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Certain women smell particularly good for male noses
Some women emit a fragrance that seems irresistible to men. What is meant is not the latest type of perfume, but the smell of natural sex hormones that women secrete. A Swiss research team has now examined these hormones more closely and found that some women are particularly attractive to male noses at certain times.
Researchers at the University of Bern showed that it is better to trust the nose than the eyes when it comes to reproduction, because women who are particularly suitable for reproduction show this through their sex hormones, which are perceived by male noses. These hormones determine the woman's monthly cycle, her fertility and body odor. At times when women are particularly fertile, they also release most sex hormones in order to inform men of this unconsciously. The study results were recently published in the journal “Proceedings of the Royal Society B”.
Listen to your nose when choosing a partner
In animals, sniffing each other is a natural act of getting to know each other. People are more discreet about this. Nevertheless, unconscious messages are transmitted about body odor, which can cause corresponding reactions in the opposite. From previous studies on the subject, it is already known that women smell different on different days in the course of a monthly cycle. During the most fertile days in the cycle, women emit the most attractive fragrance on the male nose.
These findings are not new and have already been proven by past studies. The Bernese researchers started at this point and asked themselves the question of what information is conveyed exactly about these sex hormones and whether there are individual differences between women's fragrances. As the researchers were able to determine, there are some women who can create a particularly strong attraction through their fragrance.
Why do some women smell particularly attractive?
The research team led by Daria Knoch from the Department of Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience at the University of Bern showed that the scent of some women has a greater effect on men. This “special” fragrance was classified as attractive and attractive by all men involved in the study. The Swiss team was also able to find the reason for this. The women who spread a particularly attractive fragrance have a high proportion of the hormone estrogen and a low proportion of the hormone progesterone in their smell.
Men are defenseless against this smell
"Women with high estrogen and low progesterone levels are the most olfactory for men," Daria Knoch sums up the study results in a press release from the University of Bern. From an evolutionary biological perspective, this would undoubtedly make sense, the researchers explain. This composition of the hormone level indicates high female fertility. According to the theory of evolution, men would look for women with whom they could successfully reproduce, the research team continued.
What influence does the immune system have?
"Some studies postulate that the choice of a partner is based on different immune systems of men and women, so that the offspring are given the best possible defense system against pathogens," explains lead author Janek Lobmaier. In the current work, however, the researchers were unable to confirm this assumption. The results of the current study would clearly demonstrate that the immune system has no influence on the attractiveness of the female smell, according to Lobmaier.
Course of the study
The study was carried out on 28 women and 57 men. The female subjects donated their fragrance according to strict regulations so as not to falsify the results. For example, the test subjects were not allowed to use the pill, had to sleep alone in bed, were only allowed to use neutral care products for washing, did not drink alcohol and did not eat any spicy foods. On their fertile days, they then stuck cotton pads in their armpits overnight, which absorbed the individual smell. Furthermore, the respective hormone level was determined using saliva samples.
The most natural and effective perfume
These cotton pads were then presented to the male test subjects for a smell test. These could award up to 100 points for the respective smells. The combination of high estrogen and low progesterone levels consistently received the highest scores. "Reproductive hormones are indications of the fertility of women and the higher their level, the more attractive the woman appears to men", Lobmaier sums up the study results.
Estrogen also affects visual stimuli
Lobmaier also refers to other studies that would have shown that estrogen also has a positive effect on female visual appeal. Accordingly, a high estrogen level leads to a more attractive appearance. How the pill as a contraceptive affects this natural hormone level has not been investigated. "However, it can be assumed that hormonal contraception can distort the body's own smell," says study leader Daria Knoch. (vb)