I will always associate Cool Water by Davidoff with good times with my ex. To this day, smelling the fragrance reminds me of our first “real date” fifteen years ago at the jazz and supper club, Blues Alley, in Washington, DC. Just what role does smell play in finding a partner? According to Ian Kerner, sexuality counselor, smell is an important component of emotions and attraction.
While researching this topic I came across the term major histocompatibility complex or MHC numerous times. The genes MHC are major role players in our immune systems. Studies to test how well we can detect MHC asked women to rate the natural (no artificial scents like cologne) smells of men’s t-shirts. The women consistently preferred the smell of men whose MHC was dissimilar from their own.
If the t-shirt had a similar MHC to theirs women considered the scent “brotherly” or “fatherly”. Women’s noses keep them from mating with these men. Sometimes.
Taking the birth control pill blocks a woman’s ability to discern which mate has the proper MHC for them. Why could this get dicey? Kerner claims that women who report having happier sex lives also say they love their man’s scent. Have you ever heard a friend say she suddenly can’t stand her partners smell? Ask her if she recently stopped taking birth control pills.
What about men? Apparently ovulating women produce pheromones called copulins. The copulins increase testosterone in men. Ah, testosterone. It’s a nice hormone that raises the libido of men and women. Chick a wow wow. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
When we kiss and hug we are also employing our sense of smell. Do you hug without inhaling? That closeness also releases oxytocin and other neurotransmitters that leave us with a wonderful bonded and connected feeling.
In my book, Enslaved in Desire, Camryn is forced to live among hyper sensitive aliens for whom her unique, unadorned scent is an aphrodisiac. Clearly, the circumstances in Enslaved in Desire are fiction. I did not realize as I was writing it that humans have the unconscious ability to recognize compatible mates through their sense of smell.
You are a sexy mate detecting superstar, if you pay attention to who and what please your sense of smell.
The information I read on smell and attraction mainly focused on F/M relationships but attraction is attraction. I’m sure F/F, M/M and any combinations of three or more F’s and M’s would have similar results.
Yes, I know other factors are involved in attraction and mate selection. Don’t rush me. I’ll get to those elements later.
So tell me, do you love your mate’s scent? Are you equally aroused by them freshly showered or sensuously sweaty? If you are in between relationships tell me what scents you find sexy. I’d love to hear from you.