Wednesday, April 08, 2009

News Flash: Women Smell Better Than Men!

Really! And in more ways than one.

According to this interesting article from LiveScience.com, women are much more attuned to and aware of men's body odor than men are to women's, the theory being that human sweat conveys biological information that is especially important to women when seeking mates.

In a test of the theory, researchers asked women and men to rate the strength of samples of underarm sweat collected from both sexes. When the scent was presented on its own, it smelled equally strong to both women and men; however, when the researchers combined the body odor with other fragrances (perfumes, deodorants, powders, etc), the smell was often masked for men, though women could usually still detect it. The study also tested 32 different fragrances to see how well they could hide body oder. Nineteen of the 32 fragrances successfully hid the smell of the women's sweaty underarms from the male subjects...but among women, only two of the scents were able to overpower the men's odor.

The scientists also tested the reactions of female volunteers to odors from men versus odors from women. They found that even though the female sweat might smell just as strongly as the male sweat did, it was easier to mask with perfumes. About 19 percent of the fragrances tested successfully reduced the strength of male underarm odor, while more than 50 percent decreased the intensity of female underarm odor.

Other studies found that women can tell when a man is interested from the scent of his sweat: their brains respond differently when smelling sweat samples from men who were sexually aroused and men who weren't. The same studies showed that men also use their noses to choose mates, proving that the scent of a woman's body odor is more attractive to men at certain times in her monthly cycle. Female underarm sweat seems to communicate when a woman is fertile, making her more desirable to men.

Sort of makes you want to treat the humble armpit with more respect, doesn't it?

No less a respected sage than the late scholar and science fiction author Isaac Asimov noted this many years ago when he published his delightful parody The Sensuous Dirty Old Man. Asimov noted that old men need to be careful how much they get aroused, because their hearts aren't quite as strong as they used to be. His suggestion: focus on womens' armpits, rather than on other, more traditionally arousing body parts. He wrote that many a dirty old man has ridden a bus long past his proper stop, having been distracted by the sight of a bewitching young lady in a sleeveless blouse holding on to an overhead strap.

I use public transportation every day, and I'm getting older all the time. I may need to look into this.

But I digress...

I can tell you from personal experience that ladies smell better than men, no matter how much they may sweat. The average lady can dance vigorously all evening long and still smell fresh and clean, while unfortunate males like yours truly can generate a staggering stench that would scare a buzzard off a honey wagon.

It's not fair.

But I guess I must clean up well enough, though...Agnes hasn't left me yet.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

9 comments:

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I would likely not be the avg lady...but then again..who wants to be avg :)

KKTSews said...

And don't forget how lovely those fancy costumes can get. I have opened dress bags and been overpowered by the stench...and that sometimes from a dress worn by a 10 yr old girl. I shutter to think what a full-grown man's tux-like dance costume smells like! At least that can be dry cleaned, whereas Irish Dance costumes often cannot be cleaned or the beading/fabrics will be ruined. Ick!

Amanda said...

As I was reading this post, my mind kept wondering to the people who volunteered to do all the sniffing!

I wonder what the results would be like if the sniffers had to do the sniffing here. Many people here feel they need to cover up their whole body with multiple layers of clothing, even when it is 35 degrees Celsius. I always dread going into elevators here......

Leslie David said...

I just read that article! I'm not sure I agree, having contradanced at Glen Echo in August (remember, Glen Echo does not have a/c) after the first dance I was so slimy I wanted a shower and I couldn't tell if I smelled me or everyone else around me. Deodorant only goes so far, and the guys usually go through 4 or 5 shirts during the course of the evening.

Having danced with you I can attest to the fact that not only do you clean up well, but I've never smelled you when dancing with you. :)

John said...

Thanks for this cutting edge information. I would never have guessed the underarm sweat would smell bad.

wv: redited..when your mistakes are circled in red and your paper is given back for corrections.

fiona said...

I'm quite partial to an armpit or two, you have just confirmed that this "notion" is natural and not perverted for which I thank you...;)

wv-outfull- still being thoughtful when your gone

anOCgirl said...

not only do we smell better, but we live longer too! women for the win!!!

Bilbo said...

Andrea - I like you because you're NOT an average lady!

Katherine - we're familiar with it! Have you tried using Febreeze on the dresses? Works for us in most cases. You don't want to know about the tux...

Amanda - I can't imagine what it must be like there with the heat and humidity you have every day...

Leslie - you know how many shirts I go through on a typical Friday night...and the word "slimy" would not come to mind in the context of dancing with you.

John - please take your tongue out of your cheek...I can't understand you...

Fiona - as I recall, your armpits were about the only places you didn't damage yourself falling off the 3-legged stool...just don't go and cut yourself shaving now.

Liz - I concede defeat...

Mike said...

I hope I never get to find out how you smell all sweaty. If I ever am around you please don't move around.