The Scented Ape: The Biology and Culture of Human Odour

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 29, 1990 - Medical - 286 pages
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Both men and women devote time and effort to removing natural body odour and replacing it with sexual attractant odours derived from plants and animals - we seem to need to smell of something other than people! Yet of all the apes, we are the most richly endowed with scent producing glands. This book examines the sense of smell in humans, comparing it with the known functions of the same sense in other animals. Odorous cues play a role in sexual physiology and behaviour in animals and there are claims that odour can play the same role in humans. The place of odours and scents in aesthetics and in psychoanalysis serves to illustrate the link between the emotional centres and the brain. The book presents arguments to explain the way in which our ancestral past has given rise to our modern day olfactory enigmas. The material is presented with as much explanation of the technical detail as possible to make the book accessible to a wide readership.
 

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Contents

The human nose a zoological conundrum?
1
Chemoreception and the origin of sexual reproduction
12
The scented ape
49
The nasogenital relationship
79
Scent and the psyche
120
Perfume
142
Incense
168
The noselessness of man
207
The human nose and the monkeys tail
235
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