woman smelling
Shutterstock/Roman Samborskyi

The way to a woman’s heart is through her nose

A man’s smell can play a crucial role in whether or not a woman finds him attractive, according to Dutch sex writer Marianne Ras. All the men she's ever wanted to have sex with smelled good to her, she says.

“Smell can be very sexually arousing. If I look at myself, then unconsciously I have been attracted to men who smell good to me.”

Marianne’s book Where is this G-spot then? (Waar is die G-spot dan?) takes a light-hearted approach to a wide range of sex-related topics, including smell and sexual attraction.

“Some people don’t smell nice when they sweat. If they smell sour it’s a turn off,” says. But it all depends on the individual and the chemistry between the couple, she points out. “The sweat of certain men can be a major turn on.”

Most important

The science apparently backs Marianne up. Two large US studies by Dr Rachel Herz of Brown University show that women ranked smell as the most important feature for determining if a woman will be attracted to a guy.

That's not to say that things like good looks and personality don't play a role. But seems that a dashingly handsome and charming man whose smell is unappealing to a particular woman has little chance of getting her into bed.

Genetic make-up

A woman’s sense of smell seems to play a subconscious role in the process of screening potential mates for genetic compatibility. The biological ideal is to find a partner who is quite different from you genetically, so that your offspring will have strong immune systems.

Sweat in itself actually has no smell. It comes to have an odour when it mixes with the bacteria on a person’s skin. The types of bacteria that live on a person’s skin are determined by their immune system. This is likely why many women prefer the smell of skin that has a different genetic make-up than their own.

*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.

How much does a person's smell affect whether you find them attractive? Comment below or share with Love Matters (LM) on our Facebook page. If you have a specific question, please ask LM experts on our discussion forum.

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