It is the first eye contact that propels you to walk up to a man and say hello. What about him is special, you wonder. Is it the colour of the shirt he’s wearing, the silhouette of his legs or the turn of the jawline? Hard to tell. Then when he says hi, your heart skips a beat. Why again? Is it the depth of his voice or the tone in which he greets you? The mysteries of sexual attraction will always remain that—a mystery.
But did you know that there’s a greater mystery than a man’s looks or his speech? Where does it come floating from and why does it draw you so incredibly to him? It is greater than the shape of his fingers, bigger than the huskiness in his voice. It is the scent of a man—yes, the scent is more powerful than you can ever fathom. His scent can derail you, make you go weak in the knees, want to make you go back to his arms again and again.
Why is the smell so special? Because we are all animals at the end of the day. Have you noticed how animals mate? They seek out their partners through the power of their nose. Your pets at home do the same—they recognize you through your smell even when you are a kilometre away.
The same happens to us humans. One good test of this hypothesis is when you find a man incredibly sexy but are repelled by the first touch. What is at work here?
At a first glance, it seems that humans establish intimacy through looking and listening. But there is a universe of information that passes between two bodies without either being aware of it. This is the signal of subtle scents. Scientific studies show that women can pick up a manly scent coming off guys, and vice versa.
Our bodies produce a certain chemical called pheromones. These are signals, scents that affect how one body communicates with another subconsciously. Men produce a chemical in their armpit called androstadienone. When women smell it, they are immediately turned on. Their hearts beat a little faster and they feel happy. Similarly, estratetraenol, a chemical in women’s urine, uplifts a man’s mood.
Remember, the effects of a cosmetic perfume are very different from natural pheromones in the human body. Of course, some perfumes are intoxicating and can captivate you during an evening of pleasure—but pheromones are far more subtle and overpowering. A la Maroon 5’s song ‘I can smell your scent for miles.. just like animals’. You will never know what hit you.
So the next time you are worried about your hair being out of place or your dress not showing off your curves enough when going out on a date, just relax. It is all in the scent anyway.