By popular demand (let’s not worry about math), here is a re-print of a “Dear Evil Skippy (Classic)” from holidays past:
Dear Evil Skippy:
I am male and do not use colognes or scented soap. I also do not normally use anti-perspirant or deodorant. I like a natural scent. We just had a “Secret Santa” gift exchange at my office and opened the gifts at our annual office luncheon. Most people received nice presents, but I received an assortment of deodorants. When I opened the gift, a few of my co-workers clapped. Do you think they are telling me that I smell bad?
Possibly. I am certain, however, that some of your co-workers are jerks.
— Evil Skippy
You did not ask for advice, but here is some anyway since it is the gift-giving season. If you have a co-worker who you consider to be a friend, ask them to be honest with you about whether or not you have body odor that bothers other people at work. If you don’t want to have this conversation with a colleague, ask a close friend who does not work with you. It is possible that the natural scent that you are used to is on the stinky side for others who are around you all day.
I also suggest that you forward the link to this article to your supervisor. (No, this is not a ploy to increase my readership.) Your supervisor should do his or her job and supervise. That means telling whoever presented this public gift that they were immature and unprofessional. Pulling a stunt like this was totally inappropriate and mean, not to mention passive aggressive. Whoops, I mentioned it. The people who clapped need to grow up, too.
If it turns out that some people are being bothered by your “natural scent”, find a deodorant that you like and use it on work days.