Health : how the smell of women attracts men
Lots of scientific research shows that smell is linked to sexual attraction, but how exactly it remains a mystery. What is the chemical scent that attracts men and women exactly? Natural body odors play a role, but scientists are still unable to pinpoint what exactly is the smell in our body that causes sexual attraction in others. But a group of scientists from Switzerland have delivered a final clue.
The team based at the University of Bern was investigating whether a protein called humain human leukocyte antigen ’is important for odor attraction. This protein which helps the immune system to detect possible foreign invaders also influences our personal odor and captures the genetic differences between different people.
What are the odors related to sexual attraction?
The reason to focus on the human leukocyte antigen is related to the fact that we are always attracted to someone who is different from us. A scientific study in 2006 found that sexual attraction and desire for a person were stronger between people whose cells or genes were different from each other. And that makes sense because being with someone who is genetically different from us is very advantageous in terms of survival. And since the human leukocyte antigen encapsulates such genetic differences, it makes sense to wonder if the odors that attract us to others are somehow related to this protein.
What are the scents that attract men?
Most researchers working on the human leukocyte antigen have focused on attraction in women. The Swiss researchers wanted to see if this protein influenced men. To find out exactly what odor attracts men, the researchers asked 42 women to collect body odor under their armpits every night using cotton swabs. Women were asked not to shower or share their bed with anyone before collecting their personal odor.
Women's body odor is a sexual attraction for men
The researchers also asked 94 men to sniff each tampon, making sure to offer them a neutral odor between samples, such as the smell of coffee. Participants had to rank each sample on the criteria of strength, attraction and sympathy. Blood samples from each woman and man were tested so that researchers could catalog the similarities and differences in the human leukocyte antigen protein in the participants.
The results added to the mystery of the attraction. Scientists have found that the odors that men find attractive are unrelated to the protein of the human leukocyte antigen. Men were certainly attracted to certain body odors and not others, but their preferences were unrelated to the protein in question. What does that mean ? Maybe finding a woman who is genetically different from them is not nearly as important.
Psychologist and research co-author Janek Lobmaier believes the results are more conclusive than those of previous research because the team took into account the menstrual cycle of women, which is not the case with other research. And this is important because the smell of women changes during ovulation and there is evidence that men are more attracted to women during this period.
‘Thanks to its rigorous methodology, this study is certainly the most conclusive to suggest that this protein plays a non-signifying role in men's preferences for women's body odors,’ Lobmaier said.
Even if the research participants were not many, James Roney, a psychologist at the University of California believes that it was very well executed. Since previous research has presented alternative results, he believes that a meta-analysis of variable studies may provide more accurate answers on the question of odors and sexual attraction. But what we know so far about what widowed men are is the fact that they are clearly attracted to the signs of youth, good health, and the bodily forms associated with health.
But then, odors and perfumes, what really attracts men? Can women manipulate the sexual attraction of men using certain perfumes or is it all hormonal? 'Seduction is embedded in the history of perfume and that is why it has lasted throughout the world and through the millennia', says Mandy Aftel, perfumer and author of the book 'Fragrant: The Secret Life of Perfume .
Science has already proven that certain scents can influence the level of attraction of certain people – for better or for worse. While Frédéric Malle, a perfumer at Carnal Flower says that the goal of fragrances is to increase magnetism, he also admits that some people who use perfume, do not do it to please others. However, it may be interesting for you to know which odors have the force of attraction. And just to warn you, some of them are a little weird. Here are the most popular:
Your natural smell
Even if you wear fragrance-free deodorant, wash your clothes with unscented detergent and avoid perfumes in general, you will always produce a distinctive personal odor. And the men all agree that the female body produces an odor that attracts them. The smell that men prefer is that of women who have higher levels of estrogen and lower progesterone levels. Body odor then acts as a valuable clue to potential fertility.
Even if men may prefer the scent of myrtle, they are still big fans of floral scents. Men say that the overly floral scents are reminiscent of old ladies' scents and they don't like it. In a scientific study by Alan Hirsch, neurologist and psychiatrist, most men share this opinion. And yet the scent of lily of the valley is an exception because the scent is much sweeter.
According to perfumer Frédéric Malle, the best try of perfume with lily of the valley is quite old. It’s the perfume ‘Diorissimo’ from Dior, which dates back to the 1950s. And since the Diorissimo perfume has a fairly realistic fragrance, it remains the best perfume to wear today.
According to men's noses, roses have too strong a scent. However, rose oil is different. In a 2014 study, scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Switzerland and the Monell Senses Center in Philadelphia discovered that rose oil influenced participants to rate photos of women's faces with a higher our than when they smelled something bad. In this case, it was fish oil.
One of the best things about using essential oil as a perfume is that you don't have to buy an expensive perfume bottle. On top of that, rose oil is made from real rose petals, so you don't have to worry about using chemicals. Rose oil can even be used to lighten, heal and tone the skin.
