Why Don’t Indians Wear Deodorant? Surprising Beliefs

Have you ever wondered why don’t Indians wear deodorant? The answer may surprise you – it’s rooted in culture. Deodorant use is optional for some Indians due to centuries-old traditions. Religious scriptures, rituals, and naturopathy have discouraged artificial scents. Ancient remedies and avoidance of bacteria “killing” hold sway even today.

Many follow teachings that shun strong fragrances as rude. Jain beliefs, for example, respect all life, down to the bacterial level. Following nature’s ways and avoiding chemical products are widely practiced.

Some dislike the sticky feeling or pungent scents. With diverse regions, customs vary greatly too. What’s normal in bustling cities won’t fly in remote villages unaffected by modern trends.

While health and hygiene remain top priorities, natural deodorizing works best for many. Diverse diets, yogic practices, and trust in traditional wisdom squash asking, “Don’t you use deodorant?”—instead, respect and understanding different approaches.

Why don’t Indians wear deodorant?

Cultural preferences

There are a few reasons why some Indians may not wear deodorant as much as people in other countries. It’s partly because of their culture. In many areas of India, they think really strong smells, like what’s in deodorant, could be rude or overpowering.

Also, hygiene practices differ a lot between regions in India. What’s normal in one place might seem strange in another. And some parts of India may not get as hot and sweaty. So folks there may not think they need deodorant like others do.

Not to mention, Indians could have different types of bacteria on their skin that don’t cause as much smelly odor. So, deodorant might not seem necessary. It’s all based on what people are used to in their own communities.

At the end of the day, it’s more about culture and what’s considered polite where they live than anything else.

Indian Woman in Traditional Attire

Religious beliefs

Some Indians don’t wear deodorant because of what they believe religiously. I hear some actually follow Jainism, where they think everything living has a right to exist, even tiny little bacteria. Can you imagine?

Those Jains believe that putting on deodorant would kill all the bacteria under your arms. And since bacteria are alive, too, that would go against their religion of respecting all life. Crazy, right? I mean, I never thought about the bacteria having feelings!

But when you think about how core non-violence is to Jainism, it makes sense they’d take it that far. Their faith teaches them everything from insects to microbes deserve to live freely without humans interfering.

So deodorant is a no-no because it would do away with natural arm microbes. Who knew religion could influence hygiene like that?

Personal preference

For some Indians, it really just comes down to what they like personally. Deodorant isn’t for everyone; some folks there find the feeling or smell isn’t their thing. Can’t say I blame them!

If you’ve ever put it on and felt it was too greasy or thick under your arms, you get what I mean. Or those scents can be overpowering to sensitive skin. So for people who just aren’t into that, they’d rather skip it, you know?

Plus, habits are built up over time based on what you grew accustomed to. If no one in your family or community wears deodorant regularly, you don’t see the need to start. Things like hygiene routines tend to be tradition more than anything.

Cultural beliefs

For some Indians, it’s really about keeping with tradition and culture. See, in many parts of India, they value scent but in a natural way. They like using essential oils and herbs to softly scent clothes or skin. It’s called Attar.

But deodorant smells, being artificial and stronger, aren’t really part of their heritage. Some communities almost see it as rude or overly fragrant to walk around like that. They prefer subtle natural fragrances over synthetic ones that boom in your face.

So when you grew up with parents and grandparents who frown on deodorant and stick to traditional scents, you learn to do the same. The culture has taught people that simple natural smells are most polite in daily life.

It’s just about carrying on customary beliefs, not about thinking they stink or anything like that. Make sense?

Woman in Indian Traditional Wear

Preference for natural products

Many Indians just prefer to put all-natural stuff on their body if they can. They don’t like buying products full of chemicals when there might be healthier natural options, you know?

And deodorant usually contains artificial ingredients that some question, like aluminum. But things like coconut oil, baking soda, or essential oils are seen as safer and won’t hurt the environment if they wash down the drain. Who wants aluminum in the water supply long term?

Plus, a natural deodorant works great, too, so why load up on chemicals? A sprinkle of baking soda under the arms does the trick without harsh stuff. And Indians care about that kind of thing for themselves and the whole planet.

When you look at it that way, it makes sense why traditional natural remedies and plants are favored over synthetic stuff in some Indian communities. The culture respects nature.

Lack of awareness

For many older folks in India or people out in the countryside, deodorant isn’t really on their radar. Advertising for that kind of stuff doesn’t always reach rural areas too well. And I bet their parents and grandparents definitely didn’t use it growing up.

