Are You Attracted To The Way He Smells? – Here’s The Psychology Behind Attraction Towards Smell

Humans are considered social animals who are not simply made up of biological tendencies, physical attributes or diabolical enzymes, rather they are subconsciously or consciously also made up of those interesting bag of emotions which govern their personality and behavior. Unlike animals, humans have the ability to mold or evolve the way they think or pursue life, the way they desire or want things for themselves. But what really happens when that human with all his biological tendencies and personality meets another individual? What happens when those sparks of first attraction bloom or those small fluttering butterflies create a home in the belly? When does one come to realize of such a thing called attraction?

Here’s a list of all the observations that certify you are attracted to a person-

1. You always smile or find ways to touch him or her in small obscure movements, during a conversation.

2. You only say those ‘customized’ things which bring a constant, radiating smile on the other persons’ face whom you happen to like so much.

3. You are in love with their fragrance or the natural body odor and you also seem to miss them by remembering the way they used to smell.

4. You are not able to maintain eye contact with them as you can feel your body temperature going up and your mind cells being a little numb.

5. You automatically smile the moment their name pops up on your screen.

Can you relate to the above things happening to you when you find yourself even remotely attracted to the guy you saw in the grocery store with those strong biceps or last night when you met this friend of a friend, and she looked so beautiful in that red billowy gown? Aah, the bliss! We all have been attracted to the physical characteristics of a number of people in our life. However, research shown that the major factor underlying physical attraction is the natural smell of that person.

There are airborne chemical messengers called ‘pheromones’, which are released from humans through sweat, urine, breath, breast milk, saliva, skin oils etc. All these sexual secretions contain scent communicating chemical compounds, which carry the substance, pheromone,  that has a strong physical or emotional effect on another person. That’s the reason humans are not only attracted by the physical or mental attributes of other person, instead they are also attracted by their body musk or natural scent or the fragrance they frequency use.

A biologist named Claus Dedekind (University of Lausanne in Switzerland) organized an Exhibit A, wherein 44 men were given new set of t-shirts and then instructed to wear those t-shirts for consecutively 2 nights. This was done to make sure that the sweat secretion is collected on the t-shirt and also would be their “natural odor”. Also, he gave them some scent free soap and aftershave too. When the research ended, the men were allowed to change and the women were called to complete the research. The women were asked to take a whiff of the t-shirts and also specify which of the 44 t-shirts they found really well to smell. The research showed that the women found that smell attractive which came from men who were immunologic-ally dissimilar to them.

Why was this the case?

The difference lies in the sequence of more than 100 immune system genes known by the name of MHC or Major History-compatibility Complex. These genes are related to proteins which help the immune system recognize pathogens. The smell of their favorite t-shirts, which actually helps women relate to their past or present relationships, was really self-explanatory that MHC does indeed influence women’s dating patterns in real life. Thus, women’s preference for the MHC intrinsic mates shows the underlying phenomena of this game of attraction which propels them to be attracted to those partners whose immune systems are different.


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