What’s The Most Attractive Scent To A Woman?

Updated November 25, 2019

Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Guilbeault

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Scent is a powerful variable when it comes to attraction. Women are attracted to a variety of scents, and there isn't one smell that is going to be an instant aphrodisiac. Some smells are more likely to make a woman feel drawn to you. There are scientific reasons for attraction. For example, you may have heard of pheromones. These are biology's messengers that tell us who to gravitate towards and who to stay away from, and they are powerful. Some scents make us experience powerful emotions. Some odors make us feel good and remind of us happy times whereas others trigger painful memories. You may be wondering, what's the most attractive scent to a woman?

It varies from person to person as to what a woman finds attractive. Some people prefer the natural scent of their partners whereas others love the scent of cologne. Scent can be a powerful psychological tool. When you're away from your partner, you might want to hang onto their hoodie because it reminds you of them and carries their smell. This is one example of how scent can be comforting. Despite the obvious variation in scent preferences that people have, research has shown that certain scents truly can be attractive in nature. Natural scents and synthetic odors can attract women. Whether it's pheromones or vanilla cologne, certain scents make women stop and want to get closer to you.

Research On Scent And Attraction

Scent and sexual arousal are connected more than you might know. The smell of the human body can create arousal in women. These odors can remain on clothing that your beloved leaves behind. There was a study conducted where a group of female participants smelled different shirts and decided which of the had the most attractive scents. In the study, the women, interestingly enough, preferred men who were the most different from them; it's almost like a proof of the idea of "opposites attract." This might seem odd, but it makes perfect sense. The human body has over 100 different immune system genes, which are also referred to as the MHC or major histocompatibility complex. There have been studies done that show that MHC relates to scent preference. Partners with different immune system genes will produce healthier offspring because the variations enhance the immune system. It's also true that women may be more attuned to scents than men.

There may not be a universal scent that attracts women, but there are some common ones. Here are some smells that women find attractive according to different research studies and statistics:

Fruits

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Men that eat a lot of fruit and vegetables produce sweat that smells good for women. In a 2016 study released by Evolution and Human Behavior, it was found that people who take in a high volume of carotenoids (which are found in fruits and vegetables that are of orange, yellow, or red hues) have more attractive smelling body odor that is appealing for women. Foods that contain carotenoids include grapefruit, mangoes, carrots, oranges, squash, bell peppers, cantaloupe, and yams.

Musk

Musk is a scent that makes people seem more attractive. You may have seen it in various perfumes or body soaps. The smell derives from animal glands, and it's quite a primal scent that reminds people of physically being together or sexuality. According to the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) in the UK, women tend to be more sensitive to musk than men.

Vanilla

Also, according to the SIRC, vanilla is a scent that human beings typically perceive as pleasant. It has been proven to decrease stress levels as well as anxiety. Given this, it makes sense that elements of vanilla are present in a variety of perfumes and colognes that you might wear to appeal to a romantic partner.

Mint

Mint has a clean smell that can be very attractive to people. Cleanliness and good hygiene are, of course, good traits to have. A fresh minty smell can help to communicate that you have these attributes, so take care of yourself and be sure to brush your teeth before heading out on a date!

Leather Or Wood

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Similar to musk, the scent of leather has masculine attributes that can be attractive to women. When searching for cologne, you might look for a scent with subtle hints of leather in it. You might also look for aftershave or cologne that has elements of wood in it. Outdoorsy or woodsy scents give off a sexy, rugged vibe, much like the scent of leather does.

What Are Pheromones?

Pheromones are a type of chemical that animals and humans produce that influence how we behave as well as our attraction to others. Pheromones differ from hormones. While hormones work inside of the body to influence us, pheromones work outside of our bodies to influence the people around us, such as romantic partners. While they're often referred to when talking about sexual attraction, that's not the only thing that pheromones do, and they are powerful in many areas. In addition to sexual arousal, pheromones play a role in acts such as communicating a warning, showing others that there's access to food, locating other animals, signaling to other animals to stay away, and even the bonding between a maternal parent and child animal. Pheromones are messengers, sending signals to other human beings. They tell us how to perceive others, and can give us a heads up if there is a friend or foe up ahead. Listen to your sense of smell and what your pheromones are trying to tell you.

