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Fragrance & Sex Appeal | How Do Women React To A Man’s Scent? | Smell & Mate Selection
Ask any woman for her most desirable trait in a man.
She might say a kind heart, a charming smile or even good looks.
Dig a little deeper and you’ll hear women admitting that a man’s scent makes them weak in their knees.
Smell – or a man’s scent – has been proven through experiments to be the #1 factor for women when it comes to selecting a potential partner.
What causes instant attraction between a man and a woman? According to a group of researchers in Europe – A man sees but a woman smells.
The research study they published in the Personality and Individual Differences journal showed that men are visual while women rate olfactory (fancy Latin for smell) cues as more important in mate choice.
Taking the results a step further – the study proved that women valued olfactory cues significantly more than men even in non-sexual contexts.
The researchers worked with over 700 European students and asked questions about what senses were most important in these areas:
- Choosing a potential lover.
- What causes sexual arousal outside sexual activity.
- What causes sexual arousal during and after sexual activity.
- What affects the meal choices made by men and women.
- Things that attract attention – like a beautiful landscape.
- Stimulating memories and what senses are important in remembering them.
- Flower choice – what do men and women visualize or think about when they remember flowers?
- Selection of pets.
The participants were asked to make their selection in these different areas by choosing one of these 6 senses – visual, auditory, olfactory, taste, touch and imagination.
The researchers did a number of analyses on what senses had the biggest impact for men and women. The results showed that men and women differed in the following ways.
#1 Selecting Potential Lovers
For men, visual was most important. For women – olfactory was most important.
Women seem to be more driven by scent while attraction for men was driven by what they saw.
That’s really no surprise because men are naturally attracted to the shape, body proportions, skin and face of a woman. However, women rate a man’s body smell as most important when choosing a potential partner.
Researchers studying the human brain suggest that women are able to detect a man’s biological compatibility through signals in their odor.
A majority of the male population do not wear a fragrance. Why would you want to spend $50-$100 on a bottle of perfume?
Does it make any difference? Yes, it does.
#2 Sexual Arousal During Non-Sexual Activity
For men – it was visual again. No surprises there.
Women rated imagination (fantasy/thoughts) as the most important sense that causes arousal during non-sexual activity.
The main point here is that men are visual – the data proves it. With women it could be a lot more about the smell, the touch and the imagination.
When asked whether they found perfume arousing during non-sexual activity – women were more likely to say yes than men!
#3 Sexual Arousal During Sexual Activity
For men, again visual was most important. For women – touch was most important, followed by body smell, imaginary and sexual sounds. Visual wasn’t even in their top four.
You’ve heard that women need more romance – they need a story. It’s more about their mind and not so much about the visual – which is good news for anyone who doesn’t have a fantastic body.
Women rated visual, non-body smell and music as not important in arousal during sexual activity.
That doesn’t mean you have to drop the Barry White playlist, skip the gym workouts and trash the aroma candles. It means you need to first pay attention to the scent you choose – is it complementing your natural body odor?
#4 Meal Choice Selection For Men & Women
Men and women weren’t significantly different in this area – they both rated taste as most the important criteria for meal choices.
The other senses listed in order were smell, visual and touch (the texture of the food).
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#5 Landscape Attention – What Grabs Their Attention In A New Place
Both men and women rated visual as the most important sense in observing a landscape for the first time. Men and women are attracted to the visual beauty of natural landscapes.
However, women rated the olfactory more than men. Women process multiple sensory perceptions of a landscape while men are focused on the visual.
#6 Landscape Memory – How Men & Women Remember A Place
In revisiting the memory of a landscape – both men and women rated visual as the most important sense. The first sense that is activated through memory is the visual landscape.
Olfactory was still high for women.
#7 Flowers – Senses Activated For Men & Women
Although women rated the scent of flowers (olfactory) higher than men – the top choice was visual for both men and women.
The sight of flowers increased positive moods before the fragrance was added to the mix of sensory perceptions.
#8 Senses Driving Selection Of Pets
Both men and women rated visual as their first deciding sense. For women, the sense of touch rated higher than men. In pet selection – the olfactory sense was (for obvious reasons) not listed high.
What Can We Learn From These Results?
Women were more likely to say smell was important in other ways – such as choosing a flower or keeping their attention in an unfamiliar landscape.
The analysis indicated that women had more complex senses of smell. They responded very differently to a man’s body smell compared with object, environmental and even animal smells.
Men responded to all sources of smell in the same way – something either smells good or bad.
