A blog about culture and love in Japan

Manga Chibi: “Don’t you wear any perfume, ever?”



I ended up not buying any perfume, obviously.

I’m not the type of person who wears tons of perfume anyway, but I like to put some from time to time. Especially if it’s a scent my boyfriend likes.

It seems like Hitomi is very picky on perfumes.

I’m still wondering why he didn’t dump me at the beginning of our relationship, since I was often wearing perfume until the moment I realized he doesn’t like it. He just never complained about it, because he never complains about anything.

And after that moment, I also realized that actually, almost nobody wears perfume in Japan. They don’t really put deodorant either. The only thing that is the closest to perfume is the fabric softener they put on their clothes when they wash them.

I don’t know why it’s like this. Is it because they feel like they’ll bother other people if they smell too strongly of perfume? Or is it because they don’t have the reflex to put on perfume, as they naturally don’t stink much?

It’s probably a bit of both.

In any case, it’s very interesting to me. I personally have difficulties to go out without applying lightly perfumed deodorant under my armpits, even if I don’t get sweaty that easily.

If you want to know more about the question “Why do Japanese people don’t stink?”, there’s a video from Rachel of “Rachel & Jun” on YouTube that is scientifically very interesting. Check it out!


Author: Jasmine

Jasmine is a 20-something years old French-Canadian student and part-time blogger who loves traveling, drawing, listening to (all kind of) music and eating (everything). To achieve one of her biggest dream, she went in Japan for two months and a half as a tourist in 2013. She was an exchange student at Daito Bunka University in Saitama (near Tokyo) during the year 2014 - 2015. She is now studying to eventually become a nurse back in Canada, so she lacks time to write about Japan. You can still read all her posts on her blog, since she'll let them there for you to enjoy :)

24 thoughts on “Manga Chibi: “Don’t you wear any perfume, ever?”

  1. if i were to choose between a sweaty man at 9am on a crowded bus and a sick making perfume at the same hour on a similar packed bus, i would choose the later. And yes, the former does happen – it is romania after all, and older generations of romanians [40yo+] apparently don’t even know what the soap + water combo is >.> SHAME to romanians. it’s a ifferent story for people under 30yo though πŸ˜‰


  2. I just found this blog, and I’ve been reading through it. Fun fact, Asians (in Asia) typically don’t wear deodorant because they literally don’t produce body odor: http://www.livescience.com/26351-no-smell-gene-wear-deodorant.html. Westernized Asians often wear it (unnecessarily) out of social conditioning.

    It’s the same gene that gives Asians their dry earwax. If you two haven’t compared earwaxes yet, I highly recommend it. Fun times.


    • Yes exactly! If you watch Rachel & Jun’s video at the end of the post, you’ll see that’s exactly what she explains (with the ear wax and all!). Interesting, right?


  3. I love the smell of cologne, so I was a bit disappointed that no guys wear cologne in Japan DX I only mentioned cologne and not perfume because many female perfumes actually make me feel nauseous so I don’t enjoy as many perfume smells as I do of cologne smells. I would love for my Japanese husband to wear cologne and I got him a cologne but he doesn’t wear it unless I spray it on him for him, he said if its too strong it might annoy other people in public (we also live in Japan). I know that Japanese don’t usually have an underarm smell problem but I think wearing a cologne/perfume doesn’t need to be for the reason to mask bad smells but simply just to have a nice smell to enjoy.


    • I used to love cologne/perfume too, and was kind of disappointed when I realized Hitomi never wears perfume. But now I’m really used to the scent of the softener he uses to wash his clothes. It’s kind of his own perfume, I guess! I just asked him to always keep that same scent, and not change the product (because I really link this scent to him now, so it’s weird when he uses another softener). So we kind of met halfway! Haha
      Maybe there’s a way to meet halfway with your husband, too?


