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THE CULT OF CLEANLINESS
- Published on Mar 30, 2023 veröffentlicht
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business email: MinaLeTeam@WMEAgency.com
written by Mina Le
Edited by Israh S. and Mina Le
"Perfume" by Articles of Interest podcast
The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History by Katherine Ashenburg
Aroma: The Culture History of Smell by Constan Classen, David Howes, and Anthony Synnott
Past Scents_ Historical Perspectives on Smell by Jonathan Reinarz
Polish and Deodorize: Paving the City in Late-Eighteenth-Century France by Rodolphe el-Khoury
0:00 - intro
4:33 - did everyone smell back then?
13:45 - america's cleanliness problem
28:29 - conclusion
Comments • 3 115
Something I forgot to mention is that living in different climates can also affect how often you need to clean! This video is from the perspective of someone living in the Northeastern U.S. and the particular U.S. (and by extension, European) cleanliness culture. (When i was in Vietnam, it's was so f'ing hot and humid there and I was sweating like i ran a marathon every day.) But even more so, when I talk about showering often and how it *can* be unnecessary, it's more about the millions of shampoos and products that we are marketed to use when we shower, not just the act of rinsing your hair and body with water.
@a. p. Uhm, if I went to school with you, and you brought coconut rice for lunch, I probably would have become your stalker. Okay, not really, but I definitely would have sucked up to you in hopes of you sharing hehe. 😜 I’m Italian and Albanian, so I also grew up bringing full, ethnic meals to school, while other kids had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Everyone always commented on the smell. Fun times! 😂
You know what’s crazy, I’m from Ireland and I’m 22, and too this day my mother, grandmother and so many people insist that I will get more sick if I take a bath or shower when I’m sick. From what I can gather it’s comes from the idea that to wash your self when you are sick in these colder more damp climates means it’s hard to dry off and heat back up. And by being wet ur body is colder for longer, your body is fighting to heat you back up again rather than fight the infection or disease.
Also there is also the idea of exposure, like growing up I was never given plasters when I got cuts, nor was I brought to the doctor if I was sick. Unless it was something that doctor was specifically needed for like i’d get really bad case of the chicken pox (ps- it’s covered my entire body it was in my hair to the bottom of my feet- in my ears and nose , twas bad. Even in a sense the 5 second rule. It was what my mum called exposure- she told me the more your sick now the less you’ll be sick later in life, as I’ll build up an immunity and you know what she’s not wrong. Except for the the annual throat infection I get in winter i don’t get ill. …… when I was a child I was bathed once a week on a Sunday, and I washed my face before I went to sleep each day that was the extent of it.
@Samantha Quiroz a source on that claim would be nice, but just by experience (I'm Mexican) I would say it could be true. I would say the vast majority of people I've known throughout my life shower every day, with some people showering twice a day, even in zones where the weather is colder.
@The Majestic Manatee and that's why she mentioned not using soap and shampoo too much in the video AND in this comment you're replying to
11:39 100% Disagree, US is not the cleanest western country. On average 90% of Mexcians take 8 showers weekly while Americans only 66% of the population take showers daily, so just on that simple comparison USA is NOT the cleanest western country.
I have a bachelor's in microbiology. Half of my classmates are absolutely germophobic the other half will eat food that fell on the floor in 5 seconds because you need to get your immunity somehow.
LOL, this is so true! It made me swear off pink burgers (ground beef in general, really) and I rarely touch raw meat, but OTOH I'm less germophobic than most people I know. It's helpful to know which germs are *actually* dangerous!
I currently babysit a germophobic child and I worry she would literally freak if I told her stories of my childhood-early 20s of literally eating out of the garbage sometimes
My bio degree parents scrubbed the floors but let us play in and eat dirt from the yard for the immune system benefits. Just no snail touching.
Lmaoo as an animal keeper working in science and vetenary medicine I can relate! Though us keepers do tend to be more on the dirty side of the spectrum, unless we know better
The latter half haven't learned much in microbiology huh.
I'm Russian and I just can't imagine how one can be so obsessed with cleanliness and be wearing outside clothes and boots at home at the same time. For me this is one of the mysteries of the western world
@Mikaela LM upon further reflection yeah I could probably be convinced that Russia would be considered the East. I said it was western primarily on the context of the original post. It felt like they were trying o separate Russia from the rest of Europe and North America which seemed odd. I think too they were implying westerners were dirty basically which didn’t make me very open to opinion either. It’s not the end of the world though.
It seems like there is no 100% consensus on whether Russia is eastern or western, but I think you’re right in that it is mainly just an eastern country 👍
@Stella Rae russia is not a western country...its literally the opposite, one of the reasons why we use the term "western" so much still today is because of the cold war, where the west was the opposite of the east (aka the soviet)
@Эльмира Хидирова Why?
@Moody Jerk of course?…😶
So you actually change clothes when you get home??
When my sister was a baby my mom told me something her mom taught her, so her baby could sleep on their own without her needing to be next to them.
It was to wear a shirt all day and around your baby and when they go to sleep or take a nap, take it off, and wrap your baby in it/put on them (you get the gist) so the baby will smell you and think your around and be more likely to stay asleep longer. And it works! Babies are smart and can recognize the smell of their caregiver. Super cool thing to know :)
A blusa que você usou o dia inteiro deve ser bem limpa ein
They need more of their mother than just their smell though, babies are hard wired to only feel safe right next to their mother. Sensible as human babies are so helpless. My babies were never silly enough to think I was there with them just because my clothing was lol.
Works on all mammalian pets! For dogs with PTSD or anxiety leaving them items with your scent will help them stay calm.
@JAYNE oh yeah I know. WIC had us take classes on SIDS. And how to wrap baby up safely. It’s crazy to think that even blankets can cause suffocation. And stuffed animals.
@Icy D’Rouge make sure you are practicing safe sleep though your baby could suffocate from a loose blanket or t-shirt
When I started going through puberty at around 13 years old, I would bathe and wash my hair everyday but my hair was still always soooooooooooo greasy that the other kids in my sixth-grade class made fun of me.
This culminated in me finally getting sent to the school nurses office later on in the year so she could talk to me about 'hygiene'. She was a really rude, blunt woman who told me straight up that the other kids in my class were complaining about the way I smelled and that they didn't like sitting near me. She then started to interrogate me about whether or not I showered/bathed regularly (i.e. daily) and if I actually used soap, shampoo, or deodorant, and if I knew how deodorant worked.
It was already humiliating that other kids would make fun of me to my face about my greasy hair, and then being told that they were complaining at school to anyone who would listen just made me develop a paranoia about being perceived as "clean".
I still have hang ups about this. I feel compelled to shower everyday, more if I have to go somewhere later on, I reapply deodorant very frequently if I get even a hint of musky armpits, and even keeping myself clean "downstairs" I feel so self conscious about any perceived smells or odors, that I won't let my boyfriend put his face anywhere near that area. All of it just makes me feel too vulnerable and exposed, if someone smelled me and said I reeked, I would be that lonely, humiliated middle school kid all over again.
this!! and it’s insanely hard to get rid of that insecurity of smelling bad, it’s gotten to the point where i’m even scared to just smell human bc of how traumatizing it was to be bullied and ostracized for smelling “bad”
How your classmates and even the nurse treated you is so rude of them. I can’t believe the nurse didn’t even try to be kind o careful when taking to you about the complaints. Your story reminds me of this manga titled “sweat and soap”. You might find the female lead to be quite relatable.
I have a question. For anyone really. What's the difference between greasy hair and shiny hair? I don't look at people up close so the only reference I have is my own hair, I literally put oil in my hair one time and my mom said it was pretty so I'm wondering where is the line??
im so sorry! the body responds to over-washing by producing MORE of everything to try and protect your skin. add apple cider vinegar and chamomile tea to a bath, don’t use soap, and slowly decrease the frequency of baths. your oil production will normalise and your skin will be healthier.
@Kenghym thank you and that’s so true
There's literally a trend right now that are "clean girl perfumes." Also, almost all floral perfumes, and especially designer perfumes, are stripped of their indolic/dirty elements, which are part of what makes jasmine smell like jasmine, or tuberose smell like tuberose
I have a complicated relationship with perfumes. My grandma once gave me two that I loved (strawberry and vanilla scents) and I have been meaning to ask her where she got them because I just can't bear "normal" adult perfumes. They're so weird and I can't even describe what I don't like about them. They just smell like "elegant perfume" and not really LIKE anything and that confuses my brain.
@Simbelmynë So the perfume i mentioned is expensive, from $200- $450 for the full size. BUT i have a great hack. I started using a monthly subscription service (I use LUXSB luxury scent box) they have all the brands I mentioned. I only pay $20 per month and i get to choose from regular & premium scents☺️
Honestly, $20 for 30ml of a $400 perfume is a pretty good bargain to me. Its actually cheaper than some of the brand's own travel or tiny samples sizes. And then my husband and I only buy larger sizes of scents we absolutely adore. Its worked out better in the long run.
i love bpal and alkemia!
@Ophilia Necr yayy I love to see indie perfumes mentioned!! BPAL is a bit of a splurge for me, but I hear wonderful things about them. I like Haus of Gloi :) indies are so much better than mainstream stuff, they actually smell like real things. My first scent was Thunderstorm by Demeter and the relief I felt when it smelled like actual rain and earth instead of "clean smell" will stay with me forever lol
I've never heard of the other houses you mentioned, but maybe I will check them out if I see them! Especially if they're more popular, It'd be nice to smell something from a bigger brand that was actually nice!
