When a friend smells really bad!

Hi everyone,

I have a friend who smell really bad. Himself and his house. When I enter his house, I try to get them to open the windows for fresh air. It looks like they have no idea, and no body tells them about it. In fact, they have lost most of their friend and keep loosing them, and I have a strong feeling that it is because of this reason.

The friend got into depression and slowly start loosing his friend which increased his depression. I tell myself that it is probably because of this fact that he lost them. With depression, he neglected something about himself and his house which makes it hit you with such a strongly unpleasent odor.

I have tried to politely point out things which would help, but it did not seem to help. I keep suggesting opening windows for fresh air. Taking good care of himself and not paying much attention to depression. I tried to give them some air fraichners once… but no body in the family seem to notice that they have a ‘odor’ problem.

I don’t know how to plainly tell him that he has such a strong and unpleasant odor that I (and I suspect his friends) can’t bear it.
It is one of those odor that you can’t help but run away no matter how you try to contain yourself.

I have trouble balancing charity and reality. Please help.

God bless

Does he smoke pot?

Or have any animals that aren’t exactly ‘potty trained’?

Because both of those smell bad

How old is he? If he is a teenager still living with his parents, he probably has no control over the smell of his house, and the house’s smell can very easily seep into his clothes and make him appear to have body odor issues despite having good personal hygeine. I babysat two kids for a few weeks this spring and the cigarette smell from their house seeped into my clothes and made people ask if I started smoking. It is possible something similar is happening to him.

However, if he is an adult and you think the smell is from lack of bathing it sounds like his body odor has become a serious enough problem that bringing up the subject would be justifiable. If he is depressed, it is possible he is too sad to take care of himself properly. Some people are simply not aware of their own smell and it does drive people away because it is easier to avoid contact than tell them about it. Maybe next time you visit him you can try to gently break it to him that his personal odor and the smell of his house makes others uncomfortable. Think very carefully about how you could word it though.

oh yes, thats true. ciggs also. And pot.

Do you know what this odor is?

Body odor? Types of foods? Is it just filth? Smoke? Animal waste?

When I used to send people for job interviews, I’ve had to talk with peopl about things that would be normally embarassing. I’ve had to coach guys on taking the dang tag off the sleave of their first brand new suit. They often think it’s part of the design. As they sit all groomed and proud. I’ve been on discussions with young women who aren’t changing sanitary napkins often enough, and staff has complained… You name it. I had to explain to a very sweet man that his cologne was gagging the entire office. We’re talking about bringing tears to your eyes.

So, this is EXACTLY how I say it.

“I have something to tell you that is probably going to be embarassing. I don’t mean to be hurtful, but I think you need to know…” and then…

“Your house has an odor that is quite strong and to be blunt, offensive.”

Then see what that person says. They may know what it is. Some people with body odor can not help it because of diet. Others just need some guidance with hygene.

You don’t need to tell them that others are talking about it. You can offer suggestions if they ask. Or help if they need help.

It could be a food, and once you know what it is, and IF it’s not going away, perhaps just knowing it’s food will help…

I have a friend that had NO IDEA that his whole apartment smelled like a wet dog. So did his car. A friend of his commented. He walked into work the next day (we all worked together), and asked us to go smell his car to let him know if it stunk. It did. Then he hired a house keeper, had his car detailed. And put down some blankets for his dog that he then washed regularly.

We kinda laughed with/at him for a while. We’re like jeez… Didn’t you notice you weren’t getting any repeat dates???

Good luck! Let us know if you need more help!

If he is truly suffering from depression, then it is not a matter of simply ‘not paying much attention to depression’, he suffers from a serious medical condition that needs to be treated before anything else, really. Have you sat down with him and gently spoken to him about what is keeping him from getting the treatment he needs?

As someone who suffers from depression myself, there are certain medications that smell REALLY bad. I have a friend who has bi-polar disorder and her lithium in particular smells very odd.

It might not be his fault.

My friend who has bi-polar can’t have people over for that very reason. She realizes why people don’t want to be there, but it doesn’t help her to point it out. She already knows.

Be gentle. You don’t really know what the smell is, correct?


edit** I forgot to add that the medication that she takes seeps through her pores and it just permeates all her clothing and home.

Her medicine smells bad?
What the heck? first off the medicine is in a bottle and all you do is swallow it. How could one little pill bottle stink up a whole house? I dont see how thats possible at all!

Any friend who leaves a person because of smell, appearence or any other trivial is not worth having.

The person should probably pursue treatment for depression.

The smell is doubtless a symptom of the underlying cause. It does not matter if the smell is caused by bad hygene; or by pot or cigarrettes as some people here say; even if it is - this too is a symptom of the underlying cause; depression.