  4. My husband is of the “non-smelly” type in Rachel and Jun’s video, but I still catch him stealing my precious imported deodorant at times. He likes the smell apparently, and I guess I can’t complain about that (except he’s using up my precious stock!!). ^^
    I notice I’ve gotten very sensitive to overly-perfumed peeps lately. Partly because I’m used to being in Japan I guess, but also in Sweden people are quite strict about amounts because there quite a few people are allergic and suffer when the odor is too strong (even if it’s very nice!). As a result, I find I don’t really wear perfume anymore, though now your cute cartoon makes me miss it! I used to love hunting down new ones. πŸ™‚


    • Maybe the smell of your deodorant reminds him of you? A bit like when I wear one of my boyfriend’s t-shirt when I misses him.

      I became very sensitive to scents too since I arrived in Japan. I didn’t know Sweden was also strict about the amount of perfume!


      • Ha, maybe! True, I do the t-shirt thing as well. ^^
        Yes, Sweden has become more and more strict when it comes to potential allergens over the years. You can bring certain flowers if you’e visiting in hospital, dogs must be in special areas on trains or buses (if allowed at all), etc. ^^


  5. I do not wear perfume often but when I do I think I am sending some kind of message (?) when in reality people can barely smell it. Oh well, it’s all about confidence, if it makes you feel good use it, maybe he will like it one day πŸ˜€
    Btw I nominated you for the Liester Award, I really think you deserve more followers! http://dreamingoftaipei.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/nominated-for-the-liebster-award/


  6. Howdy! I’ll have to check out more of your cartoons! As for perfume in Japan, I think it’s more personal preference. Hubby loves his scents and me too, although I stopped wearing perfume ages ago. This was because of sensitivities of coworkers and students. It’s really easy to buy perfume in Japan and it might be more application preference. And since you eventually can’t smell it on yourself, you wear more! πŸ˜€

    With deodorant and antiperspirant, I’ve had my face stuck in the armpits of strangers on trains in Japan more times than I’d like and body odor was present and very much accounted for. πŸ˜€


  7. Hah that is funny! I just made my (Japanese) boyfriend buy deodorant. I didn’t think he smelled or anything, but like you said it’s so ingrained in my mind that any day of the year I have to use it at least lightly, and it was icky to think of him going out without it, especially in the summer.


    • Did he buy the deodorant in Japan or overseas? It seems like they don’t have loads of choice of deodorants here in Japan!
      Hitomi doesn’t put any deodorant, but he doesn’t stink, ever. So, yeah… I’ll just leave it like this! Hah, Japanese are lucky~


      • He bought it in America – he’s here with me now!

        Yeah, I remember when I was in Japan and I was surprised on how little deodorant was available…I thought my Japanese skills were so bad because I could only find one type. But that’s all the store had!

        My Yuuki’s the same way as your Hitomi…so lucky! After watching the video you posted I told him it’s fine if he doesn’t wear it after all, now that I understand why Japan doesn’t sell as much. But I’ll admit I like how he smells when he wears the deodorant too. πŸ˜‰


  8. another issue is that women seem to absolutely overload themselves with perfume. To someone not used to/in a culture where perfume doesn’t exist, they become ultra sensitive to the aroma. Thus what you consider a normal amount in the West could cause an asian to suffocate πŸ™‚


    • I agree with you about that Anonymous. I tend to put a tad too much perfume, which for me is okay, but for someone who has to smell it, it isn’t! I notice that many people in the Asian culture don’t wear perfume or cologne, it is interesting to see as in my culture, people wear perfume or cologne all of the time.


      • Anonymous: Yup, you’re right! I might put too much without even noticing… Hitomi is indeed ultra sensitive to scents!

        Is it the same in Italy Maria? People wear a lot of perfume?


  9. Wellll perfume smells different when it’s on you πŸ˜€ on a piece of paper it just smells strong and, imo, it almost always smells the same xD

    Bref, mine is from Yves Rocher (miam! Des framboises!!) Not too strong and fruity πŸ˜€

    Enjoy your trip bb β™‘β™‘β™‘β™‘

    Xxx marie-angelique


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