Women tend to develop a better understanding of smell. Their noses are trained to pick subtle cues that men are often unable to detect.
The results proved that men and women have a different seletion criteria. In other words – what’s important to men may not be important to women.
Being a good person will certainly help you get and keep a date. But there is a complex set of factors that go into whether women will find you desirable. How you smell could be a big factor in who you attract.
You may have improved how you dress but if you want to attract a woman and keep her attention after courting her – pay attention to your smell.
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How to Apply Cologne: A Man’s Guide to Fragrance Usage
By Leanna Serras Published: July 12, 2019
Most men are applying cologne the wrong way.
Knowing how to apply cologne is an art form which, if not done properly, can lead to either over-application or a scent that fades almost immediately. Since cologne is an afterthought for many men, they spray it on their clothes right before they walk out the door to start their day. This is, unfortunately, the worst way to apply cologne.
What’s more, most men don’t put much effort into choosing their personal scent. If planned properly, a man’s cologne can be an important part of their personal style. A good cologne can make you feel more attractive and confident, which helps you appear that way to those around you.
If fragrance is so important, why are only 36 percent of men wearing cologne on a regular basis? A lack of education may play a large part. If you’re wondering how to properly purchase, apply and store cologne, read on. You can also find our handy infographic below.
How to Properly Apply Cologne
One of the fears many men harbor about fragrance revolves around over-application. Most people have known or worked with an individual that wore way too much cologne. In order to avoid being “that guy” you should apply sparingly. You should also apply strategically so that the cologne you put on lasts all day. This is the proper way to apply cologne:
- Apply right after you shower onto dry skin.
- Hold the spray bottle 3–6 inches from your body.
- Apply cologne to heated areas of your body.
- Start with a light application.
- Re-apply if needed.
Common Mistakes When Applying Cologne
There are a few mistakes men commonly make when applying cologne that can prevent them from getting the most out of their cologne usage. When applying the fragrance you should avoid:
- Spraying the fragrance on your clothing. Spraying cologne directly on your clothes prevents it from mixing with your natural oils, which is what gives it its unique quality. This can also prevent the scent from going through its scent stages (more on that here), rendering the scent flat and monochrome. Finally, spraying a fragrance directly on clothing can be harmful to some fabrics.
- Splashing the cologne on your skin. If using a fragrance that does not have a spray nozzle, some men splash cologne onto their skin. This is an easy way to over-apply. To apply correctly, you should place one finger over the opening of the bottle and gently tip it upside down before dabbing the scent on your body.
- Spraying a mist cloud and walking through it. While it may seem like this method prevents over-application, it actually renders the cologne almost useless. The majority of your cologne needs to be placed on your body, and applying cologne this way means most of it ends up on the floor.
- Rubbing the perfume onto the skin. Rubbing the cologne into your skin actually makes the scent fade faster as it breaks the molecular bond in the fragrance. If you’re not going to spray the fragrance then simply dab, but don’t rub.
- Applying too much cologne. A man’s fragrance should be a subtle enhancement to his image. Less is more when it comes to cologne and you do not want it to be overpowering. Start light and don’t be afraid to ask a friend or significant other if they think you need more or less cologne.
How to Buy the Right Cologne
While applying cologne the correct way is important, it’s also important to start with a scent that complements your natural body chemistry and fits your lifestyle in terms of how long the scent lasts.
For example, some colognes (usually the more expensive ones) last longer than others. There are some that start out smelling one way but smell slightly different throughout the day. You can learn which cologne is right for you by educating yourself on the complexities involved with men’s fragrance.
The Difference Between Fragrance, Perfume, Eau de Toilette and Cologne
Fragrances are mixtures of different “raw materials” or perfume oils. These “raw materials” can be natural or synthetic and are mixed with a solvent (usually alcohol) to preserve and dilute the scent.
The level of “raw material” in your fragrance will determine the length of time it will last when worn. The most diluted fragrances are the most affordable, but the more concentrated fragrances last longer and have a richer scent. The scent categories are listed below:
- Eau Fraiche: 1–3% perfume oil; usually lasts less than an hour
- Cologne (Eau de Cologne): 2–4% perfume oil; usually lasts around two hours
- Toilette (Eau de Toilette): 5–15% perfume oil; usually lasts around three hours
- Perfume (Eau de Parfum): 15–20% perfume oil; usually lasts five to eight hours
- Parfum: 20–30% perfume oil; can last up to 24 hours
While cologne is listed as a scent category, most men’s fragrances are sold in several of these concentration levels. The concentration level is usually indicated on the bottle and the fragrances are often categorized by price.
