How To Show You Love Someone With Sweat, Shells And 6 Other Symbols

Because hearts are just so mainstream.

1. The alluring stench of sweat

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Historically, sweat has been a widely-used ingredient in perfumes and love potions. It is believed that the sweat scent is an indicator of fertility, and attracts the opposite sex based on human's basic instinct to reproduce. Who knew such an unlikely element would come to be a key representation of love?

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Another instance of an unlikely (but now widely-popular) love icon is American artist Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture, which made its debut at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The artist had experimented with placing the "LO" above the 'VE", and the move is clearly well-received as the design has been replicated all over the world.

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2. Apples, believed to represent love due to how long it lasts after being picked

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While newly-weds in ancient Greece would share an apple in hopes for a blessed union, a fascinating gypsy legend goes that if a woman ate half an apple before midnight and the other half after midnight, her true love will make an appearance in her dream.

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An apple is the focal element of the Secret Bench of Knowledge sculpture, an art installation that captures the love of books. The sculpture by Canadian artist Lea Vivot first made its appearance in Ottawa, and includes close to 100 handwritten messages by schoolchildren on the joys of reading.

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3. Chocolate, which has been proven to release the same hormones when falling in love

Chocolate's link to love began as early as the Aztec civilisation, where the great leader Montezuma made a habit of drinking 50 cups of chocolate a day before visiting his harem of 600 women.

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Chocolate became Barcelona Chocolate Museum's sculpting ingredient of choice when recreating Michelangelo's classic piece, The Pietà, a work of art that inspires love and faith.

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4. Padlocks with the key thrown away

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A padlock is becoming an increasingly common symbol of love, typically attached to bridges and fences by couples. Initials of the sweethearts are scribbled on the lock and the key is thrown away, symbolising commitment and unbreakable love.

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This act of love has taken over many public fixtures around the world and has become an accidental work of art. Paris' Pont des Arts remains as one of the most recognised sites for love locks.

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5. An exotic mix of herbs

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Inspired by Roman mythology, mixing herbs sacred to Venus (like marjoram, mint, and thyme) with those associated with Mars (basil and broom) are said to induce lovey-dovey feels.

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Japan's Nunobiki Herb Gardens take love to new heights! Its artistically-arranged courtyard is complete with heart-shaped herbs and a mother-and-child statue aptly titled 'Love'.

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6. The protectiveness of shells

Due to their hard casing acting as a shelter to the life they contain, shells possess a protective image. This symbolises the protective quality that is also associated with love.

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Shells have been featured extensively in art through the centuries, with Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus classic painting being one of the prominent pieces that forever sealed this protective icon as a representation of love. The masterpiece welcomes love aficionados at its current home at Uffizi Gallery in Italy.

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7. Maple leafs, of which the syrup is likened to the sweetness of love

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The maple leaf is regarded as an emblem of lovers in China and Japan, while early North American settlers used to have the symbol engraved on their beds to encourage pleasure and for peaceful sleep.

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Tachuan Village's abundance in ancient maple trees makes for a romantic, enchanting visit. The village is one of China's most picturesque and becomes the focal point of photographers in late October and November.

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8. Never-ending knots, a sign of eternal love

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Many cultures are known to use knots as a symbol of eternal love that has neither a beginning nor an end. True love knots were prominently used by sailors who had to part from their beloved.

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The beauty of knots is incorporated by Ohio's Adena Cancer Hospital into a remarkable art piece that commemorates love towards the hospital's patients. The hospital visitors are free to grab a ribbon and knot it onto the installation as a way of showing love and support for the patients.

Evidently, love expressions can be symbolised in many interesting, unique ways all around the world and throughout the ages

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Feel the need to let all that burning love in your heart off your chest?

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In Malaysia, a new sculpture stands in Bukit Bintang in the name of true love

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Now's the time to commemorate your eternal love for the beloved in your life. Grab a #ProtectTrueLove lock and share the story of how you would protect your true love with the world! Find out more here.

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