Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Dealing with the Smells of Comic-Con

Take it from someone who worked at a comic shop: there's a percentage of our geek population that gets so excited about comics they forget to bathe. Put this population all in one giagantic room and add 85 degree San Diego weather, and it can make for a very unpleasant experience. Thankfully, through my years at the comic shop and at SDCC, I've come up with a few solutions.


It's not my intention to offend. We are all human and all humans get B.O. when we sweat. It goes both ways. In a convention setting, smelling other humans of varying degrees of stank is unavoidable. But you can mitigate your exposure in more extreme situations.

How to deal with bodily odors

I don't normally encounter particularly rank individuals until the 2nd or 3rd day of the Con, but with the SoCal summer heat coming early this year I encountered offensive odors as early as Preview Night.


1) Give wide berth and engage in conversation at your own risk, no matter how nice they may seem. In my experience, the most soap challenged individuals are also the ones that can keep talking on for hours, making it very hard to extricate yourself from a smelly situation. You are under no obligation to suffer unless you are working. Same goes for navigating the exhibit hall. You can always go back and look at something or wait in line for a freebie later.

2) Carry a nosegay. You know how in old-timey dramas there's always a dandy gentleman or fine lady sniffing a flower or handkerchief? Thats's a nosegay. Well, old-timey times were smelly times, and they had the right idea. They would carry around a flower or cloth soaked in perfume to mask foul odors. Spray some perfume on a hand towel, tissue, paper fan, or stuffed animal, and sniff it as necessary.


3) Do what coroners do. They dab a little Vicks Vape-o-rub on their upper lip when dealing with particularly putrid cadavers, or so I've learned from watching Silence of the Lambs. So I always carry a little tube of scented lotion for just that purpose.

Only you can prevent your own B.O.

It's easy for the human nose to habituate to smells, so you or I could be the stinky ones without even realizing it.


1) Remember the 5-2-1 Rule of Cons: Have at least 5 hours of sleep, 2 good meals, and 1 shower per day. The key words here are "at least" and "per day". If your hotel shower is close by, you have the advantage over the rest of us.

2) Bring a change of t-shirt if the first one gets too sweaty.

3) Travel-sized deodorant sticks are cheap and handy. Reapply as necessary.

4) We're all super excited, but if the mood takes you, be careful when pumping your fist in the air in a hot, stuffy room. The head of person next to you may be at pit-level.


What are your tips?

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