How to Tell Someone They Have Body Odor

by Hannah Rice Myers

There are times when people talk about you because they envy you and the life you lead. Then there are times when they talk about you because you suffer from that wretched condition known as body odor. While there may seem to be no tactful way to tell your friend or loved one about the smell emanating from their pores, a way does exist; you simply need to know what to say and how to say it.

Items you will need

  • Gift basket
  • Soap
  • Lotion
  • Powder
  • Perfume

How to Tell Someone They Have Body Odor

Step 1

Give her a gift basket. If you're not comfortable with telling her to her face, use the more subtle approach; a gift basket filled with soaps, lotions, powders and perfumes. Some people were not raised using lotions and powders on a daily basis; when you give her the basket, explain that they are all your favorite scents and you wanted to share them with her.

Step 2

Ask about his deodorant. Another way to let him know without making him feel bad is to ask him if he changed his brand of deodorant. If he says no and asks why, simply respond with, "It just seems a little weak today. Normally I can smell it as soon as you walk past me." Make your comment light-hearted, almost in jest, but in such a way that you give him something to think about as you walk away.

Step 3

Send her an email. If the first two suggestions have not worked, but you are unable to face him, send him an email. Begin by apologizing ahead of time for being the one to tell him about his condition and then proceed to explain, as tactfully as possible, about his body odor. If you feel the need to apologize again for any hurt feelings, do so, but follow it by explaining that you wanted to be the one to tell him rather than a complete stranger.

Step 4

Pull her off to the side. Sometimes there is no easy way to tell someone that they suffer from body odor other than coming right out and telling them face-to-face. However, this doesn't mean you have to throw all tact out the window. Ask her if she's been using a different soap or has changed medications recently; certain medications can actually cause body odor. When she wonders why you're asking these questions, you'll have to be honest with her, but do so in a compassionate manner.

About the Author

Based in Jamestown, Pa., Hannah Rice Myers has more than 10 years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in the health industry. Many of her articles have appeared in newspapers, as well as "Curing Epilepsy: Hope Through Research." Rice Myers received her master's degree in nursing from Upstate Medical University in 2001.