Greetings Love Scenters,
Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and in honor of motherhood in the largest sense we have lots of treats for women everywhere.
* Mothers Day discount coupon code: “MothersDay” for 25% off (almost) everything we sell
To qualify you must either be a mother or have had one at some point in your life
* Iteresting article on how women are better than men (see below)
Female Sexuality and Pheromones
by Bruce Boyd
Did you ever wonder if women and men differ when it comes to sense of smell? Your local fragrance store just might yield a hint.
The women’s fragrance section – large and well-stocked with designer perfumes, oils and hundreds of other scented items – is usually busy with women happily sniffing products and spraying samples onto wrists or small, white cards.
The men’s fragrance section – not as large but nonetheless well-stocked with colognes and aftershave scents – will often by busy with women happily sniffing products and spraying more samples. If you’re lucky, you might spot a man or two. He’ll be there with a woman.
While the above example is only half serious, and men do in fact visit fragrance counters of their own volition, it still highlights the fact that women have traditionally been more aware of their surrounding smells.
Is there any scientific reason women are more concerned with scents and odors? Research does in fact suggest that women do have a better sense of smell than men.
In one 1999 study, researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center wanted to determine whether humans could communicate by scent. The researchers collected underarm odors from volunteers who were watching either funny movies or scary films, and discovered that people could actually detect the smell of happiness or fear (most volunteers claimed they couldn’t smell a thing, but the guesses were quite accurate).
Interestingly, the researchers discovered that the most accurate “guesses” came from women asked to identify the scent of male fear. More than three-quarters of the women volunteers, and approximately half the men, could pick out this male fear odor. Furthermore, over half of the women could pick out the scent of happy males; the males, however, couldn’t identify the scent of female fear (or for that matter, the scent of happy males).
Earlier, in 1996, the Monell Center more directly addressed the question of gender and the sense of smell. In a newsletter article called “Genes, Gender, Generation: Why are certain odors pleasurable to some and unpleasant to others,” the writers noted that females are better at identifying odors.
“When men and women are tested, females find pleasant odors to be more pleasant and unpleasant odors to be more unpleasant. Females also have lower thresholds for many odorants, and they generally rate the intensity of an odor higher than do men,” state the Monell researchers.
As an interesting side note, the article also relates that in the not-so-distant past, it was thought that females were better at sniffing scents because of their greater involvement with meal preparation. However, differences in responsiveness to odors have been noted in newborns – before infants of either sex have done any cooking.
Cause and effect
Almost any women will tell you that her sense of smell varies during the course of her menstrual cycle. A woman’s ability to smell during ovulation is believed to be more than 1000 times greater than during the time of menstruation, according to one study appearing in the November, 1996 issue of Nutrition Science News. And as they age, women become less sensitive to odors – notably the musky male scent produced by testosterone.
As early as the 1970s, researchers have noted that women living in close quarters, such as college dorms, would develop synchronized menstrual cycles. In 1998, researchers Stern and McClintock published a report in the journal Nature showing that female odors, or pheromones, have a regulating effect on the cycles of nearby women.
And check this out! Additional research, including studies by the Athena Institute’s Winifred Cutler, found that male pheromones have beneficial effects upon the menstrual cycles of women. According to the Athena Institute, women having regular weekly sexual relations with men enjoyed the benefits of regulated and optimized menstrual cycles and fertility. She asserts that the effect is from contact with male pheromones contained in sweat, saliva or semen.
Other research has also shown that female vaginal secretions can have effects on human males. In other words, the vaginal odors, known as copulins, have the properties of a pheromone.
Astrid Jutte, at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Urban Ethnology in Vienna, has published research on the effect of copulins. She found that copulins produced during ovulation could increase male testosterone levels (measured in saliva) by 150 per cent. In general, the odor of copulins (despite it’s somewhat unpleasant character) caused men to perceive women as more attractive. For this reason, Jutte theorized that copulins do indeed act as a pheromone. She also noted that copulins seem to make a female’s optical attractiveness less important for males. Also, the less attractive a woman, the more she gains through the additional information she sends to a man via her natural scent.
Fragrance aisle of the future?
Today, more companies than ever are researching and producing pheromone scents or perfume additives designed to make women more attractive to the opposite sex. But perhaps just as importantly, there are companies already developing pheromone-based products that could benefit women in other ways.
Natural cure for ED?
A Canadian company, Pheromone Sciences Corp., has taken a different approach by purifying female human sweat. One of the isolated compounds, called Synchronin, has shown promise and appears to regulate the length and timing of menstrual cycles. Female menstrual cycles were induced within one week of exposure to a single dose of Synchronin. Besides pursuing the therapeutic development of the compound, the company has also used its discovery to develop the Fertility Monitor (TM), a wearable device designed to predict ovulation in healthy women. What’s more, the Synchronin compound is also showing promise as a way of enhancing the male libido and may one day provide an alternative to the standard ED drugs like Viagra.
With ongoing research into the role of scents and pheromones, one can imagine a time in the not-too-distant future when the olfactory system is recognized as one of the most important human senses. When that time comes, it is also easy to imagine the numerous ways in which women’s lives could be improved, all thanks to those super sensitive noses.