and Natural Scent
Forget fatal attraction; smell is the most important characteristic for a woman choosing a romantic partner, according to the new book by Rachel Herz, an expert on the psychology of smell. In her book, The Scent of Desire: Discovering our enigmatic sense of smell, Herz looks at the role of scent in sexual attraction, based on years of research.
“Since at least the time of the Egyptians, we have been adorning ourselves with scent for the purpose of attraction. Men and women differ in terms of how much of a role scent plays in their sexual attraction towards one another,” says Herz. “For heterosexual women, it turns out to be the number one physical factor, as well as the most important social factor, aside from pleasantness. And this isn’t about avoiding a man who smells ‘bad’, but rather about being especially attracted to a man who smells ‘good’.
From your nose to your heart (via your brain)
The connection between our sense of smell and our emotions is founded on the evolution of our brain with the two being intrinsically linked. Smell and emotion are located in the same network of neural structures, called the limbic system. The limbic system is the ancient core of the brain, sometimes called the rhinencephalon – literally, the ‘nose brain’. “A primitive olfactory cortex was the first fabric of our brain and from this neural tissue grew the amygdala, where emotion is processed,” says Herz. “In other words, the ability to experience and express emotion grew directly out of our brain’s ability to process smell. “Without an amygdala we cannot experience or process emotional experiences, we cannot express our own emotions, and we cannot learn and remember emotional events. Brain imaging studies have shown that when we perceive a scent the amygdala becomes activated and the more emotional our reaction to the scent, the more intense the activation is.
It begs the question: would we feel emotion and attraction if we didn’t have a sense of smell?
Sniffing out a potential partner
“Body chemistry plays a large role in terms of whom we are sexually attracted to and our noses speak loudly to our souls. All of us, and women in particular, end up relying quite deeply on our noses for some of the most fundamental decisions in our lives; in particular, whom we choose to have children with,” says Herz. “The sense of a lover being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ for you may feel like intuition, but it is real – and your nose knows it. There is something very important and biologically sound going on when a woman finds a man’s smell delicious or distasteful. The specific men a woman will be attracted to depend greatly on the compatibility between his immune system and her own and this is reflected in a man’s unique body odor.
“Women are also very attracted by artificial fragrance and a man can mask his natural body odor with fragrance and lure biologically compatible women to him that way.” “There is research showing that not being on the pill is best for picking biologically suitable mates,” says Herz. “A woman’s sense of smell is better than a man’s, but only during those few days within a woman’s monthly cycle when conception is possible. During the rest of her cycle she is no better than a man at detecting scents, and during menstruation, her ability to detect odors is often worse than a man’s.
Did you know?
• The Kama Sutra, the fifth-century Hindu sex manual, written by men, praises the scent of women and proclaims that the beauty of a woman is not determined by how she looks, but rather how she smells.
• Many cultures have recognized the special relationship between smell, affection, and sexuality. In India the word for “kiss” means smell, and the Inuit typically rub their noses together rather than engaging in mouth-to-mouth kissing.
Here's my "take five"favorite fragrant attraction:
1. Benetton Cold - my high school fave flava
2. Davidoff Cool Water - the first fragnant iv smelled so good
3. CK one - different kind of sweetness on it
4. Burberry London - i really like the lightness of the scent and it stays long
5. Bvlgari AQva - it's bold, alluring,and affordable...my new flava
Thanks to Institute of Smell
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