To characterize foot odor, we analyzed its components by sensory tests, isolated microorganisms that produce it, and evaluated the mechanism of the occurrence of foot odor. As a result, foot odor was found to be derived from isovaleric acid, which is produced when Staphylococcus epidermidis, a resident species of the normal cutaneous microbial flora, degrades leucine present in sweat. In addition, Bacillus subtilis was detected in the plantar skin of subjects with strong foot odor, and this species was shown to be closely associated with increased foot odor. Therefore, we screened various naturally occurring substances and fragrant agents that inhibit microbial production of foot odor without disturbing the normal microbial flora of the human skin. As a result, we identified citral, citronellal, and geraniol as fragrant agents that inhibit the generation of isovaleric acid at low concentrations.