The Gene That Leaves You With No Underarm Odor

Ah, the sweet smell of science. Geneticists have discovered a wide variety of roles for the humble gene called ABCC11, which plays a role in everything from drug reactions to dry ear wax. In 2010, researchers revealed that the gene also plays a role in underarm odor. In fact, about 1.6% of people nationwide have no odor under their arms, thanks to this gene. That’s good news for them, but bad news for deodorant makers. People with the ABCC11 gene are 5 times less likely to use deodorant. Surprisingly, nearly 80% of these people still use deodorant every day because of the social expectations. Deodorant sales average around $1.9 billion nationwide, but given the low frequency of the gene, it’s not likely to have a large impact on the deodorant market.