Smell plays a significant role in human emotions

Smell plays a significant role in human emotions

MELİS ALPHAN ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Smell plays a significant role in human emotions

Smell is the strongest stimulant that effects emotions and behavior, says Rachel Herz, expert on psychology of smell.

Scents trigger our most emotional and evocative associations and can strongly influence behavior. The lure of appealing fragrance is nearly as powerful as natural body-odor for turning on women’s attraction towards men” according to Rachel Herz, the world’s leading expert on the psychology of smell.

Since 2000, Herz has been on the faculty of Brown University, and she gave a seminar in Istanbul recently as the special guest of Axe. 

Together with TNS survey company, Axe recently questioned 855 youngsters in Turkey, between the ages 15-25 about smell and compiled a report named “Youngsters’ Smell Dynamics” based on the findings. 

Herz said that the nature of reproduction and thus flirting is to find the right partner. In both these things, smell plays an important role. If you do not have a twin, there is not a single person who smells exactly like you. This is why at the flirting stage the most significant difference that sets a man apart from the others is smell. Smell is the strongest stimulant that effects emotions and behavior.

Role of smell in choosing partner

Axe’s survey supports Herz’s theory. One of the reports’ findings is that smell’s effect on choosing partners is much stronger than one might guess. 8 out of 10 people said that smell plays a role whilst choosing partners. Not only that, they also said that they cannot forget the smell of their ex partners.
Some 62 percent questioned stated that they could take interest in someone from the opposite sex just because they liked his/her smell.

Results from the report also highlighted that 64 % of men and 53 % of women associate smell with sex.

Herz thinks that smell affects our life profoundly, even though we are not that aware of it: “Smell is the most important tool for attracting the opposite sex. It creates a much clearer perception than any characteristic that can be seen with the eye at the meeting and evaluation stage. This survey shows clearly that for women, nice smelling men are much more attractive than good looking men or men driving expensive cars. You can raise your value and chance to date with someone you are very much interested in by the way you smell.”

Herz added that smell also comes to the fore at a relationship’s ending stages and that many women who go to marriage councilors say that “they cannot stand their partners’ smell anymore.”

The survey also revealed some wrong assumptions about smell. Even though some 53 percent of men opt for natural, fresh and light scents to attract women, according to the findings of the survey women are attracted to woody scents, too, 52 percent of the girls questioned stated that they like woody scents like sandal, cedar, musk on men, despite the fact that only 23 percent of men opt for these.

Chocolaty, aromatic, fruity and sweet scents come after woody ones in men’s preferences on women.

The spicy scents that men generally prefer worldwide are not very popular amongst Turkish men. Only 15 percent of men in Turkey go for spicy scents. Lemon comes last in men’s smell preferences.

Smell, body odor, perfume, stink, stench, sweet smell