Going out on a date is a major aspect of pursuing a romantic relationship. For a date to be successful there needs to be the right social and romantic setting or ambiance. The restaurant picked for the dinner or lunch date must be perfect and the clothes must be attractive like a suit or a little black dress. But many people do not realize that aroma plays an important role in most social settings especially in a romantic attraction between two individuals. Many people choose perfume as an ideal gift to give loved ones and the science of smell and perfume is an important aspect of our lives.
The Role of Smell in Mating Among Animals & Humans
Smell plays an important role and the sense of smell is the dominant sense in most animals all over the world including human beings. Many animals when they first come in contact with a potential mate sniff each other and this sniffing helps them get a lot of information that helps them choose a mate. The olfactory exploration by animals helps many animals determine the fertility of their potential mates and also the quality of the potential mate that they have come across. Just based on this sniffing, many animals decide whether they want to mate with the potential mate or wait till another animal of the same species which is better comes along. This is even true in human beings. The wrong smelling potential partner is never chosen by men or women as smell plays a critical role in human beings choosing romantic partners.
Social Tests Based on Smell
Many social tests have been done on animals and on human beings to determine the role smell plays in social attractions. When people meet for the first time smell plays an important role in their determination of the person’s personality and also whether they like them or not. Researchers use armpit odor that is collected on t-shirts by different people to conduct social experiments and tests. Researchers have come across very interesting data based on this test. For example, men find women’s odor attractive and very sexy when they are in the fertile part of their menstrual cycle. Women find the odor of men attractive if they have other attractive qualities that are nothing to do with smell. Women tend to like the smell of men who are more socially dominant, facially attractive and also men who have a sense of confidence about them.
Science of Social Smell Tests
When it comes to genetic compatibility, the body gives many signals of compatibility between people. A person’s natural body smells are important when it comes to determining compatibility in couples. The preference of odor is related to the concept of opposites attract. This means, based on smell, people of both sexes prefer mates or are compatible with suitors who have genes that are genetically dissimilar when looked at the set of genes that have been defined as the major histocompatibility complex. When in animals, smell plays a critical role as it determines for most animals, birds, and vertebrates to determine the chance of healthy off springs.
The Role of Perfume
Perfume has been used for 4000 years and today there are very expensive perfumes that define status and yet normal perfume is cheap and easily accessible everywhere on the planet. This billion-dollar perfume industry helps to the social stigma of body odor and helps in masking the natural body smells that can provide relevant information socially to people. Perfume makes people smell more pleasant, and personal fragrances are chosen by an individual, often work better with body odor than fragrances chosen by someone else.
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a set of genes. Every person has different MHC and research has shown that when people chose a particular fragrance or perfume they subconsciously choose a perfume that works well with the MHC and it complements the natural body odor. Choosing a perfume that works perfectly well with a person’s MHC is a great idea but most people do not know their MHC and the test to find out is expensive.
Most people just naturally choose perfume and keep trying different perfumes until they find the perfect fit. Researchers whoever says that choosing a perfume based on MHC compatibility is a technical way of doing the same process that comes naturally to most people.