all fresh with lively, awakening scents, plus they’re readily absorbed by the body, improving your scent. Try pineapples, oranges, strawberries, and apples. A glass of apple juice a day can also help keep bad smells away.
  2. Cardamom: Known as a great breath freshener, cardamom also permeates the body quickly, leaving behind a fresh aroma.
  3. Jasmine tea: Drink a cup and you smell great. All herbal teas help digestion, moving toxins out of your body—which naturally helps you smell nicer.
  4. Fenugreek seeds: Soak these overnight in water, then munch in the morning to improve your scent throughout the day.
  5. Rosemary: This is not only a wonderful spice and a great treatment for skin, but it also helps annihilate body odor.
  6. Yogurt: The beneficial microorganisms help your stomach digest food and combat toxins more efficiently, cutting back on the natural causes of body odor.
  7. Water with lemon: Water flushes you out, and lemon is another citrus fruit that can help clean and refresh your system. Drinking more water, in general, also helps keep you smelling clean.
  8. Cinnamon, thyme, and peppermint: Three spices that will improve rather than sabotage your natural smell.

Do you know of other foods that have pleasant-smelling side effects? Please let us know!

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story, a northwest-based writer, editor, and ghostwriter, has been creating non-fiction materials for individuals, corporations, and commercial magazines for over 17 years. She specializes in the health and wellness field, where she writes and ghostwrites books, e-books, blogs, magazine articles, and more.

Colleen is the founder of Writing and Wellness. Her fantasy novel, “Rise of the Sidenah,” was released with Jupiter Gardens Press in September 2015. Her literary novel, “Loreena’s Gift,” is forthcoming in spring 2016 from Dzanc Books. She lives in Idaho. www.colleenmstory.com


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  1. Dear Colleen,

    Thank you for a lovely list of food giving good smell.
    I often meet people and they ask the same that after their lunches, they do not small good.
    just to add the above list, I do prefer Fennel seeds and clove as they are good mouth fresheners.

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