Earlier this afternoon, I attended a class taught by Virginia McCullough, an author and consultant, who taught me more than I ever wanted to know about the good, bad, and ugly aspects of smell. Her expertise and work in this field is largely based on the work of Dr. Alan Hirsch, the developer of Sensa and founder of the Smell and Taste Research Foundation. Prior to the class, I’d been vaguely aware of the nexus between scent and attraction, but I’d never spent time investigating how profoundly our sense of smell impacts various areas of our psyche.
Since this blog aspires to infuse romance into your daily life, I’ll restrict sharing what I’ve learned to only those elements of smell affecting attraction and desire.
Of course, a large part of scent-related attraction is linked to genetics and pheromones, and thus is largely beyond our control. Interestingly, however, some scientists today worry our daily showers may be diminishing pheromones and impacting our ability to entice or be drawn to the right partners. In any case, apparently you can manipulate scent to increase arousal (if not attraction).
While scientists can’t confirm any particular food as being an aphrodisiac, certain scents are effective aphrodisiacs. Want to get your man in the mood? Apparently pumpkin pie and lavender are the top two aromas for the job (proven by studying penile blood flow…not joking). Close runners-up include cinnamon rolls, donuts, and licorice. Yes…donuts!
Ladies, want to get more aroused? We, too, respond to the fragrance of pumpkin pie, lavender, and Good & Plenty candy (not, however, to donuts). Interestingly, cologne actually impairs arousal in women, but perfume does not decrease it in men. I don’t know of any pumpkin pie scented perfumes, but hints of cinnamon and licorice probably exist in the some. If not, I’m sure you can find scented candles for each of these important aromas, so light ‘em up!
Even if you aren’t hoping to inspire a little “action,” you can use the following scents in your home (or on your person) to lift your mood: vanilla, lavender, butterscotch, light floral or spicy perfume, citrus, cinnamon, freshly mown grass, bonfire, and post-rain earthy aromas. Conversely, malodor can actually increase aggressive, disharmonious behavior (garlic without the presence of other food aroma, garbage, spoiled food, fertilizer, singed hair). For more information about the therapeutic affect of scent, visit the National Association Of Holistic Aromatherapy website.
Finally, let’s look at the tangentially related topic of taste just for fun (which, of course, is affected by smell). Apparently your favorite ice cream flavor can tell you something about your personality. Here’s a quick test:
Choose your favorite flavor from among the following: vanilla, double chocolate chunk, strawberries and cream, banana cream pie, chocolate chip, or butter pecan.
Now, here’s the “key” to your personality based upon your choice (note that all studies referenced by Ms. McCullough have been verified by cross-referencing with multiple personality index testing):
Vanilla – Anything but plain! Friendly, busy, risk-taker with high goals and expectations. Romantic and expressive.
Double Chocolate Chunk – Extroverted, charming, and easily caught up in romantic fantasy. Intuitive.
Strawberries & Cream – Shy and introverted, emotionally deep and having high standards. You look at life realistically and like facts.
BCP – Popular, easygoing and enjoy life. Good listener, well-adjusted, and great capacity for happiness.
Chocolate Chip – Competitive and goal-oriented. Charming and generous, but unpleasant in the face of defeat or insurmountable obstacles.
Butter Pecan – Likeable, efficient, and competitive, especially in sports. Not very expressive, but careful with other’s feelings (yet expect them to meet your expectations).
Do you agree with your result?
By the way, apparently men who prefer pink grapefruit to donuts for breakfast are practically obsessively thinking about sex each day. Donut loving guys are more sexually reserved, but more interested in knowing women (more companionable). So if your hubby is craving pink grapefruit, watch out!