My husband and I are goth/ alternative and we adore deep, rich complex moody perfumes🖤🖤 I love womens perfumes that add notes that are often viewed as "masculine" or too strong like incense, tobacco, oud and myrrh, that complement the more "femenine" notes. These rich, strong notes paired with Rose, Plum, Blackcurrant or Fig is heavenly to me!!🥰
My favorite perfumes are from Amouroud, Memoize London, Initio Parfums, Mancera and Amouage. They're expensive, sure, but ONE spritz lasts all day!!😌 My husband loves fugueres and deep moody oud perfumes with rose, lavender, patchouli, rum, tobacco.
I can't even with the basic, boring, run of the mill perfume from luxury fashion houses (Gucci, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana😮💨). Calvin Klein is the worst!!! These perfumes just dissipate, or is so recycled with one scent having 20 different flankers that aren't interesting or innovative. I'd get a body mist over an overpriced, basic Eau de toilette or a weak ass cologne any day. My husband and I only purchase Parfums and extrait de Parfums for the lasting power.
Oh, and definitely crazy for the original creations in oil perfumes from BPAL (Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab)!!🖤💜🖤💜
As someone with curly hair, I get shocked faces from people with straight hair whenever I say I wash my hair twice a week. My hair would be brittle and dry if washed it every day! I also think there's a lot of anti-POC mentalities when it comes to hair cleanliness - I hear non-POCs talk about how gross it is to not wash your hair often, and I even remember Onision (?) put out a video years ago tearing apart a Black woman's hair routine because it was so dirty. What people don't realize is both how hair and your scalp's sebum (natural oils) work to regulate our hair's oiliness, and by washing it every day, you're removing those oils and making your hair dryer. Also, textured hair is naturally more porous and needs those oils to survive!
Hmn... You all have so much advice. A lot of this stuff I could've used back in high school. I have wavy and thick hair so... it gets oily, obviously, but like I'm washing it every other day if I *can*. But maybe I should ease it back and work on more thick hair-specific methods of maintenance.
I alsp have curly hair and I wash iy hair 1 per week because it'll get greasy af otherwise. I like to straighten my hair so I do it once per week and I believe also just washing it 1 per week is what gives me this healthy hair. Some people are just not ready for that conversation
I'm white, I relate
@Ervia Tangerine Right? My friend (2A max, but thick and dense) after four days has perfect hair with no oil to be seen, while I couldn't go outside without a hood or a hat. It's very unfair. (And he's the one washing hair every day).
Grew up with straight hair and only got my curly hair when I went through puberty and I didn’t realize so I would wash my hair daily and brush it afterwards and it was so frizzy I always thought it was dirty somehow because it didn’t look as shiny and “clean” as every other person with straight hair, little did I know
People somehow forgot that the main point of cleanliness is health. If it is cold and dry during winter it can be quite unhealthy for your skin to obsessively shower. And if you have different hair structures it can also be unhealthy to wash your hair everyday. So we really shouldn‘t compare our habits to people in a completely different climate with completely different bodily needs.
so right! some days ago, I saw a video of a "Clean girl", and this girls says that every day she take a shower and she use three time of scrubs , with scrub glows, loofah brush two tipe of body washing and some other I don't remember..well I'm sorry for the PH of her skin....💁♀
@germcrazy Shokoff you’re the problem
@Universe Donut True! As someone who does not sweet a lot and does not stink a lot naturaly, I can shower once a week without problems during winter. Two times a week during summer. And also, people often forget that there are other ways to keep clean. It's not because I take a shower once a week that I don't clean myself everyday as needed. On top of that, for me reducing the amount of showers (or baths) is a way to avoid using too much water.
it’s ok to shower every day as long as u moisturize afterwards, and as for washing ur hair everyday, it’s ok to wash it as often as u can tolerate it
Growing up, I was told, "Don't smell good, don't smell bad, just don't smell." Meaning keep to basic hygiene and stay away from overly fragrant products. So a lot of the cleaning products I put on myself and use at home are natural and have little to no fragrance. I just don't really enjoy strong smells indoors unless it's from incense or a candle.
Me and my dad both start coughing and choking when somene sparys on deoderant while we are in the room. (Even if that person is us)
My least favorite smell memory is a prior roommate that would come back to the dorm very sweaty and instead of using a washcloth to clean her pits or even spraying deadoeant she would spary on this really sweet strawberry full body perfume. The smell of the sweat mixed with the sickly sweet smell was horrendous!
I wouldnt even mind the sweat that much but that body spray was nauseating
Since Mina reads comments, I wanted to share my pov. I am from Azerbaijan and many people wash their hair 1-2 times a week. And many people would consider this gross. However, when we do take a shower, it usually lasts about an hour or two and includes washing our hair 3 times (on average, some people do 2 or 5 even), body exfoliating with "kese" and "urusum", rubbing your feet with special type of stone (to exfoliate, called "dabankes") and body wash twice. This extensive routine is the norm and is done once or twice a week.
@JulieDeuxFois what does that have to do with anything? The average Azeri isn't religious nor prays five times a day, OP was talking about showering. The required cleanliness in Islam just became part of culture to us and a random person off the street might not even know what "ghusl" means.
You must be young? Because if you're married (and muslim, I presume) you're supposed to do ghusl...
@Mahi yes! Not using water on ur bum is side eye for me
And not to mention, we wash our privates every day, as well as our bums when using the bathroom. I never hear foreigners talk about doing this, it's the dirtiest area, so if you clean that you'll be a lot cleaner in general.
Honestly I am always confused by people thinking that when you take a shower, you HAVE to wash your hair (and its variation, when you say you don't take bath, you get weird looks because it's taken as "I don't wash myself" when duh, showers and cleaning at the sink with a washcloth are also valid options). Tbh I'm from France but once a week I also have a routine of exfoliating and all, and it's very pleasant. I like doing it on Sunday to ready myself for the next week by being fully groomed and neat. However I have curly hair and wash it with the classic shampoo/conditioner/hair oil once a month to preserve it from becoming dry and brittle - I do a weekly dry shampoo and daily combing/brushing however so my hair remains neat (and easier to handle to make my 1900s hairstyles since it's not wispy and limp and slippery).
I'm italian, here if you said that you wash every day (including shampooing hair) you'd be met with stunned faces. It Is a common idea that water and heat damage hair a lot. I'd say the average person uses shampoo twice a week. Also we don't necessarily shower every single day but we do wash body parts that tend to smell more such as feet, armpits and 'down there'. Having a bidet helps a lot
@M E but have some tomes that it's cold here, and in some places it snow. I think that's it's part of the culture and we have too much rivers and don't have so much in europe. I don't know why, but I think that's the reason.
@Luzinhx i said unless sweating profusely. in a country like brasil you would be sweating way more most of the year so yes it would be preferable to wash more intensely more often
@ninaalexandrazelenak7184 Unhygienic if you have straight hair you mean. Curly/coily hair doesn't, and shouldn't, have to be washed every day.
Im also surprised by people who wash themseves every day. Usually these are réally young people.
I can't stand their smell. It's so umnatural that i can't breathe., 😫
As a massage therapist in the US I can always tell when someone has just showered and scrubbed their bodies before a massage, and not in a positive way. They have stripped away any natural oils and I have to sooo much more lotion because their skin just sucks it up. When I get to know a client I tell them to not stress about it but if they really want to take a shower before hand to only use soap on “hot spots” - pits, privates, under breasts, and feet. For the most part your back and arms are not going to smell
Interesting! That makes me way less anxious to be a client, lol.
i was taught to shower and wash my hair everyday by my mom, who has no idea how to deal with my hair texture and dryness. it wasn’t until 2021 that i realized that i didn’t have to wash everyday in order to make my hair look nice and it’s been life changing. my hair looks so much healthier and my skin isn’t cracking from dryness. it makes me wish there were more conversations given to kids to explain the wide range of taking care of oneself, i might’ve actually enjoyed my hair routine growing up
@Stefanie Northover I like to splash water on my face when I wake up because it cleans the sleep out of your eyes but I only wash it at night
Tell me about it. I used to wash my face twice a day, and my skin was always dry and peeling. Now I wash my face once a day in the evening, and my skin is much healthier. I also used to wash my hair (also dry) every other day, but now I wash it once a month! Your scalp adjusts and it's fine! It has been such a time saver.
I've recently started washing my hair every other night after spending a lifetime with the idea of daily washing. But daily washing dries out anyone's hair so I'm trying to take better care of my hair by only washing it every other day. Learning to take better care of stuff like your hair and skin is a complicated process
I would wash my curly hair every other day and it was breaking off whenever I touched it. I only do it once a week now and it's amazing the difference it's made in my hair health.
i love being a traitor to the ideal of femininity and an object of disgust 💁♀
@shifa yeah but at the end of the day i don’t and others give a shit how YOU feel abt a smell we most likely can’t control or change in that specific moment. i cant tell you the amount of days i spend laying in my bed thinking about ending it cuz i know i ‘have’ to take a shower. stop being willfully ignorant
@poof well yeah no shït but the ppl im referring to clearly don’t care to clean themselves for themselves cuz they say they don’t mind. that’s why im saying that even if u don’t mind the ppl around u do so if not for u do it for others.
@wherefancytakesme i beached my armpits and legs and soon i'll dye them pink🙂
Not sure if anyone has shared this yet but there is a perfume company, Demeter fragrance, that sells scents like fresh cut grass, kitten belly, crayon, cotton candy, and bon fire that smell so much like the real thing ! I got cotton candy, kitten belly, fairy dust, and grass and was surprised at how specific and different they smell! Very nice you should check them out !
@h p came here to mention that one.
