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It's not something that comes up over cocktails very often, but don't fool yourself—most women get a little funky in the scent department every now and then. From your everyday spiciness to the more sensitive issue of handling a little odor in your most delicate of lady places, toning down your natural scent doesn't have to be an uphill battle. Arm yourself with a wide range of smell-busting remedies and you're sure to find one that kicks that stink to the curb.
There are two main culprits in body odor attacks: sweat and bacteria. On its own, sweat usually isn't too pungent, but when it mixes with the bacteria that builds up in all those particularly warm and moist areas, the scent is anything but pleasant. Sticking to a regimen of quality hygiene keeps bacteria in check and curbs odors. Try a deodorizing or antibacterial soap instead of the standard stuff, but don't go overboard—vigorous scrubbing of your lady bits can disrupt the natural bacteria and pH balance that keeps your body healthy, resulting in an even higher chance of ending up with excess bacteria or, worse, a stinky infection. Don't forget your clothes. Breathable cotton shirts and panties let your sweaty areas breathe so moisture doesn't get trapped and bacteria won't thrive.
The Powder Approach
Ever stick an open box of baking soda in your fridge to keep stenches at bay? The same odor-absorbing capacities can work for your body. Baking soda is much gentler than over-the-counter antiperspirants, so it's ideal for sensitive skin or your more delicate areas. Try a sprinkling under your arms or in your underwear after you shower. If you want to go with something a little more sweet smelling, opt for baby powder or talcum powder instead. You can also mix up you own scents with natural dusting or fragrance powders. Pick your favorite flower or herb like lavender, rose or lemongrass—just a small pinch is enough to perk up plain old baking soda for an odor-killer that doubles as a body perfume.
If you're feeling earthy, try herbal treatments to tame odor on those less-than-fresh days. A diluted mix of a two to three drops of tea tree oil in a cup of warm water is a pleasant-smelling treatment for feminine odor that doubles as a natural antibacterial. Just treat a washcloth with the mixture and gently dab any not-so-fresh areas after you take a bath. Essential oils like lavender, rosemary, sage, patchouli and cypress also deliver odor-busting benefits. Either dilute them in water and apply with a compress, or mix 1/2 tsp. of your favorite scent with an ounce of baking soda to make a workable deodorant-like spread for under your arms.
Sometimes the best approach for combating unpleasant odors is to start on the inside. According to Dr. Linda Page, foods on the no-no list include sugary treats, caffeine, red meats and anything fried. Swap them out for odor-safe foods like fresh vegetables, yogurt, sprouts and, of course, water. Anything that ups your sweat production, like spicy foods or alcohol, will also contribute to more-than-normal body odor, so keep your intake in check, especially if you are out to dinner on date night.