Scent Your Way To Dating Success

Scent Your Way To Dating Success

Research alert: The way you smell can influence how others perceive your looks, intelligence—even your weight.

by Jessica Brown
aturday night, 7:55 p.m.: Women across America are somewhat frantically trying to find the perfect date-night outfit, one that will flatter their bods and make them seem sophisticated, fun-loving, and an all-around
Surprising research suggests that your choice of scent may influence how hot your body looks.
attractive date prospect. Allow us to throw this into the mix: Surprising research suggests that it may be the choice of scent that really makes one's body look hot.

In one study, researchers at The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago found that, in the presence of both cinnamon and lavender aromas, men rated women (shown to them in headshots) as more attractive, intelligent, successful, and trustworthy. Researcher Alan R. Hirsch, M.D. decided
Knowing you'll look thinner can provide a big confidence boost.
to take a more in-depth look at how odor affects perception. His team spritzed an overweight woman with a different fragrance each day and had men guess her weight. When she wore a spicy-floral fragrance, men perceived her to be as much as 12 pounds lighter than she actually was; the other scents had no effect.

Exactly why scents can have a slenderizing effect is a mystery, though Hirsch has a few theories. "It may be that the scent put the men in a good mood, making their judgment very optimistic," he says. "Or the fragrance may be sexually appealing, so the guys find the women sexier." Regardless of the mechanism, what's important isn't how slender someone appears, but the self-esteem boost it provides, adds Dr. Hirsch: "If a woman feels she's being viewed as slim, she may feel more confident and be more likely to socialize and attract men."

However, Dr. Hirsch has bad news for guys hoping to disguise a beer belly: Women's perceptions of pounds weren't fooled by fragrance of any kind. "Women are too good at estimating weight," he explains—perhaps because they're conditioned to be so focused on their own.

Jessica Brown writes for Fitness and American Baby; based on the research above, she's going to wear a spicy-floral scent and black clothes on her next date.
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