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How do our individual scents relate to our attractiveness?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

You might be thinking that you need information about attraction as much as you need an extra hole in your heart. That's because you already know what you like in a mate - be it in body parts, in personality traits, or styles of hair. While it's true that you and your senses can be attracted to many different people and be repulsed by as many others, there is some science to the process of finding the perfect mate. How? With the body part that gets about as much sexual attention as a popliteal fossa: Your nose.
While your initial attraction to someone may be physical, one of the true messengers of love is chemical. We're attracted to people who have good smells (like flowers) and repulsed by those who have bad smells (like dumpsters). Though we tend to spend a lot of time and money disguising our smells with perfume, deodorant, shampoo, and detergents, our brain helps us cut through all that gunk to detect the unique smells of different people. Now, we're not talking about the kinds of major odors that should send you straight to the bath; we're talking about microsmells - called pheromones - that are like dog whistles of the body. They're so subtle that you can't detect them consciously, but they're powerful enough to influence decisions about attraction.

You: Being Beautiful - The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty

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You: Being Beautiful - The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty

Most people think that beauty revolves around such things as lipstick, sweet eyes, or skinny jeans -- all those things that we can see (and obsess over) in the mirror. But the fact is that beauty...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.