Attraction: Using Your Sense of Smell

Attraction: Using Your Sense of Smell

We’ve all heard the saying: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But is this actually the case?

Evolutionary psychologist Dr. David Buss would argue yes and no – depending on which sex you’re talking about. While it is obvious that a person’s appearance factors into attraction, in the book “Why Women Have Sex”, Dr. Buss writes that women place a higher importance on smell than men do.


Social Smelling

Exactly why this dichotomy exists is not clear. However, it has been suggested men may have a less acute sense of smell or that a man’s brain is wired to weigh visual cues the highest. Though no official census of anosmiacs exists, the Anosmia Foundation estimates 2 million to 5 million American adults have taste and smell disorders.

Is his cologne too potent? Is he practicing basic hygiene? Whether women realize it or not, smell is often a deal-breaker. This fact is not solely referring to cologne and bad breath, but rather the subtle natural scent unique to every single one of us.

Pheromones for Women

Like animals, humans also emit tiny-like smell molecules called pheromones. Subconsciously, women can decode the information encrypted in a male’s pheromones, from which she can determine factors including health and genetic compatibility. In turn, this will affect how attractive a man appears.

Two ways in which we communicate is through the senses of smell and taste. Chemistry and attraction are so synonymous, that we use the pheromones of the opposite sex as signals for compatibility!

Evolutionarily speaking, this ability to determine health and genetics has aided in successful reproduction. Furthermore, this idea notion is supported by the fact that a women’s olfactory senses are at their highest around the time of ovulation.

So the next time you consider buying your boyfriend or husband cologne, think again. He might already have the perfect scent.

Besides taking a big whiff of your man, here’s another way to check compatibility: Swab the inside of his cheek.

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