The scent of vanilla has nothing surprising to do with vanilla. Perfumer Christine Nagel says that vanilla is ‘sweet, almost sweet but has a strong, intense and animal facet’. Vanilla is always a winning option. It produces the feeling of happiness all over the world. And since vanilla is very often used in perfumes globally, then you are likely to come across a perfume that has some in its composition.
There are also signs that vanilla is also an aphrodisiac. Phil Lampert, an observer of trends and the food industry, says that the scent and taste of vanilla is said to increase the feeling of desire, but some studies show that vanilla can increase adrenaline levels in the blood. Vanilla is stronger than many people believe.
You may have never heard of vetiver, but you may know its scent. As perfume expert Chandler Burr describes in an article, this native herb from India has a scent similar to that of lemongrass. Its scent can be warm like that of tobacco leaves, it can carry the freshness of crushed green leaves or it can be cold like that of lemon verbena. Although this odor is more common for column water, it is a fragrance that can be worn by everyone. Vetiver has an underrated sex appeal.
Perfumer Olivia Giacobetti says she appreciates the scents that fall between the two genres. A thrill may come from the disturbance. The ambiguity brings a mystery that is more sensual, more subtle and more modern. If you like this description, then you can try Stem by Milan + Goetz, described as an anti-floral fragrance. The Beyrego Super Cedar scent, on the other hand, carries a woody vetiver scent.
Freshly squeezed oranges
Neurologist, psychiatrist and founder of ‘Smell & Taste Treatmenet and Research Foundation’ in Chicago, Illinois, Alan Hirsch, reveals that the smell of fresh oranges is almost irresistible to men. Wearing it, there are difficulties if you want to wear this perfume. Perfumers have successfully recreated the strength of the citrus aroma and incorporated it into perfume bottles.
The Blood Orange from Atelier Cologne captures this aroma very well. According to the description of the fragrance, it is ‘a zesty and energizing explosion of crushed ripe fruit, playing sweet blood orange juice against bitter orange peel and sensual notes of geranium. Users of this fragrance agree that this fragrance carries the citrus scent well. And if you're looking for something with a more subtle orange scent, Lavanila Vanillla's Grapefruit may be your scent. Orange is just one of the notes of this fragrance and you will also feel the addition of vanilla.
Just as you should not be afraid of so-called masculine scents like vetiver, your man will not be repelled if you wear a scent that has woody or even spicy notes. When giving his opinion on Victoria’s Secret ‘Sexy’ fragrance, one man said he smelled like sex. And this man is not the only one, apparently. And if you're not a fan of ‘Very sexy’, then Gucci Guilty is also very sexy, according to men. It carries notes of citrus and pink pepper, as well as a patchouli aroma and even subtle floral notes.
‘Musk is the most carnal of all the ingredients in perfumes,’ says perfumer Christine Naguel. Musk carries a fine sensuality and it can easily arouse all the senses. While you may be familiar with this aroma in the form of perfume, musk was considered very rude in the past. Originally, musk was collected from the sex glands of male deer. Yes really. And apparently he smelled horribly until he wasn't soaked in vodka for at least a few months or years.
Will Andrews, senior scientist at P&G Prestige, a branch of Procter and Gamble that produces fragrances, says that musk is no longer the case today. And yet the scent of musk remains in its chemical form. Today musk remains very popular because it is sexy and provokes sexual attraction. It is very fruity, sometimes floral but still very sweet.
While oranges have a very tempting effect for men, it's not just the fruits that can make women look more attractive in men's eyes. Avery Gilbert, sensory psychologist, says that the luxurious fruity notes are disarming but attractive. Edible odors increase men's arousal.
Regardless, you may like to wear fruit-based scents because you simply like their scent. Whatever your reasons, there are plenty of fruity flavors. But the Sheer fragrance by Burberry also has lots of notes of exotic fruits, including lychee and yuzu. It also has a note of clementine, grapes, pineapple leaf and even musk. And if you want something that isn't as fruity, try Giorgio Armani's Beauty, which combines the raspberry aroma with rose and vanilla.
While you may like peppermint essential oil for headaches, mint flavor also works for men. Perfumer Christine Nagel says peppermint is an energizing scent with fresh, solid notes that leave you feeling aroused. It is also a fragrance that stimulates and opens the senses with a side effect that makes people happy.
Men may like the peppermint aroma on women’s skin, but there are also many other benefits for those who wear it. In addition to helping with headaches and making you happier, mint also has a cooling effect. So it's not very good to wear a mint scent in winter when it's cold, but in summer it is really nice.
Jasmine is, according to Craig Warren, director of scientific affairs at the Sens of Smell Institute, the most sensual scent in existence. This is due to the fact that jasmine contains chemical indole. The plant releases this very strong compound to attract insects. As it turns out, indole is also present in the human body.
Just like musk, jasmine is one of the most carnal aromas you can wear. And you don't need to bathe in jasmine flowers to capture its scent to provoke sexual attraction. Almost all jasmine scents are indole. However, indole has a scent similar to a mothball when concentrated, its aroma goes very well with other floral scents. At the end, the jasmine creates a complex and rich note with many nuances.