Smell reigns supreme in matters of the heart.


Everything from your first boyfriend’s cologne to the familiar smell of your mother’s house is uniquely encoded in your brain as a “scent memory.” It explains why a chance whiff can instantly take you back to another place and time, maybe even evoking a memory you never knew existed.

Past Smells

Might Equal Present Attraction to being decoded. Watch out!

Believe it or not, undetectable odors may actually turn us on to and off from mates, favoring those with whom we are reproductively compatible. A study at the University of Bern in Switzerland found that women preferred the  smell of men who reminded them of former lovers and who would give them the best chances at conceiving. (They smelled their T-shirts, in case you’re wondering; however, the fascinating finding lies below the level of conscious smell.)

It’s a concept known as major histocompatability complex, or MHC. MHC, basically, is the reason that women unknowingly prefer the scent of men with whom they are best suited to mate, at least immunologically speaking. Basically, the more a man’s and woman’s immune systems differ, the better their children’s odds are of surviving.

You Can’t Fight Pheromones

Women sniff out the best mates via pheromones — the undetectable scents that drive a range of reproductive behaviors. Humans have denser skin concentrations of the scent glands that release pheromones than almost any other mammal. As a result, pheromones are slinging at least some of Cupid’s arrows. However, don’t put any stock in thosepheromone perfumes on the market. They don’t work.

Showing some skin is a far better mating strategy in more ways than one: Dancing close, as well as kissing, puts you in even closer proximity to a beloved’s imperceptible smell.

But beware: Studies have found that women on the pill experience hormonal changes that can interfere with this law of “scent attraction,” leading to trouble picking the right partner and potential problems with infertility down the line. Once off the pill, some women may find they have a different “sense” about their mates. Also, pay attention to a partner’s smell when he is free of cologne and laundry detergent. You may learn something about your compatibility!

Bring the Aromatic Smells of the Kitchen to the Bedroom

That being said, there are a variety of aromatic delights that  can give your love life a boost. Try burning some essential oils by your bedside to evoke a new ambience. Exotic, sexual scents include vanilla, patchouli, and ylang ylang. Experiments have found that the scents of pumpkin pie and lavender increase blood flow to the male reproductive organs by 40 percent! The smell of licorice and doughnuts increase it by 32 percent. For the ladies, licorice combined with the scent of cucumber did the trick. So whether you channel Betty Crocker and actually cook, or fake it with one of those excellent candles on the market, put these scents to work the next time you’re entertaining your sweetie. And I hope your sex is good & plenty!


Source: Dr. Laura Berman

The Nose Knows How to Help Us Find and Keep a Mate

One comment on “The Nose Knows How to Help Us Find and Keep a Mate

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