Actually, Your Shit Might Not Stink—If You’re Surrounded by Your People

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But a sweaty human by any other college-affiliation than your own might smell far more sour.

In two experiments, researchers found that college students asked to sniff sweaty t-shirts were significantly more disgusted if they thought the funk originated from someone at a rival school rather than their own. The findings, reported Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, highlight the importance of social groupings in our perceptions. Namely, social groups help make individuals more tolerant of personal pew—improving team work—as well as create perceived barriers to collaboration with non-group members.

Source: Actually, your shit might not stink—if you’re surrounded by your people

Mine?  It depends on what I ate 😉

Sandalwood Odor Could Be a Treatment for Leukemia

Olfactory receptors are not limited to your nose. You have them all over your body, including your blood. Now, synthetic sandalwood has been shown to promote cell death in cancer cells for patients with a certain kind of leukemia. This could open the door for a whole new kind of treatment.

Source: Sandalwood Odor Could Be a Treatment for Leukemia

It’s been known to cause cell death in my nose, too 😉

It’s extremely specific to that one type of cancer, which is understandable – cancer really is just a catch-all for unregulated cell growth.  Different locations have different responses to therapy.

The Asparagus-Urine Smell Is Surprisingly Controversial

Most people know about the strange smell that asparagus gives off after it has been, ahem, processed by some humans. Yet other humans aren’t able to smell the odor at all. That makes asparagus an unusual marker for the intricacies of genetic variation.

Source: The Asparagus-Urine Smell Is Surprisingly Controversial

Study: 2 Cloves of Raw Garlic Beats Body Spray

Our study shows that axillary odour, in contrast to oral odour, is positively affected by garlic, and these two sources of odour should be strictly differentiated. One may thus speculate on the relative strength and salience of these effects in social interactions. Certainly, breath odour plays a crucial role in most social interactions, but human axillary odour is also an important factor in intimate relationships…

Source: Consumption of garlic positively affects hedonic perception of axillary body odour

That’s besides the health benefits of consuming garlic:

  • cardiovascular
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antibacterial/antiviral
  • cancer prevention
  • iron metabolism

Related reads:

Rid Your Kitchen of Seafood Smells with This Aromatic Tea

Theories on how to eliminate the smell of fish (#fishsmell) from your kitchen abound. There are those awful aerosol air fresheners, sickly scented candles, and of course there’s always the option of saying screw it and moving into a new home.

But there’s an easier, less dramatic way: #fishsmell tea.

Source: The Quick Shortcut to a Better Smelling Kitchen

Ugh, reminds me of the time my father had kippers.  If I’d only known then, what I know now…

Why Do Other People’s Farts Smell Worse?

In 2005, two researchers published a series of articles investigating the subject of other people’s smelliness. They examined how much disgust people would feel and show after smelling a variety of odors, including armpits, garbage and farts. Among the stinks examined, farts elicited the strongest negative response, and across all body odors, people consistently rated odors of other people worse than their own (with one notable exception in that the armpit sweat of one’s partner was generally rated as less offensive than a person’s own…)

Source: Why Do Other People’s Farts Smell Worse?

Bonus Facts:

  • If you eat red cabbage (especially uncooked, as in coleslaw) your poo turns a lovely shade of blue.
  • Too much grape cool-aid or grape juice turns poo bright green.

What Gives a Decaying Body Its Distinctive Odor?

Dead bodies give off a distinctive, sickly-sweet odour that’s immediately recognisable and hard to forget. The smell of death can consist of more than 400 volatile organic compounds in a complex mixture. These compounds are produced by the actions of bacteria, which break down the tissues in the body into gases and salts.

Source: What Gives a Decaying Body Its Distinctive Odor?

Cadaverine – how creative.

Stainless Steel: Erases Aroma of Garlic, Onion

If you love cooking with garlic, you know it does a lot of good in recipes by helping build flavor — but its strong odor can linger for hours, especially on our hands. We’ve all been in the situation where after preparing a wonderful meal, we’re left with the stench of garlic on our fingers — yuck! There are a few tricks people often recommend to eliminate the smell: lemon juice or vinegar, rubbing your hands with salt, or even using toothpaste! But those don’t work — all they do is mask the garlic smell. So what does really work? Stainless steel.

Stainless steel, of all things, has been shown to remove the odor of garlic. Kitchen gadget companies have even created stainless steel bars shaped like soap for removing kitchen smells from your hands. But using any stainless steel surface works, too. Try your stainless steel kitchen sink or faucet — just hold your hands under cold running water while rubbing the stainless steel for 10 seconds. Voila, the smell will be gone.

Let’s explain why stainless steel works.

Source: Why Stainless Steel Erases Garlic’s Aroma

It works, but not for the reason the article supplies.  Sulfur does not react with water, even at elevated temperatures.  And sulfuric acid is odorless (provided you don’t consider the burning an odor), and sulfur is also inert with regards to steel. Whoever wrote that doesn’t science very well.


  • If you have a stainless steel sink, just rub your hands on that.
  • For fish, wash your hands with spearmint tooth paste.