Researcher: Nose determines the choice of partner! Why some women can be more attractive

Researcher: Nose determines the choice of partner! Why some women can be more attractive

Certain women smell particularly well for the nose of men

Some women have a smell that seems irresistible to men. What is meant is not the newest perfume, but the smell of natural sex hormones that women secrete. A Swiss research team now investigated these hormones more accurately and noted that some women are particularly attractive to menopause at certain times.

Researchers at the University of Bern have shown that the nose should be trusted better than the eyes when it comes to reproduction, because women who are particularly well suited for reproduction show this through their sexual hormones, which are observed by male noses. These hormones determine the monthly cycle of the woman, her fertility and body odor. In times when women are particularly fertile, they also shed most sex hormones to communicate unconsciously with men. The study results have recently been published in the journal "Proceedings of the Royal Society B".

The most effective and attractive perfume women become completely free – their own sex hormones. During the most fertile days of the monthly cycle, this fragrance is the strongest. A high estrogen content and a low percentage of progesterone should be particularly attractive for men. (Image: Piotr Marcinski /

Listen to the nose when choosing a partner

In animals, mutual smell is a natural act to get to know each other. People are more discreet about this. Nevertheless, unconscious messages are transmitted through the body odor, which can cause similar reactions in the other person. Previous studies on the subject have already shown that women smell differently on different days during a monthly cycle. During the most fertile days of the cycle, women radiate the most attractive fragrance on the male nose.

New insights

These findings are not new and have been proven by previous studies. The Bernese scientists started on this point and asked themselves which information is exactly transferred about these sex hormones and whether there are individual differences between the smells of women. As the researchers have found, there are some women who can create a particularly strong attraction to their scent.

Why do some women smell particularly attractive?

The research team led by Daria Knoch from the Department of Social Psychology and Social Neurosciences at the University of Bern showed that the smell of some women has a stronger effect on men. This "special" smell was found attractive and attractive by all the men involved in the study. The reason for this was also found with the Swiss team. The women, who distribute a particularly attractive scent, have a high proportion of the hormone estrogen and a low proportion of the hormone progesterone in their scent.

Men are defenseless against this smell

"Women with high estrogen and low levels of progesterone are the most attractive fragrance for men," Daria Knoch summarizes the study results in a press release from the University of Bern. From an evolutionary point of view, this would undoubtedly be logical, the researchers explain. This composition of the hormone level indicates a high female fertility. According to the theory of evolution, men would look for women to successfully reproduce, according to the research team.

What influence does the immune system have?

"Some studies assume that the choice of a partner is based on the widest possible immune system of men and women, so that the offspring get an equally good immune system against pathogens," explains first author Janek Lobmaier. In the current work, however, the researchers could not confirm this assumption. The results of the current study would clearly show that the immune system has no influence on the attractiveness of the female smell, Lobmaier said.

Course of the study

The study was conducted with 28 women and 57 men. The female subjects gave their fragrance strict rules to not distort the results. For example, the test subjects were not allowed to use the pill, only had to sleep in bed, were only allowed to use neutral care products to wash, drink alcohol and eat spicy food. On their fertile days they then put cotton cushions into their armpits overnight to absorb the smell of the individual. Furthermore, the respective hormone levels were determined by saliva samples.

The most natural and effective perfume

These cotton pads were then subjected to the male test subjects for odor examination. These could award up to 100 points for the respective scents. The combination of high estrogen and low progesterone levels consistently received the highest scores. "Reproductive hormones are indications of the fertility of women and the higher their level, the more attractive the woman is for men," Lobmaier summarizes the study results.

Estrogen also works on visual stimuli

Lobmaier also points to other studies that have shown that estrogen also has a positive effect on visual female attraction. Thus a high estrogen level leads to a more attractive appearance. How the contraceptive pill affects this natural hormone level has not been studied. "However, it can be assumed that hormonal contraception can distort the body's own odor," says study leader Daria Knoch. (Vb)