Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Scents and Sensibility

Chemicals can control who we love?! Say WHAT!?


  1. I have a tendency (and it might be off the mark) to correlate size of neuronal tissue devoted to the olfactory bulbs and perception in the brain with its importance relative to other systems and senses. Could attraction to a scent in a partner be conditioned by positive experiences? Our visual system influences perception of odors (Gilbert, Martin, & Kemp, 1996), so perhaps attraction based on appearances, personality, and other factors based in higher level cognitive functions, some of which might be what we call standards in what we seek in a mate, can also influence how a scent is perceived.

    I would argue that the implicit nature of signal perception through scents may be a basis for attraction, but it may not be relevant for finding the most suitable significant other when considering cultural and social variables. Furthering this type of research could be beneficial for fragrance companies.

    Also would like to note briefly, I was interested in what they presented about women on the pill and fertility issues.

  2. While reading this article I was curious about whether smell preference and gender are necessarily connected? The author of this article clearly was considering only heterosexual relationships and attraction. Were there any tests done to examine if women preferred some women's smells and men preferred some men's smells?

  3. I found this article really interesting although I do feel it made a number of generalizations that undermined the persuasiveness of its conclusions. Take the statement ‘"As the proportion of MHC alleles increased, women's sexual responsiveness to their partners decreased, and their number of sex partners outside the relationship increased," Garver-Apgar reports.’ Maybe I’m crazy, but this seems to me to be a little bit of a leap- I think cheating involves many more complicated not to mention moral factors then just smell compatibility.
    Also this article as well as others we have read refers to the lifestyles of “hunter- gatherers.” I’m wondering how researchers have information about the kissing habits of our predecessors.

  4. I agree with Jenna. This article assumes a lot about who they expect the participants to be attracted to. In addition to homosexual people, I'd like to see a before and after test with women on the birth control pill and see if there is a genuine difference between scents they're attracted to before, during, and after being on the pill.