I just went on their website and they have one called FUNERAL HOME 😭
Oh I love those perfumes. I have margarita, cherry cream and chai tea
Kitten belly perfume, I didn't know I needed this in my life 🥺
@Mariasol Varela it smells very sweet and magical ✨
I'm terrified of smelling bad because of the stereotype that autistic people always have a nasty odour. I've gotten better recently, but there was a time where I'd have a panic attack the moment I started sweating or even as I was leaving the house, because I was so worried that I'd have that "autistic smell" that I had convinced myself of. Definitely some paranoia going on there. But there's an undeniable link between the idea of cleanliness and ableism. After all, the whole way I came to this conclusion was through watching videos of people making fun of autistic-coded characters for how bad they smell. Great video, this needed addressing.
@Alaura Lovely Ohhhh that's awful:(
@soft noob girl Yeah its probably just something people have completely exagerrated as an excuse for disliking us when its actually just ableism, but its a difficult thing to not constantly be aware of once you're aware, you know? Thank you for the reassurance, though, you're very kind.
People on Tiktok, making videos where they pretend to have conversations with obviously autistic-coded characters. The characters are never named, they were usually just referred to as the "weird kid" or the "sensitive boy", and things like that. I don't have Tiktok now, but idk it made me much more self-conscious :/.
Which characters if you remember?:0
Wait there's a stereotype that we smell bad? BRUH. I'm literally the most princess-y person at my office lmao
In one of my high school classes, a guy " malik" spontaneously loudly howled at a girl by telling her how she smelled horrible all the time, the whole class went completely silent, and the girl curled up in a ball under a plastic chair, the teacher came to bring her out of the class, she never came back to school. The teachers told us they were actually already « in the process of conversating to find a way of improving her smell situation », and that "malik" ruined everything. My friends and I were devasted by this situation, it felt horrible to see a kind classmate get shamed in this way for her odour, to the point where she no longer felt welcomed at school.
@jankk that pe teacher is a chad
i’m very sensitive to embarrassment and rejection, i think i would’ve left the school too if that happened to me. i hope she’s doing ok now 😕
When I was in middle school there was a pair of sisters who were bullied by many people for being “weird”, wearing clothes and eyeglasses that looked 20 years out of date, and having greasy hair/body odor. Our PE teacher looked into their situation and found out that their parents were very poor & lived in very bad circumstances just a step above homelessness (and, I might add, was attempting to get them help/aid) and came back to the school and absolutely shamed the living crap out of all the girls who’d been shitty to them (by giving a scathing lecture to each period’s PE class without singling anyone out by name, but believe me, we ALL knew who was guilty, including the guilty people…some of whom had bullied *me* for *years* in grade school for being “weird” so I sure AF didn’t feel sorry for them.)
It actually worked. You could feel the atmosphere in the room change, see the chagrin on their faces. It wasn’t like a movie where suddenly they were popular or got a makeover or something, but they overwhelmingly weren’t made fun of anymore, and some of the previous bullies did apologize and/or go out of their way to treat them more kindly.
A long time ago I worked in a call center, and there was a guy who was.... very ripe. I don't think he had a sense of smell, and he was unaware just how bad his funk was. It was clear based on how greasy his hair was that he wasn't showering on a regular basis, and he didn't seem to be washing his clothes either. It went beyond the normal musky scent of a person who doesn't use deodorant, and smelled more like fresh dog poop. It was BAD.
We had to have a manager pull him aside and have a very uncomfortable conversation with him. That even if he could not tell how bad he smelled, he was making it impossible for everyone around him to concentrate on their work. He showed up a little bit cleaner the next day, thankfully.
In hindsight, I'm grateful that no one embarrassed him in public!
Smell and cleanliness for me can also be strongly connected to ableism sometimes. People are very judgemental about people who smell different or 'bad'. A lot of the time a health condition can have an impact on the way you smell. Maybe you have a hard time washing yourself, maybe you sweat a lot, some people deal with incontinence and there are so many more things that can change the way you smell.
Another thing is autism and sensory issues. Also things like migraines. Both my mom and me avoid strong smells and perfumes. Going on public transport can be a problem when people wear strong perfumes or a lot of aftershave or bodyspray. I get very bad migraines and too many smells and sounds can make me very overwelmed and anxious. There are other conditions where strong odors can be a problem like asthma and COPD. Wearing perfumes is fine but it would be nice if more people were mindful about it. Things like avoiding spraying perfume or deodorant in spaces that are not well ventilated
It boggles my mind that people would apply scent in public. Maybe something like a gym but it just seems pretty rude even without taking into consideration people with medical conditions. If my perfume wears off by the end of the day so be it.
All of this. Besides, some people go with such a heavy hand (as in, apply too much) of perfume that it is nausea inducing
I use to work at a local hardware store in my hometown. There was this one costumer who would occasionally came in and became known as the 'smelly guy' (or something like that) with my managers and coworkers. It really pissed me off, because, yea he smelled musky and it lingered, but he was just an old man who couldn't even walk around very much, didn't talk much but was so sweet and would always smile so nicely to me. And yet I'd have managers and coworkers talking on our walkie talkies saying 'watch out smelly guy is here' or 'get the lysol spray', and even one coworker made jokes (not even really a joke, she seemed quite serious on doing this) about spraying him with lysol. As in spraying him directly. It's just so rude, we don't treat our elders properly in this country, imo, or anyone who differs from the norm. He may have had some disability that prevented him from being able to shower correctly, or something physiologically that caused him to smell and there was nothing to be done about it, but people just notice the smell and make fun of him rather than trying to understand. It's just very rude, and I'm very happy to see this video discussing issues like that.
My grandpa lost his sense of smell before he died. Your coworker might not have been able to smell himself.
Damn, it’s crazy how Mina just keeps churning out these incredibly well edited and deeply researched videos.
@Arachne 8888 But people weren't not washing themselves because they thought the water was unsafe...
Arachne 8888 - it’s a fun discussion to give a 600yr background, I agree. The thing is these topics still exist today. Included could be talk about water right here/ now/ today in the US.... how water is used in racism, in environmental racism, in chronic social inequality (as with Flint, Michigan.) There we’re examples of this as though it is historical. We could talk about cleanliness as a now topic with the subject of present immigration. Political affiliation aside - and I do think much wasn’t talked about to avoid the video veering off the rails into a political squabble, but we still hear comments saying immigrants make America poorer and dirtier, for example, Cleanliness is still very much a part of the social conversation of the day of how highly or lowly we esteem the worth of others. And quality of/access to water is also very much a central topic in the discussion of cleanliness and social acceptance, as well
It is well-researched internationally and historically. I was surprised that not one mention was made of cleanliness as it applies to the US and within the last 40, 50yrs.... aka, fairly recently. We don’t have to go back to 15th century European kings. We can simply look at modern America and its cloak of using “cleanliness” as a mask for government sponsored racism.
The reason there are very few municipal pools open to this day and the reason an entire private swimming pool industry has been developed for backyard pools in the US is that once American integration was enacted by the eariy 70s, Black people were swimming with white people in public pools all across America, by law.
The problem with that was Black people were historically deemed as inherently “dirty” and said to be “carriers of many diseases.” Black people weren’t to be accepted in these “intimate” interactions of partially clothed swimming and be part of white culture in such a close way.
So, rather than local governments obeying the laws that all municipal activities and properties would be made open to all taxpayers and municipal residents, municipalities chose rather to shut their pools down and pave them over to stop Black people from entering these spaces. All Americans now have very few public pool options and have built a pool in their own backyard if they wish to swim in a pool outdoors. This vast change in how America swims - from public to private - is a direct result of the end of community and municipal pools and a result of racism that was veiled in America’s “cleanliness” and “purity.” This, too, should be mentioned.
Mina is truly exceptional.
I am also a fan of Zoologist perfumes! What I love about Tyrannosaurus Rex is how it starts out so metallic and medicinal and smoky but, over the course of the hours it sits on your skin, it becomes really green and lush and floral, transitioning from the lava and tar pits to a prehistoric jungle. It's the closest experience to actual magic that I've had from a purchase and I love it, even if it's something I don't wear out of the house.
I think I need to give T-Rex another wearing. Ironically I'm not the biggest fan because to me it smells strongly of soap, specifically old fashioned coal tar soap.
As someone who is utterly and ridiculously sensitive to smells, I can attest to the fact that EVERYONE has an odor. I can tell when people are sick. I can tell when they eat high protein diets. I can tell when they eat a lot of soy. And that’s not even mentioning people who smoke, which I think is obvious to everyone regardless of what they try to do to cover it up. Perfumes can knock me down. Even when I put deodorant on myself, it takes me time to get over the smell.
Side note about bathing - I do it every day and I wash my hair every day even though I know my skin is super dry and it’s not good for my hair. It makes me feel refreshed. My son doesn’t bathe every day and I expected to point out exactly how stinky he was…but he’s not actually. He smells fine. He smells good. His skin is even drier than mine and his hair is extraordinarily dry and washing too often would not be healthy for him. I used to over wash my face and it exacerbated my acne. When I started using a gentle (and cheap) cleanser and reduced washing, my skin was actually better. So he’s probably on the right track.
This video was incredibly interesting. As a POC growing up in a predominantly white area (there were less than 100 students of color at my hs with a student body of about 1000, and most POC students lived in the nearest city and where bussed to and from the school district every day) I was super concerned about my smell as it was brought up by my peers. I don’t think it’s uncommon POC experience to be told that you/your home/your food smells weird. I was always scared I smelled terrible and as a result would try to cover up with an array of Victoria’s Secret body spray as often as I could. I would dread gym class and the thought of sweating and tried to avoid sweating as much as possible. There was also a trend in my school where girls would carry body mists with them to every class and scented lotion and would use this multiple times a day. As an adult I’ve had to do a lot of inner work to get over my paranoia of smell and cleanliness, so thank you Mina for this eye opening history!
i got comments like that too but my mom was hella clean (latina) and i just didn’t care/forgot about what they said lol
As someone with low energy and has taken microbiology and basic medical classes, sometimes the best way to deal with the knowledge that everything around us is gross is just a good old fashioned don't think about it, it will stress you out and you will mostly not be able to do anything about it. I literally last week learned concerning things about peanut butter and made the conscious choice of "I will be ignoring that fact"
I need to know the pb stuff now 😭
A little metaphor: right now, there's a trend of using activated charcoal in products. It's a buzzword, cheap and eye-catching. You can get toothpaste with it, teeth whitening strips, pills. And it does "suck out toxins"! However, it does so by indiscriminately soaking up whatever it can get. Your teeth get whiter because it's stripping the enamel off them (VERY BAD), and ingesting it turns any meds you take into expensive candy. That's why they use it for overdoses. Get clean at the harm of vital parts of your body!!
