Follow your nose. U.S. researchers have determined that a woman’s highly tuned sense of smell may help her select a mate to produce offspring by sniffing out biological information. In a study by researchers at the Monell Center in Philadelphia, a group of men and women rated the strength of underarm odour alone and in conjunction with fragrances that block underarm odour. Sniffed alone, the underarm odour smelled as intense to both sexes. But when mixed with masking fragrances, 19 fragrances reduced the strength of underarm odour when men did the smelling. Only two of 32 scents masked underarm odour when women did the smelling. The study has been published in the Flavour and Fragrance Journal. Researchers say a woman’s ability to detect body odours is more acute because it could be an effective way to sniff out a suitable mate whose biological differences will help produce better offspring.
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