Wouldnt they try to make themselves smell better? I mean obviously they didn't have cologne or anything but what did they use is anything? Not trying to recreate just curious. Is it healthy or detrimental?
I know that for me artificial scents get in the way of attraction. I want to know someones "personal scent" and that is what seem to attract me on a more animalistic level.
It also messes with my ability to know when someone is scared or angry or totally fatigued.
Dr. Mauch, author of a German book about the dangers of "chemical bombs under your arms" says bad smelling sweat is an indicator for a problem with your kidneys. I have not read his book or looked into this any further, but judging from an interview I saw, it makes sense.
I guess we also need to distinguish between "personal smell" and "bad smell". I am a living being, of course I have a distinctive smell. I like that and those close to me do too. As far as I know humans can't smell me from more than 20-30cm away. So even for "business occasions" there is no problem if you are confident (it's just a matter of trusting yourself more than the industy). Using herbal extracts and oils should be more than enough.
Modern fragrances are packed full of endocrine disruptors, but it turns out some natural ones, like lavender, are as well. There have been new recommendations to not use lavender scented products on babies for this reason. There might be times when this can be beneficial (lavender is thought to be relaxing for example) but it also might be unhealthy. Personally, I'm finding the older I get, the less I like fragrances, especially heavy ones. I do still like fruity scents but use them very sparingly.
Also, it's worth noting that paleolithic folks also probably did a lot of things that were acceptable within their cultures, but not necessarily healthy. After all, we've only recently gotten good about sanitation, and certainly not everywhere, although that is probably more a factor of population density which paleos may not have had a problem with. Anyway, they may have used all kinds of toxic things in their daily lives and certainly many would have died by mushrooms, become intoxicated on rotten fruit, and eaten things repeatedly that made them sick without making the connection if the illness doesn't come on right away. SO, my point is that "because paleo folk did" isn't necessarily an endorsement for the use of something ;)
Ugh, I don't think Paleolithic people rubbed petroleum products refined with industrial solvents all over their bodies. I'm sure they didn't cover up the natural smells that were part of life.
No, we don't have to stink. Normal modern cleanliness and fragrance free products (like a crystal deodorant) are sufficient. Fragrances are unnecessary added toxins in our environments.
Fragrances trigger my asthma and can make me pretty sick. I have to work in an enclosed space with the door closed to avoid the fragrances my co-workers use, not just perfume and cologne, but EVERYTHING! Laundry detergents, skin lotion, hair products, air fresheners, potpourri on their desk, etc. I can't begin to describe to someone who hasn't experienced this how awful those fragrances make me feel--headache, coughing, wheezing, eyes watering, throat burning. The only thing worse is tobacco (or any other) smoke.
The worst is when someone wears a lingering scent and decides to touch me (hug, shake hands, etc. ) the scent stay on my clothes. I have to change and shower sometimes, ASAP. It's hard for me to shop for clothes if others have tried them on wearing perfume.
My sensitivity varies depending on health. Since paleo I've been less sensitive but with my first upper respiratory virus last week I was especially sensitive. I had errands to run and I didn't feel too bad, but I ended up staying home because a knew a perfumed person or a smoker could wipe me out by triggering my asthma to get worse. It was the first time I've felt limited by asthma in a long time.
While I'm pretty sensitive, I think others don't realize how many toxic substances they are exposing themselves to because Madison Ave. advertisers have convinced us there's something wrong with our natural smell.