Body odours, then and now

Body OudorOdours provide a richness to our perception of the world, the reason why a mere exposure to a stimulus can trigger strong memories of the past.  Body odours have strong genetic bases both in animals and humans, which can be influenced by disease and psychological conditions. In many human cultures, these odours were considered unpleasant. Take for example prehistoric cavemen, who literally stank so horribly which might have helped to keep them from being consumed by predators who recoiled in horror from such odours!


Throughout time, man has been aware of and attempted to reduce bad body odours sometimes in the most bizarre ways.
Egyptian women [yes we are back to that civilization!] would place blobs of scented wax on their heads which would melt in the heat and trickle downwards. Apparently this was effective but very messy.


Romans on the other hand were obsessed with good “smells”, bathed frequently and doused themselves with perfume, as was the case with their horses and household pets.


During the Middle ages, things took a turn as the church decided that being bare was wicked, even in the bath. As dreadful as it sounds people stopped bathing and perfume once again became useful, however not being able to mask the foul underlying smells.


Although related to human skin, there are some questions such as why coins have a peculiar smell when touched ? The explanation being a human body odour caused by one’s skins oils coming into contact with metal.


In a similar vein, when blood makes contact with the exterior skin ' a similar odour arises due to the iron content of blood.
Then many others like “old person smell” - apparently due to chemical reactions in the skin [and with my head hung low, I always thought that grandpa did not wash his hair or his shirt collar too regularly!]


A million different odours can conjure up strong memories like the perfume worn on a first date, an ex lovers shampoo or the smell of a hospital ward.  Many odours of the past have become non-existent due to living in the age of technology such as :
The smell of a phone booth, cigarette smoke in the movies, old library books and believe it or not, new corduroy!


But a myriad of pleasant odours do and always will exist . The smell of sweaty socks or a blast of aftershave can never compete with that of a new born baby having powdery, vanilla like tones, no doubt the inspiration for many toiletry producers especially in the creation of talcum powders and soaps.


All Matsimela’s products have an oil/extract base as well as a specially formulated fragrance base. Matsimela can only conjure up the best sensations, having exquisite fragrances ranging from delicate florals to the more pungent spices like Warm Orange & Ginger; it is sweet, spicy, woody and warm. Containing pure ginger oil this range will have a stimulating effect on the heart and circulation, creating a feeling of warmth and well-being and restoring vitality, especially for those feeling the cold this winter.