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Can you smell the roses?

17 April 2012, 12:12

Were our ancient ancestors the descendants of plants? Instead of originating from monkeys and living in caves, are we not perhaps related to fruit and trees; growing in gardens and orchards?

A pig smells like a pig; a horse smells like a horse; a lion smells like a lion. But what does modern Homo sapiens sapiens smell like? I’ll tell you.

We smell like a fruit cocktail!

Go into your bathroom and inspect the various concoctions you use on your body. The lemon flavoured shampoo; the strawberry flavoured soap; the vanilla flavoured handwash; the coconut flavoured cream; the mint flavoured toothpaste.

See what I mean?

Animals advertise themselves by marking their domain with urine, droppings, pheromones, and body odour.

And what do humans do? We drench our natural body odour with a variety of fruit and plant smells! Why?

Scent-marking – spraying urine on places and objects to mark territory and claim ownership – is an important part of canine communication. The chemical scent-message in a dog’s urine tell other dogs everything they need to know: where the marking dog hangs out, how long it’s been since he’s been around, and (in the case of a female) sexual receptivity. They do this to attract or warn others of their kind that they are around. This prevents one animal from straying into another’s area by accident.

Scent-marking can also be a way of asserting dominance, which is why some dogs will lift their legs on people. (Or maybe because they’re just trying to kill that irritating fruit smell which accompanies us humans.)

I’m not trying to say that someone who hasn’t been near water for a week smells like a rose (see?), but a human body that is washed every day smells the way it was intended to – human. 

Do we want to attract various fruits so that we can procreate with them? Do we want to warn pine apples and paw-paws not to stray into our immediate vicinity? Are plants, in fact, scared of us? Who knows...?

Even our language seems to give clues to our ancestry (ances-tree?): We return to our roots. We have a family tree. We stem from our forefathers. Our relatives have branched out all over the world.

So here’s what I propose:

For you tough guys out there: Spray your hair with petrol, rub your body down with whisky, and gargle with a strong mixture of garlic and rum. That’s what a real man should smell like. Oh yes – remember to urinate all over the place.

You ladies: Chanel No. 5, Baccarats Les Larmes Sacrees de Thebe, or Clive Christian No. 1. After all – we can’t have you smelling like pigs!

As for me: I’m nuttier than a fruitcake.

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