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'Unsexy scents' that drive men wild

February 16, 2010 1:00pm
Man magnet scent. If you think you need expensive perfumes to attract men — you're mistaken.

Many women think that "sexy" perfume can attract men. Perfume manufacturers, of course, reinforce this notion with their slick ads. But do scents really have an impact on how men react towards women? To a degree, yes.

Sniff science

There is no doubt that our sense of smell influences our perceptions.

In The Smell Report, Kate Fox, director of the Social Issues Research Centre, a UK-based non-profit organization that focuses on social and lifestyle issues, explained: "Our olfactory receptors are directly connected to the limbic system, the most ancient and primitive part of the brain, which is thought to be the seat of emotion."

This is probably why women practically douse themselves in perfume when they want to attract men. Unfortunately, their money and strategic perfume placement may be wasted. Chances are, they’re using the wrong perfumes.

Yummy perfume. If you smell like a doughnut or buttered popcorn, men are supposed to go crazy over you.
"Women who believe that the use of ‘sexy’ perfumes will attract men, however, may be misguided," wrote Fox. "Women’s sensitivity to musk, an ingredient commonly used in perfumes, is (a thousand) times greater than men’s. ‘Sexy’ perfumes containing musk are therefore much more likely to arouse the woman wearing them than any potential male partners."

This goes to show that what women think are sexy scents aren’t necessarily attractive to men’s noses.

Tantalizing aromas

A study conducted by Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, and his colleague Dr. Jason Grussman, listed the real odors or odor blends that are sure to pique men's interests.

Hirsch and Grussman spearheaded the testing of 31 men, aged 16 to 64. The subjects were each hooked to a plethysmograph and their reactions to 30 odor samples were subsequently measured. Specifically, the blood flow to their nether regions was monitored each time they sniffed a scent.

The study revealed that men reacted intensely to the following scents:
1. Lavender and pumpkin pie
2. Doughnut and black licorice
3. Pumpkin pie and doughnut
4. Orange
5. Lavender and doughnut
6. Black licorice and cola
7. Black licorice
8. Doughnut and cola
9. Lily of the valley
10. Buttered popcorn
Hirsch’s team asserted that since pleasant scents usually brought about positive feelings, it was highly likely that men would also be attracted to them. The team's findings supported their initial hypothesis. "However, a multitude of mechanisms could be at play," they said. "The odors could induce a conditioned response reminding (men) of (their partners) or their favorite foods."

That being said, it would seem that a woman doesn't need to bathe in expensive perfume to get men to pay attention to her. Perhaps, all she has to do is hang out in the kitchen and make sure that the smell of her chosen man's favorite food sticks to her clothes and hair. (Hopefully, his favorite food isn't danggit or durian.)

Now, who says men are hard to please? - YA, GMANews.TV

Illustrations by Analyn Perez
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