In the present day we usually think of body odour as a negative thing, associating it with poor hygiene and cleanliness. This obsession with cleanliness is relatively new for us humans and in the UK can be traced to the Victorian period where there was a strong association of 'bad' odour with disease. Going back only a couple of hundred years then we all probably had much stronger odour than we do now, and our 'smell' would form part of our overall personality.
We wondered if we could see any evidence for thioalcohol production by S. hominis as being an ancient process and Michelle Rudden was able to estimate the time at which we think the key enzyme first evolved. While there are limits as to how accurate this guess can be, we are confident that this was a long long time ago, we guess about 60 million years ago, which definitely predated the emergence of Homo sapiens as a species and puts thioalcohol-based odour production back into the great apes.
We know gorillas can signal to each other using smell but don't know much about the mechanism of this - interestingly they have a whole load more apocrine glands than we do, perhaps pointing to much larger roles in smell-based communication that we have now.
Anyway, whether our 'smell' was a part of the 'chemistry' that brought early humans together to reproduce is not clear, but our research certainly suggests that it could have been.