by Sarah Thomas

Years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Europe and traveled through several countries by train. We took an overnight train from Budapest to Lucerne and stayed in a sleeper car. Sounds romantic, right? Maybe, until I add that our car slept 4. After a short time, it became apparent that one of our fellow travelers had the most rank feet in the history of rank feet. We spent the entire night silently judging, quietly suffering, and exchanging horrified looks.

Morning eventually rolled around, and we celebrated our liberation when we found ourselves alone after several stops. But the party would be short-lived. There was no liberation, only a stark realization that someone remaining in the train car was responsible for the stench. It wasn’t me. “Um, babe, that funk is coming from you!”. Our apologies to all of Europe, we feel sure that train car had to be burned to the ground. Fortunately, this isn’t a common problem for my husband, and we are still happily married.

Props to the ladies and gentlemen who bravely peopled this earth prior to hygiene and deodorant. We are all here today because of their perseverance.

I am truly a sucker for historical fiction and romantic period films. But honestly, even in the sweetest of scenes, when all the conflict and heartache that has kept the romantic leads apart finally resolves and the spontaneity of the moment brings them together in passion, I’m prone to questioning when either of the two might have last bathed or brushed their teeth. When did they last change their clothes? Where did they even go to the bathroom? It’s just what my mind does. I like fresh breath and fresh smelling people, I think most people do.

I’m not alone in this. Oxford conducted a study in which photos of men were shown to women with accompanying pleasant or unpleasant odors and women consistently rated photos of men as more attractive when accompanied by “a pleasant ambient fragrance”. Scientists who study volatile organic compounds have found that people have an “odorprint” that is as distinct as a fingerprint, and we have a primal attraction to other human beings based on their natural scent. The keywords here are natural and scent, not the odor produced as a byproduct of sweat.

Historically, deodorant was first marketed to women in 1885. All efforts to control odors prior to that were concerned with overpowering personal aromas with perfumes rather than preventing body odor. It took men just a little bit longer to get on board, and the first men’s deodorant was introduced in 1935. We are glad you caught up, we really are, you are doing great.

Enter Lume. *cue the heavenly choirs* Personal hygiene has been revolutionized. And it is about time. Viva la revolución!

Whether you are trying to attract someone special, or let your current partner know you think they are special, efforts you make to maintain that one and only beautiful body of yours will be noted and appreciated. And that’s a whole lot better than being noticed for the efforts you don’t make.

Maybe there are a few things your partner isn’t telling you because they don’t want to make you feel self-conscious or nagged. Maybe you have some good habits, and some bad habits. Maybe you grew up in a time before helpful blogs and you let your subscription to Boys' Life lapse before you had a chance to establish some healthy routines.

Whatever your situation, here are a few tips you and your partner will be glad you implement into your regular self-care routine:

 

Shower

Yes is it manly to work up a sweat, who doesn’t love a hard-working man? But chances are pretty good, your partner wants you to wash that hard work off before snuggling up. And change that towel out a little more often. A wet towel is like Coachella for bacteria, fungi, dead skin cells, a variety of bodily fluids, and e-coli that joined the party when the toilet flushed.

 

Lume

Because that soapy ball smell only lasts a few minutes before bacteria get to work. Skin actually absorbs odors over time and using soap doesn‘t eliminate the odor. Without going into detail, I have conducted my own research and can attest to the efficacy of Lume in eliminating manly odor down there. This stuff really works. Apply Lume on your freshly clean and dry pits, privates, feet, and whatever other odor bearing crevice you might have. For more advice, check out this blog post about getting rid of those stinky balls.

 

Floss and Brush

Funky breath is a deal-breaker. You know what to do, we learned this in preschool. Brush at least twice each day. I don’t know anyone who wishes their partner had minty fresh breath less often. A recent study found that 27% of adults lie to their dentist about flossing. Stop lying, start flossing.

 

Trim

Just because you can’t see the back of your neck, doesn’t mean it is invisible. Clean up your neck between haircuts, it makes a big difference. Nature may cause some thinning up top, but compensates generously in the ears, nose, and eyebrows. It happens to the best of us. Invest in a good little personal trimmer, and keep a vigilant eye, these hairs are as stealthy as ninjas.

Consider some manscaping (but use caution, I read manscaping ER visits have spiked 5 times over the last 8 years!) You might discover you like the look of taming body hair in certain areas by using a trimmer with a guard, you don’t have to remove it entirely.

 

Clean Your Ears

If your eyes are the window to your soul, your ears are the window to your hygiene practices. Earwax is produced by the same glands that produce sweat, so stress and fear can accelerate production. Its purpose is to protect your ear canal. Since you can’t see when your own ears need to be cleaned, it’s best just to make it a part of your daily routine. Ears can be kept clean of earwax and dead skin with an outside swipe.

And did I already mention trimming or removing unruly ear hair? You may not even be aware of ear hair, but it’s there. And it just grows thicker and stronger with age thanks to testosterone. Hair grows in your ears as a filter and protection; it’s natural and it’s meant to be there. But a little grooming goes a long way.

 

Smile

Smiling can improve your mood, boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, relieve stress, and enhance your relationships. Plus, you are approximately 100% more handsome and pleasant to be with when you smile (fabricated statistic, but probably true).

The world keeps spinning, the sun keeps rising, weird hairs keep sprouting, the sweat keeps sweating; it’s all a part of being the natural living, fantastic human being that you are. But nature needs taming, and you are the master.

Take a deep, cleansing breath and arm yourself with Lume. Be the pleasant ambient fragrance.

Did you Lume today?
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas