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Old 08-26-2010, 08:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Alcohol affect body odor?

How much of an affect does alcohol have on body odor other than breath. The family alcoholic's body odor is really bad. It seems to be amplifying and/or altering the scents of soaps and colonges he's already using. He smelled days old including soaps & colonges after a shower the other day. His choice in scents is already repugnant/strong.

Even more disgusting is his lack of aim & cleaning abilities in bathroom AND the odor left behind. Would body odors be sign of anything or is the alcohol just mixing in?
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Haven't noticed when he's not drinking, but as soon as there is even a little booze in his body he reeks of it. Very noticeable, to me anyway. Breath, body. I think it may be an alcoholic thing because I don't really notice anyone else around me having that stink after drinking; it may be that because their bodies process it differently from non-alcoholics, it has this type of smell effect too.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sure...if a person drinks long enough, they will emit odors even after they shower, use deodorant, cologne, breath mints, etc. It comes out of their pores. It's just another way the body attempts to rid itself of the toxins.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by silkspin View Post
Haven't noticed when he's not drinking, but as soon as there is even a little booze in his body he reeks of it. Very noticeable, to me anyway. Breath, body. I think it may be an alcoholic thing because I don't really notice anyone else around me having that stink after drinking; it may be that because their bodies process it differently from non-alcoholics, it has this type of smell effect too.
Ditto this
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Another reason would be the damage that has been done to the two biggest body cleansing organs (the liver and kidneys). If these are ridden with alcohol and have damage to them, the body has no other way to elimate the toxins/waste but through the pores. Thus the disgusting body odor. The other reason is that some alcoholics/addicts tend to not engage in the most pristine hygiene and the body odor can be as a result from poor grooming/hygiene or lack of.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Stink-O

My XABF smelled funky when he drank... kinda like a 7-11 week-old hot dog in a bun that you forgot about in the backseat of your car kinda smell...

It was gross, actually.

Other times he would reek of alcohol, like his whole body would smell like alcohol, even his feet.

He would deny drinking a lot, I don't know, I could never trust what he said.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My late XAH, (actually yesterday was exactly 1 year since he died) actually cleared a cinema with the offensive odour he emitted during a screening, and there were also a few pained expressions on faces around us at church. He refused to believe he stunk, even when I had my head out the damn car window.

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Old 08-26-2010, 07:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That is one thing I remember distinctly about my X. His smell. It was like none other. Wasn't "BO", dirty body, or intestinal odors... but a strange "sour" smell. The whole bedroom use to smell like that after him sleeping in it. It was gross. He only drank vodka, - thought his breath didn't smell, and I couldn't detect that he'd been drinking.

WRONG.

All I needed to do was to smell his body. He stunk in more ways than one! Ha.

I don't have to smell that smell anymore! Yeah!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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isurvived I agree with that weird sour smell. I remember a friend of mine had a roommate who was a serious alcoholic. We referred to his room as the gerbil cage because any time he opened the door-oh my gosh. He was the manager of a high priced restaurant and would get him self all decked out for work and douse himself in cologne-it never worked. That undersmell always lurked-even after he showered.
I would agree with others-when you poison your body it will come out and when the organs that are the cleansers aren't working it gets worse.
I am a sugar junkie and stay away as much as I can. But I can always tell when I have had too much because my big toe hurts--my acupunturist (is that the right word) said it made since--because that is a point on the body that will hurt when your liver is unhappy. Also, if anyone has ever done a lymph massage and then a cleanse-well all that crude you put in your body comes out. Yuk is all I can say! But about 3 days later you feel great!
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My sister will reek of alcohol after going on binges--it seems to come from the pores of the body rather than just her breath. It is very odd...but I can only think that her body is processing the alcohol differently. In any case the smell is always a dead giveaway that she's drinking.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Mine had that skunky, skanky week old beer smell and he sweated so much when he drank-the whole place was filled with that smell.

