If smell is so important, how do we smell each other through deodorants and perfume?

13 February 2005

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Question

If smell is so important, how do we smell each other through deodorants and perfume?

Answer

Part of it might have been that pheromones were useful in the past when we didn't wash every day. It isn't clear whether by washing, we remove all these chemical cues. One of the main pheromone interactions is between men and women. No-one knows whether women are turned on by male pheromones or repulsed! Females may be repulsed at certain times of the month but attracted when it is particularly good to mate. Some research suggests that now many women are on the pill, they might be responding in a different way to pheromones, or even be desensitised.

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