What Are The Cultures That Don’t Use Deodorant?

Many cultures around the world have different practices when it comes to deodorant. In some places, deodorant is not very popular or commonly used.

For example, most people in East Asia, like China, Japan, and Korea, do not wear deodorant regularly. This is because many East Asians have a gene that produces less body odor.

Some Europeans also don’t use deodorant as much. Indigenous groups and religious communities may have their own ways of staying clean that don’t involve store-bought deodorant.

There are several reasons for these differences. In some cultures, body odor is seen as natural and nothing to hide. Deodorant may also be expensive and hard to find in poorer nations. The cost and availability of products influence deodorant use in Africa and South America. Religious rules can play a part, too – for Muslim women, alcohol in deodorants is forbidden.

While deodorant is widespread in the Western world, many societies have their own hygiene traditions that work well without it. Cultural norms, genes, and economics contribute to global deodorant habits.

Cultures that don’t use deodorant

North East Asians

Many cultures in Northeast Asia regularly use deodorant less than in other parts of the world. Only about 7% of people from places like China, Japan, and Korea usually wear deodorant daily.

There are a couple of reasons for this. One factor relates to genes common in the region. Most East Asians have a gene that means their bodies produce less of bacteria, leading to body odor. This allows them to naturally smell-less, reducing the need for deodorant.

Traditional beliefs in East Asia also play a part. For generations, people viewed body odor as natural, not something to hide. Some thought deodorant might clog pores or cause skin problems.

In the past, deodorant wasn’t as easy to find locally due to the hot climate. Today, more East Asians live in cities and use deodorant. But overall, cultural norms and genetic makeup combine to make deodorant less widely used in Northeast Asia versus Western nations.

Of course, personal preference varies – many individuals do wear deodorant. But in general, East Asian societies stand out for typically relying less on antiperspirant products.

Asian Women Wear Chinese Style

Some European countries

Many European nations have fewer people wearing deodorant every day compared to other parts of the globe. In places such as France, their culture makes smelling naturally more accepted. The French attitude comes from valuing scents that aren’t covered up.

Their climate also impacts deodorant use. Countries with mild weather, like the UK, don’t sweat as much, reducing body odor. Of course, personal choice matters too. Some guys and gals simply dislike phony fragrances.

The French aren’t big on antiperspirants because they view the body’s natural aroma as okay. They believe deodorant changes this smell unnecessarily. The British weather helps people there stay fresh without deodorant help most times.

Overall, various European societies are less likely than others to rely on sprays and sticks under the arms daily. Still, many residents from cities wear deodorant, similar to urban dwellers worldwide.

Certain indigenous cultures

Many native groups around the globe have their own traditions for staying fresh without store-bought antiperspirant. The Maasai people in Africa mix ash and plants to clean off sweat. Aboriginal Aussies use lemongrass, tea tree oils, and lavender for the same deal.

Indigenous communities got their hygiene hacks from their ancestors, trusting natural methods over brands. The Yanomami tribe in South America carries a special red clay that soaks up stink and sun. Even the Ainu people of Japan got anti-odor soap from a native horsetail plant.

Of course, some native communities today do buy deodorant in towns. But plenty prefer the old ways handed down. Their practices aren’t just about smelling nice.

Cultural traditions and beliefs tie into taking care of the body in a holistic style. While we got chemicals, they got sacred plant medicine. Both do the trick of keeping people fresh in their own right.

Some religious communities

Lots of religious groups see deodorant as not so important. Amish and Mennonite faiths believe smelling basic fits their humble lifestyle better. Muslims usually get clean through prayer and fresh clothes instead of props.

Certain kinds of Christians feel scented sprays distract from a pure spirit. Hindus and some Buddhists think natural remedies like lemongrass oil work fine without plugging pores.

Of course, not every follower shuns antiperspirants. Plenty use it just like others. But specific sects often get guidance saying other rituals rank higher. Their holy texts usually emphasize modesty in appearance or non-material ways of living cleanly.

While deodorant gives some of us confidence, traditional faiths focus more on inner virtues. As long as hygiene stays on point, the natural scent doesn’t really matter. People from strict religions make their own choices, but cultural norms within tend to see smelling oneself as okay.

Middle Eastern cultures

Many people living in the Middle East don’t regularly wear deodorant like in other places. Islamic beliefs play a role in this in countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

Scholars who study the Koran think deodorant isn’t totally needed according to their holy text. Cleaning the body with water and clothes suffices for them. The Prophet Muhammad, who Muslims follow his example, apparently didn’t use antiperspirant brands either back in his day.

Some say deodorant may clog pores or cause skin problems, too. So natural methods like lemongrass or special oils work better in their view. Of course, not all Muslims agree on banning deodorant. Many urban folks fully use it.

Still, tradition heavily advises the usual hygiene routines without adding sprays under the arms. Strict interpreters feel linking self-care to religion guides clean living.

However, from what most experts understand, using deodorant remains okay overall in Islam. Overall habits simply differ by place due to long-held regional norms.

Business people in Middle East

African cultures

Folks living in many parts of Africa don’t use deodorant as much as in other places. Cost is one factor since deodorant isn’t cheap for most folks there. It can also be challenging getting in rural towns.

Culture plays a role, too. Countries like Nigeria or Ethiopia see body odor differently. Natural smells aren’t such a big deal to them. Some believe blocking sweat may harm skin health in the long run.

While the hot weather makes sweat happen, diet could lessen that effect. Locals eat more fiber and less fat generally than other diets. Some genetics may also make certain Africans smell less.

This isn’t to say no one uses roll-ons. Cities see more folk using them like elsewhere. Visitors concerned with odor use soap, clean clothes, and powder alternatives just fine.