The Fragrance Lifecycle
Fragrances almost always contain three “notes”: a top note, medium note and a base note. When you’re wearing a fragrance it goes through three stages of evaporation. Top notes evaporate first, then the medium notes and then the base notes, so you should take this into consideration when choosing a scent.
- Top notes: The initial, lighter set of smells that linger on the skin soon after application. Depending on the type of fragrance you use, these smells can last from 15 minutes to two hours.
- Medium notes: The “main” elements of the fragrance that usually include heavier scents like spices or florals. This stage lasts 3–5 hours.
- Base notes: These scents develop last and are the boldest scents in the equation. These can be detected all day and are the last to evaporate, lasting 5–10 hours.
As the layers of notes evaporate the scent will change. While this may sound strange, this evolution is actually what makes a scent interesting and attractive. The higher quality fragrance you buy, the more you will notice these changes.
There is an enormous amount of scent types, and the way they blend with your particular skin can vary. It’s best to determine what scents you are initially attracted to and then test them out on your skin. The fragrance color wheel above can give you a good idea of what kinds of scents are available on the market.
How to Test Your Cologne
Testing a cologne before you buy it is important so that you can see how it will react with your particular skin chemistry. Of course, you will not be able to test more than a few scents on your skin at a time, so there are a few steps you can take to ensure you get to sample a wide variety of scents and choose the one that is right for you.
- Research scents online. Using the colored scent wheel above and any previous knowledge of scents you might have, think about which scents might be appealing to you. Use Google to search for the fragrances that include these scents so that you have a starting point once you reach the store.Remember, you can always decide that you don’t like a certain type of scent after smelling it in person and the store representative should be able to direct you toward another scent based on your preferences.
- Use scent blotters to initially test fragrances. Choose a store that has plenty of scent options (usually a department store or specialty fragrance store). Once you’re there, use the scent blotters available to test the fragrances you are initially interested in. Scent blotters are usually small, white cardboard strips that absorb the fragrance and help you smell the scent without putting it on your body.When applying the cologne to the scent blotters, spray two or three times in a downward motion onto the blotter. Be careful not to get the scent onto your skin just yet and sniff the papers individually until you find a few scents that you really like.
- Test the fragrance on your skin. Once you have narrowed it down between two and four fragrances, it’s time to see how they react to your skin’s chemistry. Spray one cologne type on each wrist. If you’re testing more than two, spray onto your inner elbows as well. Do not test more than four at a time or this could confuse your sense of smell.
- Give the scent time to develop. Walk around the store or do something else for 30 minutes. Once the scent has had a chance to mix with the oils on your skin, give them each another sniff. In between each sniff, it can be helpful to smell something different to cleanse the nostrils (coffee works well for this).Notice how each smell has developed once it’s had a chance to work with your body chemistry. This will give you a true idea of what each cologne will smell like on you.
- If you still love it, buy it! If there is one or more fragrance you really enjoy after the 30 minute development period, it’s a good chance you’ll enjoy owning that scent.
Don’t forget, you can also do this from the comfort of your home by ordering fragrance samples online. If you prefer the help of a human attendant to help you pick your fragrance for the first time, you can always order the fragrance online next time at a discounted price.
How to Make Your Cologne Last
Cologne does not have an infinite shelf life, and many bottles will have a date on the bottom that indicates its optimal use-by date. To make your cologne last longer, keep it in its original box as light exposure over a period of time can cause fragrances to deteriorate. You can also choose to keep them in a dark drawer or cabinet, but avoid exposing them to direct sunlight if at all possible.
Fluctuations in temperature can also shorten the lifetime of a fragrance. This means that storing them in the bathroom will likely increase their likelihood of spoiling. The fluctuations in temperature and humidity can destroy the molecular integrity of the fragrance. Another place to avoid storing your fragrance is in your car, where temperatures can fluctuate rapidly.
While some colognes naturally have longer shelf lives than others, properly storing the fragrances should allow you to enjoy them for many years.
Now that you know how to pick a fragrance that speaks to your personality and mixes well with your body chemistry, you can enjoy the perks of daily cologne usage. If you apply it correctly and appropriately you may start to notice a boost in confidence and maybe even the occasional compliment. Feel free to try different fragrances in the same scent family to develop a personal scent brand that your friends and family will associate with you from now on.
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