Fruits That Smell Bad


list of fruits that smell bad. There are many lists out there — maybe you’ve seen some of them too. They’re all the same though. In fact, this list is so ordinary that you may be thinking that why am I even wasting your time with this useless information. The answer is simple — to save you time. You’re already here, and have clicked on the link. You might as well read the whole article instead of just scrolling down!



A cart full of jackfruit

The likelihood is that you are unaware of the world’s stenchiest fruits. If you enjoy traveling, you could have been close enough to them in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Hawaii, or other tropical locations to get a scent. When these tropical fruits are ripe, they have a vile odor that causes people to react as though they had ever smelled something so repulsive.

I am used to smelling all kinds of strange stuff because I live on a farm.

I’ve come to understand that not everything in life has to smell good.

I’ve come to accept unpleasant odors, and I can decide how to respond to them.

The top five stenchiest fruits on earth are jackfruit, durian, champedek, pedalai, and marang.

You cannot take these fruits from the market inside your hotel room or onto a bus in Thailand. These fruits are rarely available at the market in Hawaii due to the avalanche of complaints from consumers and neighbors.

They allegedly smell like petrochemicals, rotten onions, turpentine, garlic, and gas leaks, according to some people. They don’t smell like any ordinary farm animal’s excrement, as a farmer I can attest.

Depending on whether you like the fruit or not, each of them actually smells delicious despite having a distinct and offensive fragrance.

I love all of these fruits, which are all grown on my farm. That doesn’t mean that occasionally I don’t notice their odor.


The durian, is the most unusual fruit in the world. It is savory and sweet.  It can often taste like onions, garlic, and/or maple syrup. The flesh can be smooth like custard, stringy or cottage cheese-like in texture or a combination of all three. The most seasoned durian lovers like the stinkiest, most strong-flavored ones. If you’re a novice, better stick with the sweeter variety, like Sitebel. The hard, prickly shell must be pried open from the bottom and the creamy pods can then be accessed.

This fruit is not for everybody. It takes some individuals a while to get used to it, while others never do. But because people adore it so much, they’ll spend up to $40 to get one in Hawaii for $4–5 per pound.


The Champedek is very much like a jackfruit, if you are familiar with the more popular fruit. It has a central core, where the fruit pods grow. It differs from the jackfruit in that it doesn’t have all those sticky little fingers throughout. You can open a fruit and literally grab the stem and lift it out of its shell with fruit attached.

To tell if a fruit is ripe on the tree, you must put your nose to it and you will begin to smell a very strong petrochemical smell. The fruit is stringy and cannot be bitten in two, you must place it whole in your mouth pushing out the seed as you do so. It is very rich, sweet and juicy. Many people can only eat one or two pods.


A pedalai is a softball-sized, hairy fruit with pods of sweet creamy butter-like fruit that melts in your mouth. Easy to tear open with just your hands. The fruit smells like gasoline. Similar to a champedek in its seed and core presentation.

These fruits grow at the end of a branch in a large canopy tree.  On our farm, each tree is 90 feet tall. If you can’t reach them to pick them, they will eventually fall in a splattered mess. Sometimes all you can do is imagine what one would taste like when you see it at the top of that 90 foot tree.

Hard to find, they are usually prices around $5-10 each.


The marang is very similar to a pedalai. But instead of the hairy-like rind, it has a short, sand paper-like rind. They smell just as bad as the pedalai but perhaps not as odorous as the champedek and the durian.

Very much the same texture as a padalai. It has a different taste, both are delicious. Hard to describe but very banana-like in flavor. These are also hard to find and can be priced anywhere from $5-$10 each in Hawaii. Look for soft rind with patches of green mixed with brown and a smell.