Heck, when I hear a can of pop open now and it takes me back to when he would bring home a case (or three) of beer-those cans got popped it seemed every few minutes. Now, I buy nothing but pop and whatever in bottles so I don't have to hear the hiss of a can being opened.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I remember from my younger years the taste I would wake up with in my mouth of stale booze - that seems the closest I can describe to his odour after drinking. It also fills my bedroom which is why when the recent relapse occurred I told him I didn't want him sleeping in our room if he'd been drinking. I just couldn't handle that in my comfy, warm bed.

Linkmeister I know what you mean about the cans. It was this horrible chain of events - down the stairs to the kitchen - pop fizz of a beer, out the back door for a smoke. An endless cycle during a given night. I became like Pavlov's dog - cringing just at the sound of a can!
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I think it's a combination of things.

On top of all the other issues related to the liver damage, my AH has delicate armpits that don't react well to deodorant (so I've been told). And goodness forbid you suggest he wash them because he is stinking up the vehicle.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Ahh yes - the "stinky bedroom syndrome" they call it. I noticed that when i drank a lot.....that stale funk in the morning.....and then when you got home at night it still kinda being there. Day 17 now and guess what....no stench anymore....except on taco night!!!
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Silkspin-that was the word I was looking for-cringing.

Like you, I had that Pavlovian reaction -we lived in a fairly small ground floor suite and it was the cycle of him going to the fridge, rummaging around in the veggie crisper (he put the cans there so I wouldn't know he had bought them...LOL), pull the can out, pop it......rinse, repeat, all day and night long.

As bad as it was during the afternoon/evening, the worst one was in the morning-no coffee, no good morning, nothing, just over to the fridge into the veggie crisper to begin the cycle all over again.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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And let's not forget the crowning glory of cigarette stench mixed in - I found that the odor clings to him just like the booze - it doesn't smell of the smoke, it smells of the day old ashtray even if he just smoked it. He started up again during the relapse. Last night I used the washroom after him and I said 'the bathroom stinks like old cigarettes'. He said it was his last pack, he felt like smoking during his softball games (where I guess many smoke) but that he can go days without it. I said well if softball gives you a good reason to smoke, maybe your daughter could be a good reason not to. She is exposed to the same stink from him after he's smoked (which only takes place outside our home, not ever in it). But the smell clings.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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How much of an affect does alcohol have on body odor other than breath. The family alcoholic's body odor is really bad. It seems to be amplifying and/or altering the scents of soaps and colonges he's already using.
I just want to add some information to this post even though it's old because this is the first Google search result for "alcoholism body odor," so I want to help out others who may be searching for this.

This is a real phenomenon and can continue for awhile (days, possibly weeks) after the consumption of alcohol in an alcoholic. After years of heavy drinking, a person can develop a bizarre type of body odor which may almost smell chemically. It readily gets into clothing and bedding. The whole house can eventually stink like it, particularly a room that the alcoholic spends any considerable time in. The urine and breath of the person may also carry the smell.

The person may find that the smell cannot be washed away by bathing or showering and that deodorants may actually make it worse. The bathroom may noticeably have the smell after the person showers. Taking a milk thistle supplement may reduce this problem but will not cure it. Only permanently abstaining from alcohol use can cure this problem.

Assumedly, the odor stems from toxin buildup which the liver is no longer able or willing to eliminate on its own and thus begins to excrete through the skin. The symptom itself is likely a sign of a damaged liver, or at the least, a very overtaxed one. However, in most individuals who do not have critical organ failure, the symptom will probably resolve with continued abstinence. IMO, the smell should be considered a warning sign that serious toxicological trouble could lie ahead if the person continues to drink, and hopefully will serve as an inspiration to quit before damage becomes more severe and permanent.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Thank you

Love your post...very helpful and informative.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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OMG! I thought I was the only one that had to live with the indescribable smell! I just naturally assumed it was the toxins finding a way out anyway they could. I told him he stunk and that I thought he was rotting from the inside out. That is what it smelled like...rotting.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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This happens with my boyfriend as well. Particularly on the weekends, when I come in the back door, the smell hits me like a ton of bricks! The whole house smells like some sort of bad chemicals. I can't really smell it on him (but I usually don't get too close) but it is in the air. Horrible!
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