[By Ali Jonas]

Is there such a thing as a scent of attraction? Skeptics may snigger at this new age concept but many people, including mavens in the fragrance industry, believe that aromatic aphrodisiacs exist.

Men and women are lured to the opposite sex in different ways. For instance, men will be happy (and relieved) to know that looking like David Beckham or Brad Pitt won’t guarantee that you’ll get the girl. Rather, smelling like a star will. In several tests with hundreds of college students, girls consistently ranked “how a guy smells” as the most important feature for determining whether or not she’d be sexually attracted to him. On the other hand, gals will need to take care of their appearance as guys consistently place the highest level of importance on a girl’s physical appearance. However, there is no denying that how you smell can play a part in this strange world of attraction between the sexes.

The quest for a scent that can stimulate attraction is considered the holy grail in the fragrance industry. Just imagine if such a magical elixir could be captured it would be the beginning of a trillion dollar industry, not to mention the solution to loneliness and guaranteed success for nights out on the prowl.

Scent of self-confidence

But does such a scent truly exist? In the 1970s, Wonder Bra’s tagline in an ad jingle proclaimed “if you look good you feel good, and if you feel good you look great.” Perhaps there is more truth in that statement than meets the eye. If you believe that by putting something on-whatever it might be-it will make you more attractive to the opposite sex, your behavior will change. You’ll feel more confident and secure and you’ll be more flirtatious and self-confident-which will increase your attractiveness to others and thereby boost your sex life. The effect that you had experienced will merely be nothing more than a placebo effect!

Confirming this is a recent study conducted in the UK where men wearing a branded deodorant were rated by women as significantly more attractive than men who weren’t wearing scented deodorant. The surprise, however, was that the women didn’t actually smell the men— rather, the men just smelled themselves, then adjusted their behaviours accordingly. Women rated headshots of 35 men and 15 second video clips of the same men imagining introducing themselves to an attractive woman. The women rated all the men as equally attractive on the basis of their photos. But on video, the men wearing scented deodorant were rated as significantly more appealing than the men who weren’t wearing fragrance. Probing why the scented males were so much more alluring the researchers found that it had to do with how confident the men felt and how the scent of the deodorant made them feel. The more the men liked the fragrance they were wearing, the more confident they felt– and the more confident they felt the more attractive their body language was to women. The other amazing finding was that it only took 15 minutes of wearing the scented deodorant to boost the guys’ self-confidence! Talk about the power of a scent.

The feel-good scent

There was however correlation between how scents can affect one’s judgment and perception of attractiveness. New research also shows that you actually look better to girls when you smell great. In a recent study, scientists at Oxford University asked women to rate the attractiveness of men based on their headshots. While they were reviewing and rating each guy’s photo, female participants were simultaneously exposed to pleasant or unpleasant scents. The results showed that women rated male faces as being significantly less attractive in the presence of the unpleasant odors. On the other hand, they rated guys as being most attractive when they judged their looks in the presence of a pleasurable fragrance.

This “positive” effect can also be duplicated for other objects as well. Numerous studies have consistently shown that women and men evaluate many things more positively — everything from artwork to other people — when we judge them in the presence of a good smell.

This perhaps explains why countless hotels, high-end stores, even casinos have been paying attention to scent therapy for quite some time, piping in scents through special diffusers to lull consumers into a sense of euphoria. Chances are if you like the way a place smells, you’ll rate your experience there more positively than you would have otherwise.

Scent of memories

Scents bring back more emotional and evocative memories than words, sounds, looks, touches — even music. In fact, smells trigger our most emotionally potent memories. So, if you’re trying to make yourself unforgettable to the girl of your dreams, make thinking about you everything you hope it can be by applying a nice fragrance before you try to sweep her off her feet. Then, whenever she smells your fragrance again, she’ll be dying to be with you — as long as you actually did make a great impression when you were wearing it!

So, before you head out on your next date, take that extra second to apply a great scent. If you want to win her heart, you’re going to need to win over her nose first.


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