Friday, January 26, 2007

Body Odor

We can all agree that excessive body odor is not a good thing, however, given that zombies use the sense of smell as one of their primary means of detecting prey (Brooks, 7-8) perhaps we should reflect on the best smell for a person. According to Brooks, strong perfumes and deodorants don't deter the zombie from finding human prey. This would suggest that they can smell the "human" smell. Anyone who has ever had a physical education class in high school could tell you that though. What I am interested in is whether or not people can lose their body odor.
I know I've read somewhere (and perhaps another survivalist can verify this) that people lose their human odor after spending several days in the wilderness without all of the products that we regularly use, but with some cleaning (with local water sources, to eliminate BO). It would seem that there is some truth to this. The context I seem to remember reading about this in, was in terms of hunting and tracking prey. Eventually your prey would cease to be able to distinguish your scent from the surroundings. But zombies aren't the standard predator; would it disguise the fact that we are living, and therefore edible?
I don't think so, but perhaps it would make you slightly less perceptible. Decreasing your detectability (rather than trying to hide it) seems to be a more effective methods. One tactic could be to use your surroundings to an advantage. Brooks implies that the tests done on zombies were done under controlled conditions with an isolated target smell (that was consequently covered up). If you were surrounded by something very odoriforous, your scent may be difficult to detect in a field of stink. Of course, that's only if you can stand it. Another possibility (especially if you have established a stronghold) would be to create a diversionary scent. However, this would be very unpleasant (I will leave the details to your imagination), and may compound the psychological problems of living in the necropalypse.

Advice of the day: In these pre-apocalyptic times, it is still a good idea to use deodorant.


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