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Neurology

Smelling good is beautiful

Wow she smells so good! Exclamations like this usually mean much more than the obvious; they stand equally for, “wow she’s beautiful!” Most of us knew this. Now, modern neoro-science has proved that the brain associates fine fragrances with beauty, even sex appeal! Meaning, that the Axe and the rest of the scent peddlers aren’t fooling us completely…

Latest studies conducted at the Monell Chemical Senses Center show that men invariably find the faces of women more attractive when they are accompanied by pleasant odours, suggesting that scents may have some say on how we perceive people.

“Fine odour and facial attractiveness form a part of one joint emotional evaluation,” said lead author Janina Seubert, PhD, a cognitive neuroscientist. “Neural processing in other words has a common site in the brain.”

For ages fragrances have been used to lift overall personal appearance. Although studies had already uncovered links between facial attractiveness and odours, it was not known that odours influence visual perception of facial features as well–or, alternatively, how the brain evaluates faces emotionally; not known scientifically any way.

The current study design was based on the assumption that judging attractiveness and age involve two distinct perceptual processing methods. Judgement of attractiveness is regarded emotional while that of age is believed to be cognitive.

Jean-Marc Dessirier, Lead Scientist at Unilever and a co-author on the study said, “These findings have fascinating implications in terms of how pleasant smells may help enhance natural appearance within social settings.”

For more on how smell sparks love read Dr Venkataramanaa’s blog.

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