A Jackfruit is the fruit that tastes just like juicy fruit gum. It is the largest tree-produced fruit in the world. We have a tree that grows fruit up to 70 pounds each. The best way to tell when they are ripe is to just stand under and tree and take a deep whiff. You’ll soon be able to pinpoint if there is a ripe one. Jackfruits have a bigger core that when cut leaks a latex sap. Each fruit must be cut off unless your fruit is very ripe. Your knife, your hands and whatever comes in contact with the fruit will have to be cleaned with cooking oil –not soap and water.

Jackfruits can be sold whole, halfed and sometimes by pod. Usually, they go for .50 cents to $1 a pound whole. One marketable fruit can cost $10-20.

All of the five stinkiest fruits you can boil and eat their seeds. Jackfruit is one of the most popular and in some areas of the world it is more prized than the fruit. You can read about how to prepare and eat jackfruit seeds in my blog, “Eating Jackfruit Seeds”.

If you ever have the opportunity to smell and taste one of these five fruits, I urge you to do so. It may be dangerous however, because you may find that you like them so much you might have to move closer to them.

Why Does the Durian Fruit Smell So Terrible?

Researchers look into the compounds that give the Asian fruit its distinctive aroma of “turpentine and onions with a gym sock on top.”

The odor of Durians has been compared to that of rotting meat, turpentine, and gym socks. Image from Kalai on Wikimedia Commons

You undoubtedly recall it if you’ve ever even had a single whiff of a durian. The infamous Asian fruit is prohibited on the Singapore Rapid Mass Transit because its pungent smell is so strong even while the husk is still on it. According to food critic Richard Sterling, the smell is best compared to turpentine and onions with a gym sock on top. It is detectable from several yards away.

However, a small percentage of people adore the fruit’s flavor and aroma.

It is “indescribable, something you will either love or hate,” according to Anthony Bourdain.

Your breath will have the aroma of a French kiss given to your deceased grandmother. The fruit’s flesh can be used to flavor a variety of traditional Southeast Asian foods and candies, or it can be cooked and eaten raw. Aphrodisiac and anti-fever treatments are both utilized for it in conventional Asian medicine. Our “Off the Road” blog featured a pair of adventurous travelers on a year-long trip designed around sampling several durian kinds.

Due to their strong aroma, durians are prohibited in many public areas, including Singapore’s mass transit system. Image by Steve Bennett on Wikimedia Commons

Everyone can agree that the fruit has a very powerful smell, whether they like it or not. Researchers from the German Research Center for Food Chemistry have now attempted to determine how precisely the fruit produces such a potent odor in a new study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

Jia-Ziao Li’s team, using a mass spectrometer and gas chromatograph to analyze an aroma extract from Thai durians, was able to identify 50 distinct chemicals that are responsible for the fruit’s distinctive aroma. Eight of the compounds had never been found in durians before, and four of them were wholly new to science.

According to their investigation, the fruit’s potent odor is produced by a combination of various compounds rather than by any single ingredient. The chemicals are recognized by their chemical formulae, which are likely confusing to anyone without a background in organic chemistry (1-sulfanylethanethiol, for instance), but the research team connected each one with a specific odor.

Interestingly, none of the chemicals individually seem to match the distinctive durian fragrance; instead, they range widely and have descriptions like “fruity,” “skunky,” “metallic,” “rubbery,” “burnt,” “roasted onion,” “garlic,” “cheese,” “onion,” and “honey.”

A few of them have been found in only a few other things, including dried squid, leeks, yeast extract, and cooked beef.

These 50 compounds work together to create the potent perfume that has mesmerized and disgusted people all across the world.

The scientific wonder of durians is unaffected by their unpleasant scent. A 2009 Japanese study found that the liver’s aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzyme is severely inhibited by durian extract. This may explain a component of ancient Asian mythology that states that eating durians while intoxicated can be fatal.

Why people love durian, the banned fruit that stinks like garbage

Although it smells like hell, this spiky green fruit tastes like nirvana.

One of the most divisive fruits in the world, durian is difficult to describe, but these are some of the things people have tried: Limburger cheese, gym socks and turpentine, hot summer rubbish in New York City, and pig droppings.

