Why You Should Never Spray Perfume In Your Armpits

Nobody likes excess body odor. So much so that if you type "body odor" into Google, you're likely to get suggested searches like "body odor pills" and "body odor treatment". In 2019, researchers were even taking cues from the world of surgical wound care in their efforts to create a more effective deodorant (via WebMD). There are many body odor-fighting options and products out there that claim to leave you smelling fresh, from wipes and sprays to sticks and roll-ons. 

For those who want to either avoid or aid their deodorant, the Cleveland Clinic has several recommendations such as reducing stress, removing alcohol and strong-smelling foods from your diet, and shaving the armpit region to aid sweat evaporation. Not among their suggestions is, notably, applying perfume to the armpits. This is far from an oversight on the clinic's part. Instead, the idea is left out for a few very good reasons.

Perfume may irritate or worse

In their article listing several of the worst places to spray perfume, Reader's Digest states that a spritz under your arms may cause burning and irritation. This may be especially true of people who choose to remove their underarm hair as the potential irritation may be caused by your perfume making contact with the sweat glands you have in your armpits.

Burning and irritation are not the only concerns, however. Our very lack of knowledge is another reason perfume should not be applied to the armpits. A 2016 study published by PeerJ looked into the effect of antiperspirants on underarm bacteria and concluded that we are still largely in the dark about the products' broader effects on human health. There is even less research on the effect of perfumes on underarm bacteria, making it a riskier prospect with little additional benefit over currently available deodorant products.