What’s That Smell? The Science Behind Scents and Sexual Attraction

Beauty standards change as more trends emerge in our society. But one thing that never fails to make a person attractive is their scent. Many people link smell to a person’s physical and sexual attraction.

Perfume and colognes are common items in bathroom vanity. But perfume was once a rare item reserved for nobles in ancient eras. Now there are over 41% of women in the US who use perfume every day.

Many people use perfume and various scents to enhance their sexual attraction. In this article, we show you the science and psychology behind scents. Read on to discover the relation of your scent to your physical attraction.

Historical Traces of Scents

Perfume has a long history ranging back to thousands of years. It was first discovered and used in Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, the Persian Empire, and Mesopotamia. Before it became a common bathroom vanity item, people used perfume for ceremonies.

The Greek Goddess of Love

There was once a cult of Aphrodite, otherwise known as the goddess of love. Followers would use perfume and other scents in their worship temples. Perfume-making in ancient Rome turned it into a large global market.

Romans used tons of imported frankincense and myrrh yearly. These fragrances were most common in bathhouses. Romans also included them in body care items like oils and balms.

Symbol of High Status

Perfume and fragrance were once a symbol of high status in Ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians once worshipped a god of perfume, known as Nefertem. Common depictions of the Egyptian god featured water lilies, which was a common ingredient in their perfume.

Great Egyptian rulers used fragrances often. Leaders like Queen Cleopatra and Queen Hatshepsut brought perfume to their living quarters and baths. Some even brought their perfume to their grave.

Stench of Pestilience

Doctors in the bubonic plague once wore masks filled with herbs. Many combined the herbs with spices and oils. Many believed that fragrances and scented oils could ward off the disease.

Scented Ink

Perfumes and other fragrances were at the center of ancient Indian rituals. The ancient Chinese also used them to disinfect and purify. The use of perfume was common in their homes and sacred temples.

Many infused perfumes with everyday items. The ancient Chinese combined their perfumes with their ink and stationery. Perfumes became popular among the public during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties.

How We Make Perfume

Ancient civilizations used tree bark, wood, roots, flowers, leaves, and seeds to make the first perfumes. Myrrh and frankincense extracted from trees were common ingredients for incense. Ancient civilizations combined plants like peppermints and rose with oils.

In the modern age, we combine natural and synthetic scents. Many rich perfumes come with multiple layers of fragrances to create the ultimate sexy scent, like this Jean Paul Gaultier Fragrance.

Scent and Sexual Attraction

Do you ever wonder why smell is a crucial factor in determining sexual attraction? Being attracted to someone’s scent may be a result of your body’s limbic system. Your limbic system consists of a set of structures in your brain.

These structures play major roles in controlling your mood, behavior, memory, and emotion. Our olfactory system contributes to this primitive part of the brain. Different smells can elicit certain emotions like calmness, happiness, and more.

Chemistry of Smell and Attraction

Attraction to smell depends on our body’s chemistry. Everyone except identical twins has a unique set of genes. There are over 50 sets of genes that are genotype to your body’s immune system, also known as MHC genes.

MHC genes determine your body’s unique odor and immune system. Your natural odor can be as unique as your fingerprint. Every person may feel attracted to a different set of men or women depending on their MHC gene.

Smell and Survival

It’s in our evolutionary biology to procreate for survival. Our noses can detect the best candidates for procreation. Our immune system and overall health play a crucial factor in our biology.

Reports show that women feel more attracted to men whose immune systems complemented their own. Women may feel more attracted to men with scents based on their immune system. Men with healthy immune systems resistant to disease were more attractive.

Smell and Choosing a Partner

During ovulation, women have an enhanced sense of smell. This often happens 12 to 14 days before a woman starts her period. Women’s biological system uses smell to help them find the best mate.

Many species in the animal kingdom connect with pheromones. Pheromones are chemical signs of a male or female’s sexual availability. Different pheromones can elicit different emotional or physical effects.

Both men and women react differently to this type of stimuli. A woman’s hypothalamus reacts to men’s testosterone. Men react to a woman’s estrogen.

Artificial Fragrance and Sexual Attraction

Your natural scent can play a critical role in attracting a partner. But many people use perfumes and colognes to enhance or smell a certain way. A person’s scent can carry an essential role in daily social interactions.

Modern perfumes come in a wide variety of scents. Fragrances may range from fruity, floral, spicy, and more! Vanilla is a common fragrance that is universally well-liked.

Edible or fruity fragrances can increase male arousal. Some perceive peppermint fragrances as an energizing scent. Many consider jasmine as the most sensual scent.

Feel free to experiment with different fragrances. Each fragrance can attract different kinds of people.

Take Advantage of the Science Behind Scents and Sexual Attraction

Now you know the science and psychology behind scents and sexual attraction. Our natural odor plays a huge part in our biological function. Choosing the right fragrance can enhance our appeal and attract different kinds of people.

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