How to politely tell someone they have terrible body odour

Have you ever met someone with an unpleasant body odour but you didn’t know how to address it?

We all have colleagues, classmates, neighbours, and friends who emit unpleasant body odours.

If you’re in regular contact with such a person, it can be tricky to convey this, but here’s a gentle way to do it:

Choose a private setting

When addressing someone’s body odour, avoid doing it in front of others, even if you are all friends. If you address them in front of others, it will be seen as an attack or ridicule. Take them aside and express that you have something to discuss.

Start with positivity

Soften the message by framing it within a caring context. Begin by acknowledging their positive qualities. Say, “You’re an amazing person, and I appreciate this and that about you. However, I’ve noticed a change in your body odour, and you don’t smell quite good.”

Gift hygiene items

Instead of an awkward conversation, give them deodorant, mouthwash, or perfume as gifts. They might pick up on the hint. If questioned, mention you had extra during grocery shopping and thought of sharing.

Casually share hygiene tips

Initiate a conversation about good hygiene by saying things like, “Did you know not scraping your tongue can cause bad breath?” or “Wearing a sweaty shirt again isn’t advisable” or “I have a friend selling affordable perfumes” or “Leaving clothes in the sun helps prevent damp odours”

Remember, approaching someone about their body odour requires care and consideration.

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