Men find women’s scent bigger turn-on than perfumes

January 14th, 2010 - 6:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 14 (IANS) Men find women’s natural scent a bigger turn-on than billions of dollars worth of exotic perfumes, a new study has found.
Smells are known to be critical to animal mating habits. Animal studies have shown that male testosterone levels are influenced by odour signals emitted by females, particularly when they are ovulating (being at their most fertile).

Psychologists Saul L. Miller and Jon K. Maner from Florida State University (FSU) wanted to see if a similar response occurs in humans. In two studies, women wore tee shirts for three nights during various phases of their menstrual cycles.

Male volunteers smelled one of the tee shirts that had been worn by a female participant. In addition, some of the male volunteers smelled control tee shirts that had not been worn by anyone.

Saliva samples for testosterone analysis were collected before and after the men smelled the shirts.

Results revealed that men who smelled tee shirts of ovulating women subsequently had higher levels of testosterone than men who smelled tee shirts worn by non-ovulating women or men who smelled the control shirts.

Besides, after smelling the shirts, the men rated the odours on pleasantness and rated the shirts worn by ovulating women as the most pleasant smelling.

The authors note that “the present study is the first to provide direct evidence that olfactory cues to female ovulation influence biological responses in men”.

In other words, it suggests that testosterone levels may be responsive to smells indicating when a woman is fertile, said an FSU release.

These findings were published in Psychological Science.

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