I am standing on the sideline, waiting for my son to emerge from the group huddle after his lacrosse game has ended. Within minutes the team is coming toward me and already I smell the familiar scent of sweaty teenage boys, also known as body odor. It is a scent that can make you turn your nose away the closer your sweaty son gets to you and one that has you thankful you’re not riding on the team bus home.
On the sidelines, I commiserate with other parents. We talk odor control strategy: what spray works best to eliminate the stench from cleats, how often we wash uniforms and gear, what scent reducer we stick in the gym bag. We also compare notes on deodorant, body wash and shower habits.
From those discussions I have reached this conclusion: There is no deodorant strong enough, nor odor reduction product powerful enough to eliminate the smell of a teenage boy’s sweat. An online search reveals there is a scientific reason: Teenage boys smell peculiar because of the hormones they secrete in their sweat during puberty. The smell gets better as they mature — or at least that’s what one website holds out as hope.
While my son douses himself in Axe, I find myself wrinkling my nose a lot more often. Meanwhile, I’m trying to find the best sneaker storage spot that will prevent smelly feet odor from lingering and becoming toxic. Don’t even get me started on my battle with stinky socks.
I know I will miss that teen boy smell one day, but for now I am busy figuring out how to breathe it in without passing out.