Overall, traditions plus finances mean deodorant stays optional by native views usually. But hygiene stays on point whether brands get brought in from abroad or historic methods carry on locally. Personal choice rules in the end, no matter where you go.

South American cultures

Many folks in South America aren’t as big on using deodorant as other places. In countries like Brazil, Argentina, or Peru, cultural views on smell play a role in this.

A lot see body odor differently. They think natural scents are no big deal or that blocking sweat may cause skin issues over the years. Deodorant also isn’t a must-have for some down there.

Hot weather across the land means sweat happens. But folks’ diets high in fiber and low in fat lessen it. And genetics may make certain South Americans’ sweat stink less, too.

Cost poses challenges, too, considering many can’t always afford brands. But city dwellers use deodorant like in other urban areas worldwide. Visitors find ways to feel fresh through bathing, clothing, and powder if needed.

At the end of the day, perspectives vary on this. But people make individual calls regardless of their surroundings and community traditions. As long as personal hygiene stays on point, natural aroma stays okay by most standards locally.

Tzotzil of Mexico, Dakota of the Western Plains, Dogan of Mali

Certain native groups haven’t adopted store-bought deodorant into their hygiene routines. Take the Tzotzil people of Mexico – they long used flowers, herbs, and clay for cleanliness according to old ways. The same goes for the Dakotas, who bathe and apply plants regularly as tradition sets.

Then you got the Dogon tribe in Mali, West Africa. Clay and herbs shape their cleansing rituals, too. Their routines pay homage to community ties and nature’s gifts wherever they reside.

East Asians also tend to smell less through unique genes limiting armpit sweat. So, deodorant isn’t as daily for them, either. Likewise, Amish faith means scents get judged as against their humble values.

Natural methods work well enough for all. Bodies stay odor-free while upholding ancestry. Those following old paths respectfully understand their skin and what it naturally does.

Commercial products prove optional over generations of wisdom, tried and true. Cultural norms simply differ in hygiene; choices deserve respect wherever you travel.

Muslim culture

Many Muslim women, especially religious ones, aren’t big on deodorant. The reason comes down to faith. Most deodorant brands contain alcohol from how they’re made. But alcohol gets banned in Islam as impure.

So devout Muslim ladies try avoiding it, seeing deodorant as against their rules. Though their religion doesn’t outright forbid deodorant either. It’s more an individual choice based on how strictly one follows teachings.

Plenty also think deodorant just isn’t needed. Regular washing and cleaning of clothes do odor prevention for them. Others worry chemicals may clog pores or bring side effects.

Alternatives like baking soda, cornstarch, and essential oils work well without alcohol. These natural options let ladies feel fresh within their beliefs.

At the end of the day, perspectives come down to personal views. But Muslim women respectfully make independent calls that honor traditions as they see best. Keeping clean stays the priority, whatever path each chooses to take.

Multiracial Muslim womens


In some places like East Asia, deodorant is less common as many have a gene that results in less body odor. Traditional beliefs in countries like China and Japan also saw odor as natural.

Some Europeans also use deodorant less due to attitudes seeing natural scent as okay. Indigenous groups and religious communities follow their own hygiene methods using plants rather than store products.

Factors influencing deodorant use include seeing odor as acceptable, cost, and religious rules. Middle Eastern and African cultures believe blocking sweat may cause harm, or their lifestyles make odor less of an issue. South Americans have differing views on scent and may consider deodorant unnecessary or too expensive.

Overall, cultural norms, genetics, economics, traditions, and beliefs in places like Muslim and native communities contribute to diverse hygiene practices globally. While deodorant is widespread in the West, many societies have their own solutions that work well for them.


What religions don’t use deodorant?

Some religious groups that may not widely use deodorant include the Amish, some Jehovah’s Witnesses, certain Muslim practices during pilgrimages, and some subgroups like the Hasidic Jews, Jains, and Rastafarians. The Amish believe using deodorant is vain, while some Jehovah’s Witnesses see it as unnecessary. Some Muslims cannot wear scents during pilgrimages. Other faiths see natural smells as sacred or avoid harming bacteria. However, practices vary within each religion.

Do Mormons use deodorant?

Yes, Mormons commonly use deodorant. They do not have any specific teachings or restrictions regarding the use of deodorant.

Do German people not wear deodorant?

While there is a misconception that Germans don’t wear deodorant, most do. The German deodorant market is worth over one billion euros annually. Germans tend to use less deodorant than other nationalities due to believing natural odor isn’t offensive and preferring less fragrant deodorants. Factors like their genetics, diet, clothing, and frequent showering also help reduce body odor. So, while some Germans may use deodorant less than other cultures, it’s incorrect to say they don’t wear deodorant at all.

Do Jews not wear deodorant?

While some ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities discourage deodorant use, believing it vain or immodest, not all Jews avoid it. There is no religious prohibition in Judaism. The Talmud mentions modesty and cleanliness vaguely, so some rabbis feel deodorant is unnecessary, but others say it’s acceptable. Ultimately, individual Jews decide to depend on their conscience. Diversity exists in Jewish practices, and personal health reasons may influence choices contrary to some community norms.

How can I hide my armpit smell without deodorant?

Shower regularly with antibacterial soap and wash armpits thoroughly. Wear clean, breathable clothes like cotton daily and after sweating. Use natural antiperspirants containing baking soda or cornstarch, which block sweat glands. Try natural deodorants with essential oils that control odor. Apply apple cider vinegar with antibacterial properties to armpits. Eat a healthy, low-sugar diet and drink plenty of water to improve body odor. Manage stress through exercise, yoga, or meditation, as stress can increase sweating. These habits aim to remove bacteria and odor-causing compounds while absorbing sweat. Seek medical advice if problems persist.