Fun Facts About Pheromones

  • Many insects use pheromones to communicate with one another
  • There are four kinds of pheromones (releaser, primer, modulator, and signaler)
  • Pheromones impact people and induce arousal.
  • It's believed that the first pheromone was discovered in 1959 in a study which showed that a pheromone secreted by moths called bombykol attracted male moths to female moths.
  • Pheromones can be used by animals to locate prey

Types Of Pheromones

Primer pheromones:

The primer pheromones require time to get a response after their release. They can affect sexual development and reproduction.

Signaler pheromones:

Signaler pheromones give information or "signals" to others. For example, this pheromone can help mothers use their sense of smell to identify their newborn babies.

Modulator pheromones:

Modulator pheromones are typically found in sweat and can cause a shift in bodily functions such as menstruation.

Releaser pheromones:

Releaser pheromones, unlike primer pheromones, are responded to quickly. Releaser pheromones are linked to sexual arousal and attracting mates.

Pheromones And Human Beings

Despite the research on scent and attraction, which shows us that scent is a powerful part of the attraction, there's less research on whether or not human beings are affected by pheromones. One of the prominently known theories regarding human beings and pheromones was released by the University of Chicago. According to the study, women's menstrual cycles will synchronize when women are close to one another because they will pick up the sweat and odors from other women. Nowadays, this phenomenon is typically known as the "dorm effect," but it has also been referred to as the "McClintock effect," named after Martha McClintock, the head researcher of the study with these findings. Changes that occur in humans during puberty have also been suggested to relate to pheromones. As time moves forward, we're likely to learn more and more about pheromones as they relate to human beings.

What About Off-Putting Scents?

There are some of the scents that women find love extremely appealing, and there are others that deter them. Some odors communicate disgust. You don't want to go around smelling like you haven't showered in weeks; that won't be attractive to the majority of people. Another extremely off-putting scent is drowning yourself in cologne. You might believe you smell phenomenal, but your potential love interest is probably unimpressed, or potentially turned off. And if you put too much of nearly any fragrance on, it's likely to become overwhelming to those around you. Remember when you use these products, make sure that you utilize a "less is more" mindset. You're not putting it on only for you, but rather to attract a potential partner. Think about how they perceive your scent, and what they might like to smell.

Less Really Is More

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Since people are biologically inclined to be attracted to a human being's natural scent, you don't have to do a whole lot extra to attract someone. As stated above, there is a balance when it comes to scents that aren't biological. Remember - don't douse yourself in fragrance, and be mindful of your hygiene. Let your natural scent shine through by using fragrance-free products such as detergent or lotion. A bonus of doing this is that using scent-free products might be a healthier option for you. Some people find that scented products irritate the skin. It could even a person headaches or migraines. If your partner or love interest is sensitive to smells, use subtle scents or scent-free products. It will be beneficial for the relationship to be respectful of their scent sensitivities.

Other Components Of Attraction

It's fascinating that body odor or sweat can impact a man or woman's sexual attraction. Additionally, there's a lot more to human attraction and relationships than smell. Attraction is complicated; you can't control who you're attracted to, and you might be confused as to how to know what you're attracted to in a person. There are so many components of attraction. Aside from the smell, there are personality traits that you'll be attracted to. Perhaps, you like someone with a great sense of humor. For you, that's a large component of attraction. Humor can be sexy, and you're not alone in connecting it to attraction. You might enjoy being around creative types and seek that our in a mate. It could also be that you're attracted to specific physical traits, which could be anything from a particular fashion sense to someone's hair color. Body language, behavior, or a person's voice may also play a role in your attraction to them. Not all of us are the same, and people vary greatly in terms of what they seek out in a mate.

Online Therapy

No matter what scent draws you to your partner, one true thing is that you deserve to have loving, healthy relationships in your life. Therapy can help you make sure that your needs are met. Online therapy is an excellent place to discuss attraction, relationships, and more. Search the network of mental health professionals at ReGain to find an online therapist that can work with you as an individual or with you and your partner.


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