When you’ve spent your whole life thinking certain hygiene routines are enough, you might not realize there are products now to help extra. From what I understand, deodorant is more of an urban and young people thing in India. In the villages and older generations, it’s like, “Why would I need that?”

If no one is telling you about it and you haven’t seen neighbors wear it, it’s easy to just stick to whatever washing-up habits you were taught. They don’t think of body odor the same way – as long as you bathe regularly, that’s clean enough for them, right?

Allergies or skin sensitivity

For some Indians, it’s not worth the risk of putting deodorant on daily. See, a lot of commercial deodorant stuff can irritate sensitive skin.

Things like aluminum or alcohol can cause reactions in some people. And the fragrance is a common allergen too. Then you’ve got skin conditions to consider. If you’ve already got eczema or your family has a history of skin issues, deodorant may not agree with you.

It’s not worth waking up with rashes under your arms just to use deodorant. Natural alternatives are safer if you know you’ve sensitive skin. And if your skin has always been on the delicate side, avoiding anything that could flare it up makes sense. Better to play it safe, right?


For a lot of Indians, deodorant just isn’t practical when you consider the price. I mean, one little stick can cost over a hundred rupees sometimes. That’s more than some people make in a day!

When money is really tight, extra toiletries like deodorant are usually the first things people do without. And a lot of rural villages aren’t exactly swimming in opportunity. If it’s not essential for living, many see it as an unnecessary splurge.

Add in the fact that deodorant might be hard to find in small general stores far away from cities. It really only makes sense for wealthy urban folks and kids to bother with it regularly.

For everyone else, a bar of soap is cheaper and has to last. Can’t say I blame them!

Indian businesspeople


Several factors influence an Indian’s decision to wear deodorant or not. Culture plays a key role, with specific communities considering strong fragrances rude. Traditions also discourage artificial scents, instead preferring natural oils.

Religion influences some, like Jainism, which respects all life, including bacteria. Wearing deodorant would go against this belief. Personal preference matters, too, as some dislike thick textures or scents. Habits also differ between urban and rural areas.

Many Indians prefer using traditional home remedies to chemicals. Coconut oil, baking soda, and essential oils offer natural solutions. Concerns around ingredients like aluminum accelerate this preference.

Lack of awareness exists in remote villages disconnected from advertising. Seeing no need, older generations retain customary routines.

Physical allergies or sensitive skin prevents deodorant use for some due to components like alcohol and fragrance. This is a valid health concern.

Finally, the cost is a factor, as extra toiletries like deodorant are unaffordable luxuries for many facing financial hardship. Basic hygiene remains the priority over additional products.

In summary, diverse cultural, religious, environmental, and economic viewpoints influence different stances on deodorant use in India. Personal circumstances also come into play on an individual level.


What religion does not wear deodorant?

Some Orthodox Jewish beliefs discourage deodorant use. Orthodox Judaism states that deodorant should not be applied on the Sabbath or holy days since it is considered “work” to apply scents or conceal body odor. No other major religions specifically prohibit or restrict the use of deodorant by adherents according to their core doctrines.

Why do Indian guys wear so much cologne?

There are several reasons why many Indian men wear cologne regularly. In some Indian cultures, wearing a strong pleasant fragrance is considered proper grooming and indicates good personal hygiene. It is also believed to make one more attractive to women and helps cover body odor in hot, humid conditions. More broadly, using cologne aligns with cultural traditions of scenting the body and is part of some men’s daily routines. 

What country uses the most deodorant?

Research indicates that the United States is likely the largest consumer market for deodorant products globally. The US deodorant industry is the biggest worldwide, ahead of Brazil, which ranks second. North America as a region represents the largest market overall for deodorants and antiperspirants. Additionally, some studies have found the highest per capita consumption of deodorant among men in Japan. European markets like the UK, Germany, and France also export deodorants in large volumes.

Do Chinese people have deodorant?

While deodorant can be purchased in China, many Chinese people do not regularly use it. This is partly due to genetics, as some research indicates that East Asians tend to have less body odor due to differences in bacterial flora. Additionally, cultural norms in some areas do not emphasize strong fragrances. Deodorant is also not widely available or convenient to obtain outside major Chinese cities. Moreover, personal preferences influence Chinese individuals who choose not to wear deodorant. 

Do Russians wear deodorant?

While deodorant can be purchased in Russia, many Russians do not frequently use it. Historically, cultural norms saw deodorant more as a perfume substitute due to high costs, and some women prefer perfume instead. There is also a perception among some Russians, especially women, that they do not sweat heavily or that sweating is not an issue. Market data shows the average Russian uses less deodorant per year than Western Europeans.