As Anthony Bourdain famously remarked, “Your breath will smell as though you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother” after consuming durian. Countries where it is frequently found have outlawed its use in public areas since even a single fruit may contaminate the air in entire hotels and airports.

But despite all the difficulties, a dedicated group continues to cultivate, provide for, and consume it. Are they detecting something that the rest of us aren’t (and smelling)? The world’s truly prohibited fruit, the durian, is covered in the following information.

Durians piled high in a fruit market

The “king of fruits,” the durian, is a tree fruit that is primarily grown over much of Asia. Just in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia alone, there are hundreds of different Durio species and variations.

Although not all durian varieties are edible, those that are all have prickly exterior rinds that can range in color from green to pale brown. They resemble considerably smaller jackfruit in appearance, but vary in that their maximum weight is typically between 5 and 7 pounds.

Pale white or orangey durian flesh is downright creamy; image sculpting a stick of room temperature butter by cupping it inside the palms of your hands. This contrasts with the texture of jackfruit, which might resemble pulled pork.


Along this theme, the flavor keeps going. It is described as custard-like and as tasting like silky almond paste or buttercream. Due to its high sugar content, vintners can even make wine from the flesh.

So it’s a flan ball that grows on trees in the style of Dr. Seuss. What about that is so terrible? An old proverb states that fruit have the conflicting qualities of tasting like heaven and smelling like hell. Yes, the stigma attached to durian stems from its very divisive fragrance. And what a fragrance it is, man oh man.

A farmer examines a tree that has durian.

The Wikipedia entry for durian lists sewage, old vomit, skunk spray, and used surgical swabs as fragrance notes associated with the fruit. Using a mass spectrometer and gas chromatography, a team of researchers led by Jia-Ziao Li identified 50 distinct compounds in durian that are responsible for its overpowering fragrance, including four molecules that were previously unknown to science.

The odors associated with roasted onions, garlic, rubber, cooked meat, leeks, honey, metal, dried squid, and yeast are all produced by the palette of components on their own. And while each of these genetic cues is favourably interpreted by the human nose on its own, when they come together to form the durian genome, they create a bizarre kind of culinary Voltron.

In fact, the science underlying highly scented fruit makes a lot of sense. Fruit’s survivalist objective is to be consumed, with its seeds being dispersed along the way in the hope that they would land on new, productive ground where they can grow and spread out.

In most human noses, the potent aromas of durian may add up to something awful, but for the elephants, monkeys, tapirs, and birds who feast themselves on the trees, that may not always be the case. In this way, the modern durian is a marvel of evolution.

Real durian bans exist in many regions of the world where the fruit is grown. For instance, before using the Singapore Metro, it must be thrown away or consumed; otherwise, there would be a $500 SGD ($380 USD) punishment. All public transit in Bangkok is subject to a similar prohibition.

Thai fruit is forbidden indication

Even after a thorough cleaning, a single durian brought into a hotel room can prevent the room from being sold for up to a week. It is impossible to speed up the sluggish process of aerating fiber carpets, linens, and even walls since the offensive smell stays long after the fruit has been consumed.

Durian chemicals damage big rooms that move air via HVAC heating and cooling systems because they seep into every porous surface they come into touch with.

Curiously, the husk of the durian fruit itself is the only odor neutralizer that is genuinely effective. It is stated that washing your hands with the husk will immediately draw the smell back out. However, it is impossible to extrapolate that procedure across multiple subway trains or airport terminals.

Finally, if you’re determined to try durian for yourself, keep in mind that a 2009 study looking into an old Asian myth relating drinking alcohol and eating durian to exploding bellies produced some unexpected findings.

foods that are making you smell bad

cutting onions

  • Some foods can have an impact on the way you smell, there is no way getting around it.
  • It seems like you’re not sure which foods cause the smells but foods including red meat, onions and dairy can directly affect the way you smell, and not just your breath. 