@Tymon Dąbrowski oh my god I even put the moral of the story at the end. it's about how the attempts to appear more beautiful can make your health worse. Come on stop trying to be smart
That's a digression (side topic), not a metaphor.
Shout out to all my asian and african brothers and sisters who were looked down upon because we ate our meals with our hands, and/or were asked to wash our face more often to clear the darkness out of our skins
I’m white and prefer food I can eat with my hands because I have extremely poor manual dexterity/motor control (related to being AuDHD) and it’s easier for me to not drop food all over the table/myself that way.
@J L health shaming to point out hypocrisy is also pretty gross
Westerners eating the greasiest, unhealthiest food like burgers, fries and pizza with their hands...whilst also calling other people gross for eating with their hands...
@Emily I’m a chef, and I am constantly reminding people to wash their hands when they change gloves.. the gloves are absolutely useless if you don’t wash your hands frequently. So the moral of the story is still “wash your damn hands” 😂😂
@Chloe Jayde happens outside of the West, too. I have raised my two children in Korea, and here you can buy silicone holders for baby rusks, there is an extreme aversion to letting babies explore food with their hands as they eat, so they are often spoon fed up to age 5 or later, or given silicone utensils and required to use them extremely early. I got a lot of criticism for letting my kids eat with their hands as toddlers. I also frequently encounter the perception that white people ONLY eat fast food type foods, that we do not keep hygeinic houses or that we smell bad (we definitely have different odours, but Korean people are also very capable of having body and foot odours, to be fair) To be clear, white people are also privileged and generally treated favourably in Korea, but I remember during the time I was breastfeeding, which tends to also come with extra sweating, I felt so dirty and ashamed whenever I had to leave the house.
I have a really hard time maintaining societal hygiene standards with regular showers because ADHD and depression, so this video helps me feel a little less gross about it. I still want to bathe regularly and get my mental health on track, but it helps lessen the pressure on me a little bit to know that showering every other day isn’t actually the worst thing in the world for me. Thank you for this!
I was born with severe atopic dermatitis (basically eczema with no known cause for the breakouts). The doctors eventually found that the fragrances in EVERYTHING was giving me constant agonizing rashes. So no fragrance in soaps, shampoos, detergents, candles, air fresheners... everything. I also was highly allergic to many things in makeup, even now, so I haven't worn make up since I was 12. I wore my mom's brown makeup to look like a scarecrow for Halloween. Worst. Halloween. Ever.
I have worn literal TAR shampoo on my face and body, and had to go to school for weeks smelling like tires, so I have become incredibly aware of my scent. I take 2-3 minute showers (and they have to be only mildly warm to help prevent outbreaks), have no fragrances on me, and have never had any complaints of how I smell. Honestly, I get more rebukes for not wearing makeup than anything else. I loved this video!
I remember in band class one time a boy called me dirty after asking if I showered at night or in the morning, and I told him at night. And then he told the whole class that I didnt shower and was unclean... it has honestly given me a complex about hygiene after all these years. That and the fact that my mom pushed an unhealthy and unfair rhetoric about hygiene on me growing up. She would tell me I smelled and that my nose didnt work every day of my life even if I was just freshly out of the shower and deodorized. Now as an adult I have terrible eczema and using too much soap makes my skin get hot and itchy. Idk if its due to over-washing growing up or genetic because I know some members of my family have other skin issues, but now I have to experiment differently with my hygiene to try and meet my skin somewhere in the middle, like by maybe towel-washing some days instead of showering every day, or using clays in my armpits on some days instead of deodorant every day.
My skin has now developed allergies to even all unscented, non-aluminum containing soaps. In fact, there is currently only one deodorant in the world I can use without making my skin bleed.
@Belen LG yes, all of this! Its a big reason I dont wear makeup much anymore either. I cannot tell you the number of times family or friends have stopped to ask me if I hurt myself because theres a little circle of dry or scabby skin on my eyelid or neck... LOL! Also, you're the second person to mention diet and I'm starting to think this might be a big thing for me. I didnt have eczema as a teenager, only as an adult and I KNOW my eating habits changed as an adult. I'm going to look into this.
@Andromeda Spark It's really interesting that you say that because I just got tested for celiacs due to some stomach pain a couple weeks ago and thankfully I *don't* have celiacs but it turns out that I DO have some light intolerance to either wheat or gluten (I have to double check my notes of which it is, I know they're different) and the doctor said I would henefit from a grain or gluten free diet. I didn't pursue it further after he said it was just an intolerance but your comment has intrigued me and motivated me to look into it further! Thank you.
Many years ago I dated a dude who, for legitimate childhood trauma related reasons, was extraordinarily clean & bathed at least twice a day, brushed his teeth multiple times a day as well. Then he started telling me I had bad breath all the time. I brushed twice a day, didn’t have cavities, no reason for stinky breath, and ended up getting SUPER self conscious about it. The next time I hung out with my best friend I asked her to tell me if my breath smelled (because I knew she’d be 100% honest) and she was baffled, said my BF was nuts. I confronted him about it and it turns out that if my mouth just smelled like normal, regular, not-stinky clean mouth and NOT minty fresh toothpaste smell, he considered it “bad breath”. It made me really angry with him.
You mentioned struggling with eczema. I have too, along with other autoimmune issues. I had a really bad version on my hands. Trial and error, learned some triggers, wheat and soy, & it's much improved since avoiding those. I still have it but better. You might want to figure out if you have any food intolerances.
I'm very sorry for you, from a fellow hardcore eczema sufferer! After years of trying everything, I can only use one specific soap for hair and body, and absolutely nothing else on my skin, no moisturizer, no makeup (eyelid eczema is the worst). Luckily I can take deodorant just fine. I also shower as less as I can, every two-three days usually, and just towel bath and use the bidet daily. My skin now looks and feels totally fine since I stopped with the overshowering and products, but it will flare like crazy if I change anything. I also have to control what I eat and avoid any stress. I haven't had any complaints about odor, because basically I don't sweat nor produce oil (that is why I have eczema), and actually many partners have complimented my smell unprompted before knowing my habits.
Girl I can tell you from personal experience, growing up I got sick often and had a TON of allergies because I wasn't exposed to the "outside world"(germs&dirt) and my mom wishes she had let me out more often from an earlier age...But I am more active outside and now I have lost some of my allergies that I had when I was younger...
In High School, I would douse myself in vanilla bourbon cologne I got from Bath and Bodyworks, and this was before I knew how to properly apply cologne so I was just spraying myself up and down. One girl in my first period class actually came up to me, sniffed and said “why do you smell like a marshmallow?” It was a pretty funny interaction.
As a Brazilian woman it just sounds crazy to hear that there are people who don't shower every day. Nowadays I shower once or twice a day, but when I was a child, my grandma made me shower 3 or 4 times a day 😅 this video is so interesting and well researched, you're amazing, Mina. Now I just want to research about the story of cleanliness in Latin America 🤩🤩
I was raised by a homeless mother, we slept in a bed sit due to my father being in rehab. I remember as a tween I became obsessed with smelling nice using cheap perfume and using olive oil on my ends. I associated human smells with poverty and I was obsessed to get out of it.
As a preteen I had really bad natural odor I remember trying so hard not to move at all during class cause then mean boys would say I stink and I was so nervous people would notice I wound up sweating more and causing more odor lol now I have this paranoia of my natural body odor and I refuse to not use deodorant even when I don't need it. And I'm obsessed with the clean girl face and aesthetic but feel bad because I can't afford all those face creams serums and lotions that make your skin glow and hair shiny
I recently first went to a derm because of adult acne. She asked me what I used... I told her of my bonzoyl peroxide, hyaluronic acid, wash face twice, glycolic acid, Korean skin care stuff... She just cried out and said: we're only going to use la Roche Posay effaclar ONCE A DAY and let the skin regulate its own pH. My skin has gotten a lot better. I only wash once a day, put cream on and then sunscreen in the morning. Nothing else
The vast majority of the creams and lotions are unnecessary. Shampoo, conditioner, sun block, and a good non allergenic moisturizer that doesn't make you break out are all you need, and even today despite hyper inflation you can get those things for a few dollars from the grocery store. Of all the ingredients that the expensive creams and serums brag about containing, only retinol actually has decades of real world results to back it up, and now even the less expensive drug store brands are offering those. (And you only need it on your face.)
See that's the problem with all these trends and stuff, they just end up being a consumerism tool that makes you believe you need a million different products to be clean and glowy and all that shit. Coming from a Med student, the only skincare products you need are a cleanser (oil or milk if you have oily skin and/or use sunscreen everyday), a mild facial soap and moisturizer. That's literally it. Three products that don't even need to be top-brand or insanely expensive. There are obviously exceptions for the different skin types and conditions, but that's like the core of it. And SUNSCREEN!! The key to a healthy skin is protecting it from the sun!!!
so not necessarily a perfume, but my cornplant recently bloomed (didn't know they did that) and the scent it gave off would just fill my house around 5pm (the blooms open in the evening). it was like the plant was saying "thank you for taking care of me :)" because I read it's kinda rare for them to do that indoors (idk if that's true).
