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Yuck. My Friend Stinks!

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Jessica from New Jersey writes:

Here's a doozy for you Leslie: My BFF (let's call her "Sandie") has developed a nasty and consistent case of body odor. Remember the "Seinfeld" episode where someone who drove Jerry's car left the odor in the car and Jerry says, "Isn't the "O" supposed to go with the "B?" Me and my other friends have been asking the same question. Recently Sandie's smell has gotten so pungent that it lingers in the space she occupied or in our nostrils. Who knows? I love Sandie and don't know what she has done to change her personal hygiene habits and cause this problem but it is impacting our friendship and I can't be around her. When I first smelled it I tried making a joke like "Ooooh Sandie, big workout this morning?" But she just answered angrily "You don't know what you are talking about?" How do I get Sandie to smell better so I can save our friendship?

Two woman
Leslie Adler: Dear Jessica:

You can't make this stuff up!!

I have a couple of suggestions for you Jessica:

1. Try honesty. She is your BFF and who better to tell her than you? But leave out the drama and make sure you two are alone. Just say, "Hey, I have to tell you ... that deodorant you are using isn't doing it's job. Try this one." That should lead you into a conversation. Even if she explains that she stopped using deodorant or antiperspirant products for whatever reasons, you can discuss how that has impacted her odor and your friendship.

2. Buy her a gift basket of deodorant , shower gel and lotion and write a note "Pamper yourself."

3. Invite her to the mall and while there take a detour into a store that sells these types of products, tell her casually which ones you like and say "I am buying one for me, shall I buy you one to try?

Be sensitive!! Things like hormonal changes and diseases can cause this problem ... so tread lightly in your efforts to get Sandie to freshen up!

Join THE FRIENDSHIP COURT in our ML Community and Leslie will help you settle this once and for all!

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Amy March 13, 2009, 11:10 AM

Good advice! I had a stinky colleague once and I feel Jessica’s pain.

Lori March 13, 2009, 11:13 AM

My friend had the same problem in her office. I think these are good tips to handle the situation…also, but febreeze.

HeeHee March 13, 2009, 1:23 PM

Buy her some Secret clinical strength.

ame i. March 13, 2009, 1:56 PM

It could be a medical problem also, so ask if she has if she has seen her doctor recently.

Marge March 13, 2009, 6:03 PM

Jessica has got to talk to her and save her from the ridicule of others not as caring.

Rachel April 11, 2009, 9:19 PM

What ended up happening with this situation? I have a friend that has begun to smell so badly in the last few months I don’t want to invite her over any more (my cars smells of her and, and since I live in a studio, my bed and entire home do too). She started doing Bikram yoga (the really sweaty kind) and even though she showers, I think it just “gets in” or something. Also, she recently started dating women, and I’m wondering if what they do in the bedroom and a lack of a follow-up shower can have anything to do with this? I have no idea how to tell her— we are in grad school and she is basically my only pal.. I don’t want to hurt her feelings but it is nauseating…. whenever we are in the car I have to roll down the window and lean my face towards it! Advice from someone who has successfully dealt with this situation would be appreciated!!!

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