The person should seek the help they need to overcome this problem; and once their self-respect starts to return; you will see an increase in personal hygene; and a decrease in anything negative such as smoking.

That said; if it is his house you can’t complain, you can only offer advise; after all you are a guest.

Some medicines can change a person’s body chemisty and cause them to smell bad.

It’s not just the pills in the bottle. It’s the body’s reaction to the pill and it makes the whole body smell after you’ve taken it. It goes through the sweat glands and smells almost rancid. Much like after a person has drank alcohol the night before and sweats it out the next day.


Maybe the person doesn’t care and is almost angry at everyone. Maybe he figures it’s your problem and passively/aggresively enjoys watching everyone be uncomfortable. It’s not so far-fetched. Anger has weird ways of manifesting itself.
Again - underlying cause of the anger? There would be the real problem, IF it’s anger at all.

Maybe he is playing some fart pranks. :stuck_out_tongue:

AW! you sound so sweet! :slight_smile:

I’ve actually had this problem before. EXACT same problem.

First, a few times you mentioned ‘them’ as if it were a family. If its a family of stinkies, you may just have to accept them as is. Some people, wether its their culture- whatever, they are just raised and live a certain way…it could be the food or lifestyle…its just different than what you may be used to and you can’t change a person…especially if its deeply rooted in their family.

Now if its A person, then you have a better chance.

What I would do, is, be somewhat obvious about it. When you walk in the house, say ‘oh my goodness were you just cooking EGGS or something??’ laugh, and open a window. Its in good jest, you letting him know the house is STINKY, but your not making it into an uncomfortable DEEP conversation (ie. I have something to say, and I dont mean to offend you…etc) Keep it light and casual and conversational…otherwise from the get- they’re going to be on their toes waiting for the ‘attack’. (anytime someone says 'I dont want to offend you but- people arent dumb they know whats coming).

Then- get the stink out. I can NOT think, or … do much of ANYTHING if my house is in chaos. If the house is totally stinky and dirty, this person might be feeling overwhelmed…

Take a day, to spend, helping them clean the house. Open up the windows…turn up the stereo to some upbeat music…start cracking jokes, and spend the day helping them clean their house. Sometimes, if your lonely or overwhelmed, it means a lot to have someone care enough to be there with you…and you can talk, laugh…chit chat while your doing it…

Now that THAT is done- GET THEM OUT of the house. If you have to DRAG them kicking and screaming- do it. Dont matter much WHAT you do, just get em’ aired out.

Sounds like your friends stuck in a rut. He/She needs to be aired out a little, and then when they come home they’ll be exhausted from their day…probably just pass out- and wake up to a clean fresh house…oh it will be great for them. For their soul. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. I think sometimes people get lost in themselves, their depression…thats good that you care enough to want to find a way to help.

(I love your name, by the way! :D)

That’s a very good point. There are many cultures in the world where natural body smells are accepted and seen as good. A sweaty man who smells very strong is considered very masculine in some places.
If he is from one of those places, the OP might just have to accept his body smell. But if he has been born an raised in American culture he surely knows that body odor is frowned upon and he might not know how much he smells.

LOL I know right!! I seen you around too! :smiley:

Yes, the question is, what is the smell? If I eat even the tiniest bit of onion or garlic (and I LOVE both), the smell is seeping out of my pours for over a week (which of course, I don’t mind since I love the smell. My mother-in-law’s house smells just like you’d think, a Mexican restaurant (yum). I swear, if my brother has too much olive oil is sweats out his pours. Indian households smell like curry.

Then, as others have said, some medicines change body odor. Also, when someone is sick, their body odor sometimes is foul (especially their breath) due to the illness. Then, those who do non-carb diets tend to have a change in their odor too.

Maybe there’s an unknown mold problem in their house?

Or maybe, he just isn’t taking care of himself. It’s not easy to help without a specific odor description.

Can’t handle odors myself either. Especially pungent ones they make me vomit. Eck :eek: I would pray for this gent and maybe come clean and tell him the truth. It may be what he needs to hear even if he doesn’t like it.:shrug:

Buy him some axe colonge and some febreeze air freshiner things :slight_smile:
this sound help. I mean people buy eachother perfumes and stuff as gifts because its nice, and if it smells good, why not?

I hate, HATE Febreeze! The smell makes me want to gag horribly. If someone’s house smells like it, I want to turn around and leave. Same with the new car smell, it makes me sick. I guess that’s why OP should state what the smell is, some people love certain smells, some don’t. I’ll take garlic over Febreeze any day! :thumbsup:

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