As someone who's struggled with personal hygenine my whole life since my parents were neglectful it's hurts a lot when I see people demonized for lack of hygenine or different hygenine.
It's sad to see how even the most basic of ideals are rooted in classism, racism, ableism and sexism.
Most basic ideals are based on morality. 😒 Where are you even getting that.... Ancient people we're afraid of disease and didint know how to prevent it that's probably why they had strange ideas about what is dirty.
@LadyAhro I have a shower chair I don't have a story about it but I have experienced people being ablist lol. I just want to be involved in the commenting ^-^
@An G +1
Except not. Cleanliness is important for health and just in general not smelling like dirt and crap
Why do you think that is
My favorite description of a perfume is hands down Odeur 71 by Comme des Garçons. It’s pure poetry and 100% really how they describe this scent. “Smell of dust on a Hot Light-Bulb, Warm Photocopier Toner, Hot Metal, A Toaster, Freshly Welded Aluminium, The Ink in a Fountain Pen, Fresh Pencil Shavings, Wood and Moss, Bay Leaves and Bamboo, White Pepper, Hyacinth, Lettuce Juice.” It’s seriously perfect hahaha!
I was raised by dad so I grew up using his cologne. To this day I don’t identify with most scents catered to women. My favorite perfumes are always discontinued. Currently my favorite is Bronze Wood and Leather by Jo Malone. The people at the store told me Americans just don’t like it because of the “heavy leather scent” and that basically the only people who bought it were French. I’m not quite sure what they were trying to say hahaha!
When I first moved to NY 20 years ago I loved smelling Demeter scents. Earth worm was my favorite. It literally smells like fresh dirt and grass after the rain. They have scents like Thunderstorm, Turpentine, Lava Rock, Paperback and Play Doh.
I can understand why you may not want to but please consider doing a video revisiting The Care And Keeping of You ♡
That book was honestly a major part of my adolescent development and I'd love to know if it still holds up and might be a viable option for helping my own daughter's learn 😊
These videos are so well done.... I struggle to write a paper for class meanwhile mina makes these lengthy and detailed videos often
In the US there is this huge obsession with cleanliness; like the Twitter "do you wash your feet in the shower" arguments, or the absolute amazement that people sometimes skip a shower or two. These conversations would seem ridiculous in many other cultures.
hi mina! idk if u'll see this since this video has been out a while but the indie perfume house "imaginary authors" is one i recommend. each of their perfumes is based on an imaginary story. cape heartarche for example smells like a forest and has notes of fir, cedar, and strawberry!
as a Black American i find it very hard to break away from my need of cleanliness. when our ancestors were enslaved they weren’t granted the privilege of hygiene practices. for anyone who doesn’t know a very common thing is for Black parents to make sure their kids wash themselves daily. doing things like making sure they clean behind their ear or smelling them is common. if the kid doesn’t do a good enough job they’re told to go back to the bath. so when i met a White mom who said they only wash their baby once a week i was shocked.
there is even discourse in the Black community about how often you should replace your wash cloths and towels. with conversations like this it is important to think about racial minorities and how we are conditioned in different ways.
I'm also Black American and I'm glad to see one of us speaking in the comments about this. I honestly didn't realize how big of a thing cleanliness was for us until fairly recently. I was actually just watching a reality television show (Below Deck for those who are interested) and it featured a group of Black women who were taking a trip on a yacht. A couple of the crew members who were white women complained at how many towels the women cycled through. It really hit me then the cultural differences between our community and others in the states when it comes to cleanliness.
@B.b. Gun spot on! Race plays a huge role in classism in the US and across the globe. My grandmother is black, lives in a nice house, and dresses quite nice, but she’s also a stickler for cleanliness whether it’s her person or her home. We were made to wash up every morning and bathe every night. My grandma has a thing about people sleeping on fresh sheets without showering, especially if they’ve been travelling in a car all day.
@NPC 1337 yeah class is a intersection i forgot to acknowledge in the post. i however wouldn’t say more or less to do so. kinda defeats the point of intersectionality in my opinion. but i can see where you’re coming from!
@youwomanyou it definitely needs unpacking. or at least some self reflection
It’s interesting to see this topic tackled by someone who is pro-scents.
As an American who is both autistic and allergic to most things, I absolutely hate how normalized perfume is. I cannot go into makeup stores, or most clothe stores in malls. I have to ask ahead of time when meeting new people if they wear perfume.
@Where's Waldo oh yeah, you just have to be on the same level as a perfume shop in the mall and the strong smell can make you nauseous :')
Same! I was watching this wondering what on earth was meant by an "odorless" society... it surely can´t be the same society I am a part of, where I´m assaulted by scent every time I go into the Lush store.
GODDD SAME we all live in Smell Hell don't we
Glad to finally see a comment from someone who is similar to me w/ sensitivity to many fragrances. I think our society is overly obsessed with adding heavy scents to everything. Like scented trash bags??? I don’t understand how that makes anything more pleasant. I’d rather smell garbage than garbage+fake perfume odor. Ugh.
People who really load up on the perfume, air fresheners, scented lotions, etc. are doing so because they like those smells, but are often really oblivious to how much that can negatively affect sensitive people around them. I’ve gotten countless migraines due to scent triggers, especially very cloying “baked goods” type scents (which smell nothing like the real thing IMO!).
Unlike excess noise, which can be remedied with noise cancelling headphones or earplugs, the overabundance of artificial scents is really impossible to avoid if you can’t physically distance yourself.
Sorry this is a really long comment, I just friggin hate being in sensory hell sometimes, lol.
I am an HSP.
Strong smells give me headaches or even nausea.
The products I use mostly have no smell (also due to allergies) or only a very slight fresh smell.
I don't use perfume and only use a little fabric softener when washing. But I love natural greens like grass or lavender. Everything else usually smells too strong for me.
That's also the reason why I'm maybe a bit too obsessed with showering because of body odor...
Sometimes this odor sensitivity can be really exhausting, especially when you're with people or at their house. :/
This was so interesting! As someone with sensory issues and with a super sensitive nose I have to admit I have an extremely physical reaction of disgust to any bodily odors, which I feel bad saying because I know showering comes from a place of privilege in society. It’s just sensory overload but so are “good” smells like perfumed detergent. I sometimes struggle being in public because of all the smells, good and bad, and often have to leave crowded spaces. I always say I wish I could turn off my sense of smell. Needless to say everything I buy is unscented, which weirdly has helped a lot with my skin conditions like dermatitis. Also buying things free of sulfates (bubbling cleaning agent) has helped my dermatitis and itchiness. I think we add so many weird things to bodily cleaning products that it can actually be harmful. That paired with cleaning every day is contributing to more skin issues.
Oh my gosh the brand Imaginary Authors carries some really good and unique perfumes, so does the brand Tokyo Milk, and Etat Libre d’Orange. I work at a small shop that carries a lot of really unique perfume made by relatively small businesses so I've literally been waiting the longest time to be able to recommend these to other people.
seconding the etat libre d'orange rec- they have some great ones! also black phoenix alchemy lab (although they only do perfume oils, i think)
Imaginary Authors makes my favorite ever Saint Julep!! 🙌
I used to have a terrible want to smell like an entire perfume bottle. I don't have extreme body odour. But I would use strong scented soaps, body oils, creams and perfumes to smell good. It got so bad that people (including my mom) complained that as soon as I entered a room, I filled the room with extremely strong scents. I don't know why I did it but people in my school smelt... well, sweaty. And I, as an insecure teenager, wanted to not be like that. I also generally have a very strong sense of smell and it really influences my life. And I at some point wanted people to know me by the fact that I smelled good and strongly of perfume.
I was recommended a compilation of really whack 'beauty' videos recently and it contained someone going on and on about how one needs to scrub scrub scrub one's body thoroughly with a loofah or else at least once a day. I'm really glad this essay exists and I hope I keeps some from spiralling into even unhealthier territories.
@wooogie that would make sense. Porous materials, especially if they stay moist for a while as is likely for anything hanging out in your shower, are definitely a recipe for bacteria. A wet loofah probably won't hurt you, but good to know anyway 🤷
loofahs actually hold onto a lot of bacteria iirc
Omg this reminds me of the feminine ‘hygiene’ industry and how they claim women’s natural bits are unclean (hence you need to buy this feminine wash). But the 🐱 is self-cleaning and using feminine wash can mess up your ph.
I was surprised she didn't talk about this!
Fr I bought into that so hard but I literally didn’t need to… classic case of companies creating and then exploiting our insecurities
just remember y'all only the inside (the actual canal) is self-cleaning 👍
@Paristheninjanerd we all weird nerds on the internet xP lmao
People could judge me as being dirty and unhygienic but I wash my hair once a week，trying to get to two weeks between washes and I don't shower every day (except for a certain few days in a month). Eventhough it may appear unsanitary and unhealthy, my hair is shiny and gorgeous and I feel very healthy, I don't even get sick often, I don't get even a common cold that often. Though I use a deodorant just in case I get sweaty troughout the day. I'd say not using soap and shampoo every day and not vigorously sanitizing things with disinfection may be more healthy because you come into contact with stuff that help you create a strong immunity system. But I'm not medic or doctor so this is just my assumption.
Mina, please, please make a perfume video! Tell us about your favorites, show us your collection. I'd love to see such video from a well spoken non-fragcom creator! ❤️🤗😍
My parents were of different religions and while they respected each other's in front of each other, they tried to get me to only follow one behind each other's backs and both used bad hygiene as an attack on other people.
One time I was telling my sister that I wish shaving wasn't introduced because it is so unnecessary but it feels essential considering the society that we grew up in and she was like "yeah but I feel like I'm not clean if I don't shave" and I was like yeah! That's the thing...its not a matter of cleanliness because it's part of you and you don't need to shave your head every other week to be considered clean but we have to in many western areas or we'll be seen as unclean and unkempt
i feel unclean if i don't shave too :/ which sucks because i realise that's really not true and i don't want to shave!! i hope my mind will be free from these standards and myths some day
I don't feel clean if I don't shave. It has nothing to do with beauty standards, it is just uncomfortable under my clothes and I'm constantly aware of it when I don't shave, which makes me feel gross and dirty.
Nose blindness is such a thing. I used to volunteer at the stables and barn when I was in vet school, where they had a small herd of goats. Goat smell is INCREDIBLY powerful - if you're not used to it you can smell it downwind from miles away. Hell, when I first started I could smell it on myself even after bathing. But after a few weeks, I physically could not smell it. I think ten later I'm still a bit nose blind to goat smell even though I've only worked there for about a year and a half, and haven't been around goats other than in passing for most of that decade.
Similarly, growing up in a smoker's house and having been a smoker myself in the past, I'm very innured to the smell of tobacco; my girlfriend, who's never smoked and whose parents never did either, has to wash her CLEAN, unworn clothes after she comes to visit me because they smell of smoke to her, even though they were kept upstairs, inside a suitcase, the opposite end of the house from the only room my parents smoke indoors.
So yeah, I can see that's how it worked. Nobody minded armpit smell before deodorants after all, but after it's the norm to NOT smell like that it became incredibly noticeable to everyone when someone does.
interesting! I'm from the Middle East and cleanliness is super prioritised.. I remember when I lived in the UK and told a friend I usually never leave the house without showering because I don't feel good doing that, he called me arrogant. I was surprised, out of all the things you could say he choose arrogance! Cleaning rituals differs heavily from culture to culture
What your friend said to you was not acceptable 😠 but I'm from the UK and I can understand being shocked by someone that clean bc people here are stinky! Honestly I think it's because of the climate. Smells don't travel well through cold air (slower diffusion), people sweat less anyway when it's cold, and under many layers of clothing nobody can smell you anyway. On top of that people stand further away from each other than in other places maybe? Idk about that one. But you definitely don't hug someone unless they're your best friend or relative so people don't get close enough to each other to smell each other.
@Sally S. Hi, so I don’t know specific ones. But you can search for Queen Ann, she was queen of France from 1051 to 1060. It says when she came there her husband couldn’t wright, read and use cutlery. So she well educated and mannered (girls education in Kyivan Rus was normal) tried to tech him something, but most importantly she taught their children, future rulers all of what she new.
I also remember the letter she wrote to her father, comparing Paris to Kyiv and boy that was not a win for Paris.
Arrogant is a wild word for him to use lol. Not like you were saying you were better than other people.
@Kani Rosetta Do you have sources or articles about that ? I'm French, so I'm interested :)
THE CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU MADE ME THINK ONCE WE GOT OUR PERIODS IT WAS EVERY SINGLE DAY FOREVER AND I WAS TOO SCARED TO ASK MY MOM 😂 f that book lmao
Now I wanna learn more about hygiene habits from different cultures
Mina NEVER disappoints me! Her content is always so captivating yet so unbelievably educational. I'm delighted by the constant use of perfectly suitable quotes and bibliographic references to illustrate the point that she's trying to prove. Amazing videos, honestly. Thank you so much for this; the world needs more creators like you, Mina!
Listening to "Perfume: the store of a murderer" and it's deliciously compelling and creepy. Excellent recommendation. Not sure if I can stomach the film but the audiobook is a bop! Would you ever consider a series on the sustainability of scents? I'd throw down patreon money if you interviewed foragers - makers and compared their process versus mass fragrance production factors. I'm curious to see how fragrance participates in the current fashion/beauty cycle of consumption and waste. Your essays are tightly crafted, you're an adept storyteller, and I have endless content to mull over during the dullest meetings. You rock, Mina.
I’m currently obsessed with Boy Smells. They make “genderful” fragrances. I’ve got Woodphoria which is my go-to and cashmere kush which smells *exactly* like that hippie store at the mall that sells crystals, little decorative boxes, and medieval fantasy figurines. Slight pot smell included. It’s amazing 😂
As a disabled person I often don’t have the energy to do more than the bare minimum and I always felt ashamed when people said they shower every day because I physically cannot do that. My condition can also cause excessive sweating which made me feel really gross in high school
Dry shampoo really helps
@wooogie same, except instead of depression i have got anxiety. i do shower more, like up to 3 times a week, but it is exhausting and i reaaally would rather spend that time on something else. on harder times, i go to 1 or 2 showers a week
disabled peeps unite!
Its okey babe. People need to chill
@wooogie same😭 my depression prevents me from it
I'm not obsessed over people's thoughts on how I smell but I'm actually a "smell-good" addict. I even use a body mist at home just because "I" like the smell of it
I recently got the "forest" perfume by rook perfumes and it is STRONG and SO deliciously foresty. Also recently went to Disney world for the first time and am just entranced by their fresh grass smell.... 100% bought the essential oil. You might have inspired me to wear it as a perfume after this video!
Hey ❤ congratulations 🎊 you have been selected randomly among my shortlisted giveaway winners kindly send a text on telegram with the name above to claim your prize.📥🎊🎊
I'm autistic, so the whole perfume thing is a "no no" for me. Because I strongly perceive smells, I get overwhelmed whenever I use perfumes (I haven't in the longest time). So I either use very very soft smells on me/my clothes, or I outright don't. PS: much love from Latin America.
seeing this vid kinda late but i have a few different experiences with smells lol
when i was younger, my parents both worked long hours at factory jobs and couldn’t really take care of my sister and i/ couldnt afford a babysitter. they sent us to live with our aunt (who is amish) and we basically lived on the farm until i was 5 and started going to school. the barn we used to play in obviously smelled like horse dookie, but those were some of my most pure memories of my childhood. ive nvr told another soul that i actually dont mind the smell of horse dookie when we drive past a farm or catch a whiff in some other public setting. its weirdly sentimental and nostalgic.
i also was in an extremely toxic relationship where my partner was obsessed with “being clean” and would shower once or twice a day and wear excessive amounts of fragrance (but did vry little basic skincare somehow lol). i have extremely dry skin and i sometimes go 2-3 days without showering or washing my hair. my partner nvr mentioned my “smell” (neither had anyone else) UNTIL they learned that i didnt shower vry often. then it was a constant insult that i was dirty or greasy and i smelled bad. i evn had serious conversations with my friends and sister asking if they had evr noticed and they told me they actually thought i smelled nice or neutral, which was preferable to the strong, heavy scents my partner would wear.
recently i moved abt 2 hours from home to go to college. i rarely see my old friends anymore since i also work full time. anyways, one of my friends called me a few days ago because he “smelled my scent” on someone else. i told him we probably just use the same lotion or something but he explained that it wasnt that type of scent. he had smelled different products on people, but it was a more distinct, personal smell. it wasnt meant to be as offensive as it sounds lol. but he said he thought abt me for the rest of the day because someone smelled like me. ive had similar experiences smelling my mom in public places when i know she isnt there. its not the cologne or perfume, its like a deeper scent. probably the way different body chemistries interact with fragrances. im not sure if this has any specific science or if its just some sort of weird phenomenon but i think abt it a lot.
Omg, I also remember that Russian doc!
Also, I think I lost a hygiene battle. After years of only cleaning my face with water, I recently bought a cleansing gel. Using as directed, my skin is starting to dry out... Maybe I should go back to just water, lol.
Finally, if you're into smells and fiction, I recommend The Perfume Thief by Tim Schaffert! It's a 40s spy drama about an old lesbian perfumer in occupied France hunting for an old perfume diary to prevent it from falling into Nazi hands. Scent factors a lot into the plot, including funky smells like butterfly pheromones, and it's just a very enjoyable read.
I often find it so weird, that characters in movies don't seem to smell stuff. Like when they are in a dark room and they don't smell a gigantic monster or people that are inches away from them.
I remember hearing about a young pair of siblings that woke up during a house robbery because they could smell the burglar's feet/footwear.
During college, I learned that everyone has their own sense of hygiene and bar for cleanliness and that's okay. No one should force anyone to conform to another's standard.
However, as a germaphobe, no one was allowed on my bare bed unless they showered. I had a specific sheet I used to cover my bed when people came over. I had no problem enforcing my standards if it came to my own personal space
As someone with dry atopic skin, this revelation that taking a shower everyday helps dry your skin felt like a slap in the face.
my family is very pro dirt. i was always raised with the idea that dirt is good, go in the dirt haha. as an adult, i ended up trying showering without soap for quite a while, and my acne got much better. no one ever noticed that i had changed my habits, and i'll likely never go back to harsh soaps again (i use cetaphil to help with my skin exfoliation). i think there is so much more wiggle room for cleanliness than modernity presents us.
One thing about the public libraries and removing people from the library because of smell: Most who work in a library don’t want to ask someone to leave because of odor, it’s truly a last resort. In my experience, I only truly enforced when it was tied to other cleanliness issues. One example was having to ask people to leave because they were covered in urine or their clothing was so soiled that it was ruining furniture. It’s sad and if the library staff member is a good person they’ll handle it quietly and respectfully.
The law in California was probably passed so that libraries in the county did not have to be worried about being sued over claims of discrimination
because of these situations. The movie The Public is an excellent example.
