Fear Of People Who Smell Bad

Learn about Fear Of People Who Smell Bad. Get more information about symptoms, causes, and panic disorder.

More articles in: Humans Phobias

atomizerAutodysomophobia is the fear of people who smell bad. Whether from poor hygiene, contact with foul odors in the workplace, or any other reason, some people simply do not smell good…

Reasons For This Phobia

The person who develops Autodysomophobia will generally be fastidious, and repulsed by earthiness or unwashed bodies. They will likely avoid common areas that feature a certain element. For example, subways or other confined spaces where all types of people are crammed together will be a trigger for this phobia.

Many people who fear those who smell bad will cite instances of being trapped on buses, trains or subways with the types of people they want so desperately to avoid.

Food Smells Can Be A Trigger

Of course, breath and body odor are prime triggers here. But some people with this phobia will also be disgusted by perfumes, and other “clean” smells. Some people with this disorder will react to food smells that come out through the pores of other’s bodies – curry and garlic are a couple of strong, pungent food odors that are often detectable through the skin, breath, etc.

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Public Transportation Can Be A Trigger

Sometimes, public transit will be a melting pot, where homeless people who, sadly, do not have access to soap and hot water will mingle with expertly groomed office workers, etc. This mixture of clean and unclean can cause a stress reaction in the person with Autodysomophobia. They will be instantly alert to odors that repel them, such as liquor, dirty hair and skin, and even urine. In some cases, people with this phobia will simply drive themselves where they need to go, or walk, in order to avoid such common interactions.

Neat Freaks May Develop This Phobia

People with this phobia will be very exacting about their own hygiene. They will place great importance on bathing, sometimes to the point of compulsion. They may develop many rituals connected with staying clean, beyond the usual deodorizing and gargling, etc. They are more likely to be “neat freaks”, and their sense of olfactory aesthetics will be acute indeed.

Intolerance Can Result

There may be a marked intolerance for certain cultures, since they may be more likely to smell a certain way due to diet, etc. This can become a sort of racism if unchecked. People with Autodysomophobia will avoid any person who emits a disliked odor, and they may avoid cultural events, etc. that feature foods etc. that will trigger a reaction.

Of course, not everyone who fears people who smell bad is a racist. How they view other cultures and the diets and smells associated with them will depend on their own triggers. This phobia afflicts every race and age group.

Some people will feel nauseated and ill around bad smells, and they may suffer from allergies and headaches when faced with perfumes and fragrances that upset them. Many offices and other workplaces feature no perfume rules for this reason. Reactions to scents can be one reason why this phobia develops. While many would argue that fragrances smell nice, just as many wish they would be eradicated from the planet.


If this phobia is based on an allergic reaction, it can be treated with antihistamines, or allergy shots. However, this won’t cure the underlying revulsion unless the only reason for the phobia is the reaction itself.

Sometimes, psychotherapy can help to unravel the mysteries of why one or multiple scents will cause such a strong reaction. There may be memories or bad experiences tied into this phobia. By gaining a deeper understanding of the reasons for Autodysomophobia, treatment and progress may be possible.

Sometime, anti-depressants can be of assistance, lessening symptoms in the afflicted.

The fear of people who smell bad is also known as:

fear of body odor
fear of bad smells
fear of perfumes


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