But especially to the new students and postdocs who don't yet really know what's up,
You know that delicious scent you just bought? That nice perfume? That neat smelling shampoo? That cool new deodorant or body spray?
Guess what? I can smell it. And so can the rodents.
By now, young students, you may be experienced enough to have seen a rodent brain or two, and seen rodent behavior first hand, and you will have seen them sniffing around inquisitively, and you will have seen those GIGANTIC olfactory bulbs. You will have divined, from several tests in which the protocols note specific smells are used and the room has to be scented a specific way, that rodents might be sensitive to smell, and that they use it as a cue.
So if you know all this, and are so wise with your use of lemon scents and vanilla scents in various protocols...why, exactly, do you think that the rodent cannot smell YOU?! Especially when you, young student, are decked out in a panoply of smell that leaves the hallway scented with your products for 10 minutes after you've been in it. And if I can smell you, I can only imagine the poor rodents are about to pass out from your synthetic stench.
So here's some advice. Don't smell. I know you have no real choice in the matter, but if you're going to smell a certain way, it needs to be CONSISTENT. Get a shampoo, conditioner, lotion, what have you, and DO. NOT. CHANGE. I hope you like that new fall fragrance, cause you're gonna be wearing that shit until this ENTIRE experiment is through. By then we'll be in to winters, but you can just tell people you're retro. The best by far would be to not wear the dang stuff at all. But now you've done it, and the rodents know you. And the rodents will expect your smell. And in the interest of controlling as many variables in this experiment as possible, you're wearing that scent til the cows come home.
Just remember kids. If you can smell it, they can too. Save my experiments and leave your perfume at home.