Study shows your partner’s scent could make or break a relationship

Image via Billie/Unsplash

Words by Maeve Kerr-Crowley

Your nose doesn’t lie.

Obviously, it’s important that whoever you’re in a relationship with smells good.

Not only does not having B.O. make a person easier to be around, but a great scent can be one of the most appealing things about someone. If you’re listing off the traits you like about your boo, ‘smells like vanilla and freshly cut grass’ is likely to rank pretty high.

The fact that this attraction takes place on a biological, chemical level isn’t exactly new.

But a new study has looked deeper into how scent plays into our relationships, confirming its importance at every stage of a romance.

A lecturer at Macquarie University, Dr Mehmet Mahmut, found that people generally prefer the scent of a potential partner to that of a complete stranger. The smell of a loved one was so pleasant to 77 per cent of participants that it was reported to have a calming effect. For heterosexual women, scent was important enough to rank higher than looks and personality in terms of what makes a man attractive.

Because of this, having a good sense of smell was found to increase a person’s chance of entering and maintaining a strong relationship.

Hormones of both the smeller and the smell-ee were also found to play a big part in how a scent is perceived. Women who take contraceptives, for example, perceive smells differently to those who don’t.

Unfortunately, this means that some women who were using contraception at the start of a relationship may feel very differently about their partner’s scent if, and when, they stop its use.

It’s not ideal, but we guess the nose wants what the nose wants.


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