19 September 2018

The nose knows, and it’s not to be sniffed at

RedHerring Research

Now here’s some research that’s not to be sniffed at – why do some women  smell more attractive to men than others?

Apparently, it’s got nothing to do with the relative pricing  of the pongs you encounter at airport duty free stores and retail emporia the world over.

Instead, Swiss scientists inform us, it’s got more to with the levels of the women’s reproductive hormones and her potential fertility.

In the (perhaps unsurprisingly) small study, 57 men were asked to sniff the body odours from the armpits of 28 healthy, naturally cycling women of reproductive age and rate the aromas according to level of appeal.

The odours were collected at peak fertility to control for menstrual cycle effects, and the women’s salivary oestradiol, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol levels were measured.

The results were conclusive. The higher a woman’s level of oestradiol, and the lower her level of progesterone, the more attractive her body odour was ranked. 

So it’s score one for BO, and zero for Chanel No 5.