Dating Advice

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Perfume and Attraction

Do you smell sexy enough?

Written by
Sylwia Koricka
Smells and dating

The main criticism of online dating is its superficial nature. Both men and women will mainly focus on physical attractiveness and judge the rest of the profile accordingly. In other words, if you are attractive, collecting stamps will be much more interesting if you do it rather than someone less physically appealing.

However, is it that simple? If so, why do we sometimes go on a date with somebody gorgeous and within minutes, if not seconds, we realize there is no ‘sparkle’ and definitely no future with the beautiful creature sitting at the other side of the table?

The answer lies in how Mother Nature equipped us with compatibility detectors, existence of which we usually have no clue of! It is true that physical attractiveness, reflected in such dimensions as body proportions or facial symmetry, is a rather effective predictor of good physical health and therefore, suitability for forming partnership. Yet, there are also other dimensions to attractiveness going way beyond beauty or personality; it is your smell.

Research in neuroscience shows that women have superior sense to smell, which is reflected in the fact that women are heavily affected by how men smell. And although men rely more on visual characteristics, it has been shown that men with no sense of smell (asomia) have lesser sexual relationships than their healthy counterparts.

That’s right. Our bodies talk on our behalf using language of aromas and decide for us whether we like someone or not. If you use a pleasant perfume people around you will react to you in a more positive way and that is important for social interactions. In sphere of intimate relationships what is crucial is your natural body odour and pheromones. We still know little on the role of pheromones and whether spraying yourself with pheromones will make your date crazy about you, we know that natural body odour is what counts.

Again, women are more sensitive to detecting appropriate life partners, yet it has to be mentioned that this is not true of women using contraceptive pill. The pill changes hormonal environment that allows for the proper detection of suitable partners. So, if you are thinking about marrying “the one”, get off the pill for a while just in to be sure your eyes and your nose are on the same page.

If you feel insanely attracted to another person and find the smell intoxicating- congratulations, you have just found a perfectly compatible mate that will provide your children with strong immune system. It turns out that we can “smell” so called MHC-genes that relate to immune system and we are attracted to people that have very different MHC-genes. This mix of genes creates a super combo against pathogens, making your prospective kids very lucky.

The attraction ruled by sense of smell explains not only why physically attractive individual looses all the charm once met, but also why a person that we had found vaguely attractive on a picture can suddenly change into the target of our desires. Should you be worried? Of course not! Meet and get to know all kinds of people and your nose will do the rest for you!


Author: Sylwia Koricka

Master of Science (M.S.), Neuroscience, economics, business | University of Utrecht 2012 - 2015 Masters in Neuroscience with minor in business fundamentals Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Social Sciences (Psychology, Criminology, Law) | University College Utrecht, Utrecht University 2007 - 2010 University of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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