This is a subject that's been fascinating me for a while... I've read/heard a few accounts written during the British Colonial period of my country (Malta) where the local inhabitants are described as unhygienic... This was often used as a pro-colonialist argument in defence of the British because they popularised the concept of frequent bathing... The thing is, that fresh water and firewood on these islands has always been in short supply, we don't have lakes, rivers or forests and historically relied on boreholes or rainwater collection and burnt dried plants and cane to cook food. Realistically if the average family was faced with the option of bathing or having enough water to drink and cook with, they're not going to waste it on a bath.
I have an anecdote of the harms that our modern cleanliness obsession can do:
I remember, when my sister and I were very little, there was this one time where she adamantly refused to take a shower because at school the mother of another child had said to her son something along the lines of 'You need to wash your hands so you don't look like them. They bath less often than us and that's why their skin is darker, they lack cleanliness' while pointing at a black child.
I don't remember the exact words, but I remember that my sister, maybe 3 or 4 years old, believed her, and she didn't want to bath because the lady had made her believe that if she did the color of her skin (which she liked as it was) would wash off. She told mom 'No me quiero desmorenizar' which would translate to 'I don't want to loose my morena-ness' (In my nation we call a person of a brown skin tone moreno or morena).
And you know, now we laugh about how that's not possible and how funny the word she used to express her fear sounded, but I still feel kinda sad it had to happen in the first place.
Edit to correct misspellings.
Ok, I love that your sister didn't want to stop being a morenita!
@Royal Scholar exactly what I was coming here to say! what a good kid
@Royal Scholar hear hear
As stupidly racist as that woman was, I'm delighted that your sister's take away from it was that she didn't want to lighten her beautiful skin
This was a very interesting video and I appreciate the reminder that if I smell like myself (having any body odour) Im not "gross" and "dirty". I also learnt a few things I didn't know before which is really cool and helpful!
If you feel like doing a second video I'd be curious to learn more about smell and skin sensitivities. I've dealt with highly sensitive skin issues my whole life and recently started getting hives from the scents of standard cleaning wipes :( Hearing about a banquet with mists of perfume sounds potentially quite dangerous for me!
this has given me lots to think about. I've always had a very sensitive nose, and at home I am always opening the window, spraying room spray, or lighting candles to make the air smell better. I genuinely cannot sleep if I smell anything remotely funky. I've always had a hard time with a lot of smells, and I often get overstimulated. although in the past year or two I've been becoming more comfortable with my body's natural smells while unlearning certain misinformation about how often ppl need to wash, and I'm rly glad about that. at the same time, ironically, I was personally not taught very good hygiene as a child, so when I started puberty I would routinely go to school being truly so greasy and smelly (although at the time I couldn't tell), and once I learned how to take care of my body I realized how embarrassed I was for being dirty/smelly for so long, and now I have a perpetual level of anxiety about that happening again. I vividly remember my epiphany about this--one day in middle school my friend walked past me and she smelled so lovely, like floral shampoo, and I thought, "she smells so good, why don't I smell like that? I have to smell like her". Since then I just feel like I have to smell good or ppl won't like me. for a while I've also used scented lotions and heavily scented body wash as a way to relax at night, and I'm aware that a lot of those products are so unnecessary and possibly even harmful (?) but they truly do help me calm down and affect my mental state a lot. during my worst depressive episode in college, I would cover my whole body in bath & body works body butter before bed and it rly helped me cope like nothing else did, as weird as that sounds. idk what my main point is here it's sort of giving stream of consciousness but I have a lot of feelings about smells/myself and others smelling "clean", but I'm also glad to be unpacking the harmful ideas about hygiene that I've absorbed over the years. although I have a hard time believing my nose will adjust to certain odors bc a lot of times it feels like my nose just dictates my mood and state of mind and I simply cannot block out certain smells. anyways I rly appreciate this video
I think it's interesting how we think that smelling nice is the same as being clean. I am allergic to perfumes and almost any type of fragrance, I've had to think about it quite a lot. I still feel insecure sometimes that what if I smell bad because I'm not wearing any scent, even though I'm clean and wearing perfume free deodorant. Despite of that I've learned to dislike fragrances, I don't find perfumes sexy or elegant at all, it often just feels like someone is invading my personal space, when I can smell them from a mile away. Even though I hate fragrances I still love smells. Some of my favorites are clean (fragrance free) laundry, freshly peeled orange and peppermint.
The idea of cleanliness reminds me of how body hair is viewed on women. My mom always told me we had hair on lady parts for a reason. When the girls in my high school locker room were discussing having to remove hair down there, I was confused. Body hair was seen as gross to them. I grew up seeing it as something natural and part of my body. Being clean, like removing body hair, has been pushed on us by consumerism and society. It’s insane to think back in the youth of my parents, body hair was not seen as gross by men. Same with being clean. I always enjoy how much research you do for all your videos ❤️😎 Thank you.
@Helvetica Honestly I had a similar experience with long pubes, they just got so gross with period blood and/ or normal discharge :/ but honestly shaving and waxing sounded worse to me (waxing: OW i had it done on my legs once and then never again... it was owie T-T and shaving? Scared to de-genital myself by accident).
Luckily I've found trimming to be a happy medium - no pain, no peril, and no sensory issue with having cold, wet pubes every month.
Tl;dr long pubes are perfectly hygenic if u wash with (mild) soap and water, but unfortunately they cause sensory issues for me.
@L If you shave every 2-3 days then it doesn't get to the point where it feels itchy, at least in my experience.
I haven't shaved since the 90's. I only have tiny fuzz hairs that no one ever sees. And now, I don't have to working about hiding the cuts I definitely had when I shaved basically nothing off of me. And if most people cannot see it, I don't shave it. My pits are no more smelly than anyone else's.
My mom sees not removing body hair a some sort of moral failing. I've had many fights with her about it. She can't see that it's not 'indecent' to leave your leg, or arm pit hair in the winter. I don't understand how she thinks it's a moral thing. She's a lot...
On the bit about over-sanitizing: my brother used to have a lot of allergy problems as a child that disappeared entirely once he befriended a kid from a farmer family and consequently spent a lot of time on that farm (where his immune system presumably encountered plenty of bacteria to adapt to). Obviously one kid does not a representative study make, but the conclusion that a "well-trained" immune system equals less allergies makes perfect sense to me.
Also, thank you for telling us about the Zoologist perfumes! I haven't bothered much with perfumes in a while because they started to seem rather samey to me, but the Zoologist ones sound really unique and unusual. I'll definitely be checking them out!
I have a translation of some of the earliest cookbooks coming out of the middle east, and one of the things I found most interesting was that they would temper their pots and pans with aromatic herbs (I forget which - maybe fennel) prior to cooking, because food needed to be cooked in a good-smelling vessel.
Yes! Thank you, Mina! I have long been a supporter of the understanding the "hygiene" is more focused on aesthetic than health and is driven more by advertisement and propaganda than sound medical advice.
Totally got into Zoologist because of you. I’ve got quite a few samples now because I find them so interesting and keep finding more I want to try out. Squid is pretty good too. I’m about to grab harvest mouse because I’m a gourmand fan. Anyway, thank you for sharing them!
I had so many issues with my eczema, like the redness and itchiness wouldn't go away no matter how much I moisturized, so I went to see my doctor and she told me I CAN'T shower every single day bc it dehydrates my skin. Now, I only shower once or twice a week and my skin has never been better. I don't smell, just use deoderant every day. You have to think of what's best for you and your body and skin
Fatphobia has affected my relationship w smell a lot. Being overly-cleanly to try to fight off untrue stereotypes about fat people being slobbish and smelly.
@V for Versace i cant stand dogs smell i would throw up unfortunately i went to a friend home before and the house smelled like dog everywhere and she was nose blind to it.
@V for Versace what 🤔🤔🤔🤔 that seems like such a weird concept, i've never noticed anyone smelling worse when it's raining 🤔🤔🧐🧐 interesting
@Vivienne someone else responded that it’s mostly white people that have a wet dog smell and it’s just stronger in larger people but I’ve been noticing it on and off for years and of course I’ve never said anything to the person who smells but it’s hard to miss such a moldy, foul odor that usually isn’t around them
@V for Versace Bruh, I’ve never noticed fat people smelling worse than thin people when it rains. Some thoughts it’s ok to leave in your head
I don’t mean this offensively, but can someone PLEASE explain to me why many larger people smell awful when it rains?
Don’t worry, Care and Keeping of You is safe. It’s all just basic info about cleanliness for health reasons (like preventing TSS, UTIs, etc.) and things like rashes and athletes foot. They never mention excessive self care products, I don’t even think perfume is mentioned.
I truly believe that smell is one of my strongest senses. It's actually the one that makes me connect to stuff and remember things quicker than any other.
For the first 18 years of my life I couldn’t stand the smell of cigarettes cause it was deeply linked to some of my worst childhood memories. But after going to college I ended up being exposed to construction sites (in Brazil) where most of the workers had a cigarette between their fingers and I had some very fun moments with my friends who went to those places with me. Now every time I smell a cigarette all the bad memories are replaced with some of the most amazing memories of my second year in college.
