According to Wikipedia, “the role of pheromones in human behavior remains speculative and controversial.”
However, years ago I read this interesting article on a blog about the role our noses play in physical attraction. The author talks about a guy she dated in high school, who was a perfect match, except that he smelled wrong. It wasn’t that he had stinky socks, or had forgotten to take a shower. His personal smell just repelled her. It didn’t matter what cologne or deodorant he used. She couldn’t stand his smell, and eventually broke up with him.
My ears totally pricked up when I read that, because I’d had a similar experience as a teenager with a young man who will remain nameless. I never confessed to my male friend that I couldn’t abide the way he smelled. But it was true. I liked everything else about him, but I found his smell completely repellent. I always thought I was a little crazy, until I read the article above.
Conversely, I adore the way my husband smells. He thinks it’s weird, and would rather that I gushed over his hot physique, high power sales skills, or rapier wit, but sometimes when I’m sitting next to him I can’t help just leaning over, resting my nose on the back of his neck, and inhaling. I can smell his smell on his shirts, even after he washes them. And when he’s not here I like to sleep with his pillow, just because it smells so nice.
The author of the article went on to extrapolate that perhaps our olfactory cells are attracted to the smell of someone whose genes are compatible with ours. As far as that goes, here’s the proof that our genes are eminently compatible:
But Tony has a different explanation for my infatuation with his scent. On an international flight when he was in junior high, his airplane “care package” included a trial-size bottle of Brut cologne. From then on, he wore it on every first date. Fortunately, when he first asked me out ten years later, he hadn’t made it through the bottle yet. So he was wearing Brut cologne on our first date, and credits it (as well as his hot physique, high power sales skills, and rapier wit, of course) with the fact that we were married just six months later.
As we were leaving on our honeymoon, he gifted the little bottle of Brut to his best man. Sure enough, he too was engaged within six months, also to a woman named Sarah. No doubt the Brut has been passed on again, and has probably resulted in multiple other instances of marital bliss.
In any case, whether it’s due to his natural scent, or his bottle of Brut, the way to this woman’s heart is definitely through her nose. I’m curious to know about you, my readers. Are you attracted to the smell of your significant other? Or am I just weird?
photo credit: Brut