People surrounding you at the gym are all too aware that protein farts are a genuine thing. Your stomach struggles to process too much protein consumed all at once. When you use whey, you’ll probably only feel anxious and gassy, and you’ll release an odor that mixes the scent of your farts with a hint of synthetic powder.

Deodorize: Choose a less protein-dense snack for your post-workout refuel unless you want to completely purge the room. Americans consume far more protein than they actually require; the reasonable amount you actually need is found in almonds, yogurt, and eggs.

The mob disperses at each stop, but the foul smell is still present. You try to find the offender as covertly as you can, hoping you can locate a seat far from the offender. The odor hits you once more as your head turns. You might think it was you because it’s so strong. You casually lower your head to examine your underarms. Then again, it is you! However, you didn’t even exercise today! And this morning you took a shower! And you have deodorant on!

What you eat has a direct impact on how you smell, and not simply in terms of your breath.

According to science, this all comes down to how your body processes the pungent sulfur compounds that are present in many foods, including garlic, cumin, and asparagus. Garlic is claimed to repel vampires and mosquitoes, so the fragrance is nothing new. However, the smell of asparagus-tainted pee might not be as well known. Some of the meals on our list may have even surprised you with their potential to affect you in this way.

Keep these meals off the menu if you have a hot date, an important interview, or if you simply plan to be out in public that day. Here are some tips to help neutralize those unpleasant odors if you are unable to.


tequila shots alcohol

Have you ever been so buzzed that you believed you could smell alcohol dripping from your pores? Yes, you very certainly could. Before alcohol leaves your body, your body passes it via your bloodstream, which causes the alcohol to leak out through your pores and sweat glands and produce the distinctive and overpowering smell of a hangover.

Deodorize: Drinking moderately is, of course, the ideal strategy. However, if you’ve already consumed too much alcohol, the only way to eliminate the odor is to flush the alcohol from your body. Water consumption in large quantities can help to reduce the level of alcohol in your blood.



Tell it to the guy in the adjacent restroom cubicle. The luscious aroma of asparagus suddenly appears, appearing harmless. Although the effect varies from person to person, asparagus causes urine stink when the sulfur molecule mercaptan breaks down in the digestive system. If your urine doesn’t smell after eating asparagus, it’s likely that your body lacks the enzyme needed to break down mercaptan.

Deodorize: Look for a pleasant asparagus substitute if you’re worried about offending in a public restroom.

Similar to asparagus, bell peppers can be readily roasted or grilled without any negative consequences.



These red bulbs have a high methyl content, making them not only healthy and full of essential nutrients, but also strongly odorous. Trimethylamine, or TMA, is a chemical molecule produced in the digestive system as a result of methyl-rich foods. The substance releases onto your skin and gives off a foul-smelling “fishy” odor that many people find offensive.

Beets and other meals strong in methyl should be saved for nights when you’re staying in. You’ll be appreciated by the dinner guests seated next to you.

Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

Now there is a valid reason for young children in America to avoid some of these repulsive foods. These foods high in sulfur provide minerals and antioxidants that may help the body get rid of pollutants and cancer-causing cells, but they also have strong odors. This stink first manifests as farts, a socially devastating odor. The rotten-egg odor that these meals frequently produce is caused by the sulfur in them.

Deodorize: Cruciferous veggies are essential for maintaining good health. So eat those greens when you’re at home in the comfort of your own house! Before you finish cooking them, you can also parboil them to help get rid of some of the smell. Spices like coriander, turmeric, and caraway will help lower your emissions while also leaving you feeling fresh.

Chewing gum


You believed that chewing gum would help with odor issues rather than exacerbate them. However, the next time you’re going to chew some sugar-free gum, stop and reconsider. When you chew gum, you swallow more air along with your spit, which results in an accumulation of gas in your stomach. You guessed it, that gas comes out the other end.

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