It's so weird how an odor, scent, smell can transport you right back at the exact moment you were exposed to it for the first time. It amazes me every time something like this happens
As someone who works with young children in scent-free spaces to not trigger any allergies, the strongest smell I use is a cucumber deodorant or the smells of food I've been cooking. I can't wear perfume, so I feel compelled to shower daily after hours of snotty noses, tears, milk burps, and sandplay. But I refuse to feel embarrassed of smelling like food the way my mom and aunt are because cooking is such a strong indicator of life and joy, of enjoyment and flavour and happiness. The signature scent I used in uni now sits on the shelf until I remember I can wear it on the weekends, but I'll usually be smelling of spicy broth or pie crust.
here in Brazil a lot of us don't shampoo our hair everyday bc we know it's not good for the hair but we take multiple showers a day, the average is two but it's not uncommon to take three when it's too hot
i bleach and dye my hair often but it stays really healthy bc my hair is quite strong and i only wash it once MAYBE twice a week. ive had a ton of people who wash their hair daily ask how i keep mine so soft and healthy and when i tell them its because i dont wash it every day they immediately stop stroking my hair and tell me im disgusting for not washing it more. same thing happens with my skin, people who shower every day ask how i keep my skin so soft and i tell them its a. my connective tissue disorder, and b. i dont shower every day and they tell me its disgusting and that ill get a skin infection if i dont shower every day
I think the “cleanliness culture” is also being partially fueled by the hygiene side of tiktok where girls show off how many bath and body works sprays they have, how many method body washes they have and how many tree hut scrubs they have. They send a message that hair care and body care should each be a 15 step processes. I’m a big fan of the phrase, “less is more”. But to each his own.
@Phoebe L Oh I think I’ve seen that girl but the girl I saw had even more products behind those walls! I think it’s becoming a wealth flex. Skin care can be inexpensive but look at all the pretty bottles and pretty colours and wow, I know that cream costs $1000 and that ones $750 but they’re also made for sun damaged or older skin and it’s not going to do a thing for her except maybe plug her pores.
I find when I look at reviews for skin cream it’s really important to put in your age because the number of teenagers complaining a cream made for more mature skin didn’t get rid of a teeny crease in her forehead in the one week they tried it and gave up. Young girls really need education about the dangers of too many products, how long to give a product to see if it works, you don’t need the full line of products for it to work, and when you find something that works just keep using it and eventually you’ll have a group of products that make you feel and look your best. It’s hard but try to stop reading some beauty mags etc because some stories exist only to advertise products and use tactics like they’re doing an investigation or education on acne but it tells very little and the product names and prices are just throwing some things in and it looks natural but it’s the same as a picture ad which usually is on the next page nonchalantly. It gives fomo when you look great now and could save the money. Just one must 365 days a year is sunscreen. That’s from me! I’m 52 so for years just oil is what we had. I was in high school when SPF came around and was in moisturizer, my friends and I always used it and it’s actually sad when you run into the sun lovers in high school. Wow, I wrote a super long comment! Sorry for that!
Oh god yes there's this one girl who has shower walls COVERED in shelves for bodz washes, soaps, shampoos and scrubs. People just go on and on asking her what is product X, Y or Z. To me, she just looks like a hoarder and someone with a serious cleanliness OCD. But others even comment they want the same setup for their showers. People really really really believe that the more products, the better for your body... It's so weird. I wish more people would pay attention in school
Them labeling it as hygiene kinda throws me off. Hygiene being defined as “n.
conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness”. (Greek origin & the Greek goddess of health named Hygiea) Some of that stuff achieves the cleanliness part, but is conducive to wrecked skin barriers, non-health, illnesses in ways we might not understand yet re: Johnson & Johnson promoting the use of their powders in underwear for decades before we found out the ovarian/uterine cancer risk
Literally agree 100%!! Less IS more!!!
I have ONE cleanser and moisturizer/body lotion that I've been using for years. I always get complimented on my skin, how it's so soft, poreless, radiant, clean, etc.. People have asked me what foundation I use, or what products in my routine and are always shocked to find that I don't wear makeup, and I only use one wash and lotion.
They consider me "lucky" at times for "only having to use so few things," but no. It's all about hydration, nutrition, excercise, and Honestly keeping it simple! I realized when I was young the more products I used the harsher my skin reacted, and that the less perfumes/additives/etc the absoLUTE better literally anything is for you.
I honestly also only wash my hair once a week, sometimes twice in the same week. I've been living that way for years, and for my hair type I've found it's actually the healthiest thing for me. I do clean my private bits more often, though. But I absolutely do not shower-clean my everyday bc its too harmful
What a wonderful video! It's interesting and well-researched and provocative. I was thinking about this topic recently - both perfumes which i think about constantly because i adore them and also the weird snobbery surrounding cleanliness. I recently ordered a bunch of fragrance samples from Luckyscent, and while I do have relatively boring and clean taste in fragrances - some brands you may like for interesting fragrances are Marissa Zappas (one that i am trying for the first time), Parle Moi de Parfum, and D. S. and Durga. I also highly recommend trying A Lab On Fire just because I think it expresses your kind of early-to-mid 20th century Hollywood Glam Girl aesthetic really well. There are also a lot of fun indie brands that have more varied options. One of the most famous ones in the US is Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab; they have options that include swampy and dirty notes. One of my favorite of their dirt scents is Penny Dreadful, which is "perfume evocative of noir heroines over rich red grave loam". It's gorgeous and just a touchy gothy.
I'm amused that I saw this video today since there's this classmate of mine who smells FOUL and today I had a gag reflex when they walked near my table (which I disguised). I had hygiene and body smell struggles when I was younger yet I'm also extremely sensitive to odours so I hope everyone who smells not-so-good can acknowledge and value that most people are doing an effort not to be rude to them.
Absolutely love and adore you Mina Le 🌺 this is actually such an interesting topic and I think one that could coincide with this is society's obsession with skin cleanliness and acne. Does having clear skin necessarily mean your skin is healthier despite the fact that acne is a fundamental part of your body hormonally growing and changing. Just food for thought
this brings to mind the recent commentary on julia fox’s apartment video. so many comments on those videos were shaming her for keeping an “extremely dirty” house when it just looked lived in as it would with a small child at home
as a brazilian, from our tropical climate and indigenous heritage we have a VERY strong cleanliness culture, it's very common to take one too many showers a day with perfumed soaps, using scented moisturizers... it is also very common for us to give special soaps as a gift on birthdays, christmas, etc hahaha
Argentina acá. 100% de acuerdo y los brasileños son el pueblo más limpio que he conocido.
@Helenka I live in a desertic area of Mexico, so we can go 30°, 35°, 40°... just a few days ago we were 30° AT MIDNIGHT and winter isn't even over yet 😓
There's no wondering why we shower once or twice a day. Some days you can skip the hair, but there comes a point where you just can't.
Sim, aqui a gente toma no mínimo dois banhos por dia KKKKKKKK e o pessoal nos comentários se doendo por ela tomar 1. É por isso que eu amo ser latina viu
Quando ela falou que os estados unidos eram os mais limpos eu dei uma risada sincera KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
@Laura Rocha Thank you for the recommendation! I just watched it and I actually remember history teachers using some of his videos back in highschool!
That aside, I still see little evidence to support his claims. The way I see it is explained by material conditions: our country is hot most of the time and we live very busy lives that inevitably lead to sweating. The simple question is who wants to stay sweaty and dirty? Most sane people would answer "Not me!".
I can see indigenous culture having *some* impact on our day-to-day life but it's more so a matter of correlation than one of causation. I also understand that Brazilians were taught this while growing up so it's hard to think about it more critically. It is way cooler to say we shower everyday because of our indigenous heritage, yes, but it is much more practical to accept that maybe we just shower because we need to. Because otherwise we'd go to sleep with an itchy body and (trigger warning!!! lol) musty genitals. Because if you smell, you are subject to being judged and isolated from people. The list goes on but I assume you get the idea by now.
I'm leaving the conversation now but I will read that letter again and I will research more. If I find any plausible evidence, I'll come back to share my thoughts. Have a good night 🌃🌙
So, uh, I wanted to mention that some people have bad reactions to the smell of perfumes. Several people in my family are highly sensitive to them, and get headaches from telling them. Perfumed things like glade plugins, some soaps and hair products etc.
Victoria's Secret used to sell a perfume with pheromones in it (I think it was called Scandalous, but I'm not sure. I definitely still have a sample around). It smelled different on everyone, which was really cool.
Very fascinating topic! Ironically I listened to half this video while showering then the other half while brushing my teeth and swishing my mouthwash. I shower everyday because I hate the idea of going to bed "dirty." My skins eczema suffers greatly.
I have sensory issues (ADHD FY!), and body odor is something I absolutely cannot stand and feel psychically ill whenever I smell somebody's smell that is unpleasant - no matter if it's a stranger or somebody I'm absolutely close with (family member, partner, etc.). Adding to the fact that when I was a teenager, my body odor was really strong, and I literally had to take with me at least 3 shirts to school to change myself, because I couldn't stand myself smelling bad, which resulted in me lasering each and every hair from my body - this really helped me with the odor. My parents always told me that when I was a baby I absolutely hated when somebody was holding me too close to their face (like sometimes babies are held) and I went absolutely hysterical then - probably because of the smell from their mouth.
And I know that people can't help it, because it's their natural smell and it's not like they can turn it off, but it's hard to function sometimes.
What is even worse, I have atopic eczema - that means I cannot take a shower more than once or twice a week, because when I'm soaking my skin too much it gets drier faster, which results in it being very painful
But I am happy that we live in a world that is quite invested in hygiene and tbh I don't think it's too much for us to bare and live with.
I noticed that it goes in crazy directions, people don't seem to care too much about actual cleanliness, shampoo, condition, soap, then cream and makeup, we clean the oils off our bodies to replace them with heavier synthetic ones.
And it goes further than that, a few years ago I was so desperate to fix my greasy hair I came accross people using rye flour to wash their hair, since then I have been usinh it about twice a week, the gluten in the flour binds the oil and washes it out without destroying the planet, but I canMt tell anyome this because people will take a step back, "does it smell?" Is what follows, it does not, it smells like absolutely nothing at all, and that's an issue, it needs to smell fruity or it's not clean, nuts!
And to be even worse, when I tell people that I use soap and water to wash my nethers after every single bathroom break I get "eww" ????? A dry piece of toilet paper has been accepted as a fine way to wipe your ass but showering it clean after taking a shit is not, fucking NUTS!!