The Scent of Attraction and the T-Shirt Test : What sexy smell do you like?!


Updated: February 18, 2010

When it comes to the opposite sex, most of us like to think we have a “type.” Whether you gravitate to rugged George Clooney look-a-likes or you tend to prefer upbeat Sandra Bullock types, you can probably make a snap decision on whether someone is your type or not. But, what exactly is your type?

With all the new research into biology and attraction, it might be time to think again about how you define your “type.” Over my next few blogs, I’m going to focus on the science and intuition behind attraction and touch on some fascinating research into how we pick partners. Are you ready for some fun?!

smell2Let’s start with our sense of smell. I’ve always been intrigued by scents and their impact on our moods and interactions. In fact, when I first started doing readings, I always used aromatherapy with my clients to help them raise their vibration. Beyond the scents we use to feel good, more and more studies are showing that our sense of smell is keener and far more influential on attraction than many of us realize. This is especially the case with our natural smell.

For example, in one recent study, researchers had women smell men’s unwashed T-shirts. The women were most attracted to the shirts of men with a different major histocompatibility complex (MHC) from them. Your MHC is a collection of genes that strengthens your immune system. Scientists say that we can unconsciously detect MHC genes in others just by their natural scent. Researchers concluded that the women were unconsciously most attracted to men with MHC genes different from their own because when it comes to mating, a combination of different genes strengthens the chance of their child’s survival. Other research has also indicated that men and women with different genes experience fewer fertility problems, fewer miscarriages, and even fewer relationship issues. Fascinating, huh?

And, here’s another interesting aspect of this T-shirt study. The results were completely reversed when the women picking the T-shirts were on birth control. The researchers found that taking birth control pills disrupted the women’s ability to judge genetic compatibility, and they were most attracted the men with the same MHC genes as their own. The scientists believe that because the pill makes a women’s body think it’s pregnant, from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes more sense for a women to be around men who will protect her and her baby. Of course, if you’re taking birth control, I’m not suggesting that you get off the pill to find the right guy. But, it’s important to do your homework and be aware of what may be affecting you.

If you aren’t on the pill, you may want to schedule your next date when you’re ovulating. Several studies have indicated that women get more attention from men when they’re ovulating. In one study, researchers examined the impact of ovulation on the earnings of lap dancers working in gentleman’s clubs and found that the strippers’ tips fluctuated depending on their menstrual cycle. While ovulating, the strippers earned almost 30 percent more in tips than at other times of the month. But, the women who were on birth control didn’t experience any such boost in tips.

I know one thing for sure, and that’s I absolutely love the smell of my husband. He finds it curious that when he’s been sweating or working out, I find him pleasant to be around, sometimes even more than I might like to admit, (wink). And I know he loves being around me, no matter what. We are truly a perfect blend of MHC’s.

Of course, there are many factors that go into attraction and chemistry. But, these studies give us something to keep in mind, especially when you’re looking to find Mr. or Miss. Right. For example, have you ever noticed that you didn’t really like the smell of a perspective partner and then ignored your intuition? Remember that your intuition picks up on unconscious information you can’t see! Or, do you tend to cover up your natural smell with tons of perfume and products?

Beyond our natural scents, it’s also important to think about how smell impacts our well-being. Scents that make you feel good about yourself can help you raise your vibration, and someone who feels great is very attractive. So, if you’d like to dab a little bit more love into your life, here’s my favorite concoction of essential oils for feeling great!

smell1Colette’s Love Yourself Potion: Love Potion # 1

Mix the following oils in a jar with a little bit of apricot kernel oil.

4 drops of rose absolute oil
3 drops of neroli oil
3 drops of lavender oil
2 drops of yang yang oil

All of these essential oils have been purported to increase your sense of well-being and therefore will help heighten your attraction factor. Dab it on your wrist, keep smiling, and let me know what you think!

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