Your mind is wired in such a way that smell sensations travel from the nose directly to the limbic brain, the same limbic brain responsible for emotional experiences including lust and ecstasy… or disgust. There’s a direct connection.
You smell something and the brain responds and makes judgments immediately, before you’ve even cognitively realized what you’re smelling.
Now, I know what I’m about to say may sound extreme and over the top, but it’s true. Even a little bit of a foul smell, body odor for instance, can turn a woman off… and conversely, a clean or fresh scent can, for a woman, be a big turn on.
(And no, smelling nice doesn’t make you the dreaded “nice guy”, as my pal Fred Tracy describes so eloquently. You WANT to be a NICE smelling BAD boy!)
Keep in mind that study after study has demonstrated that a woman’s sense of smell is MUCH more powerful than a man’s. With certain kinds of smells in fact, women’s sense of smell is up to 100 times more powerful than men’s.
In fact, a woman’s sense of smell is so strong that most women can detect MILD body odors from over three feet away. And women can usually identify past lovers based on their smell alone. Similarly, researches have found that women can identify T-shirts worn by their children based on smell alone, while fathers couldn’t. You could say women’s noses are sensitive enough to detect a child’s unique odor print.
And this is where it gets really almost science fiction weird. A research study had 30 women whiff Ben-Zal-dah-hide, a cherry flavoring ingredient. After each whiff the women rated the intensity of the odor. What researchers found was that with each whiff the women became more and more sensitive to the cherry odor. When at first they could smell a moderate concentration of 1% Ben-zal-dah-hide in a bottle on the first test, by the end of 30 sessions – they could smell a concentration of 1-1000th of a percent of Ben-zal-dah-hide in a bottle. Put in another way, the more women smelled the better their sense of smell became and they could detect odor of 1 part chemical to 100,000 parts water. They also did the experiment on men… and us men were far, far behind in our sniffing abilities.
So think of women as sniffing supermen, who can detect smells and body odor that you didn’t even dream was there.
It’s True – Men Can’t Smell!
So just because we men can’t smell as well, we have to own up to the facts. That maybe, just maybe we have ignored to some extent – and understandably ignored – something we really can’t detect with our own noses. Our odors, good or bad, are largely invisible to us.
Now I’m in the exact same boat as a lot of guys – I can’t smell anything to save my life. I can be at the gym for a good hour or more and think that I still smell as pretty and as clean as a rose petal. But of course, I’ve owned up the fact that my sense of smell, well, just plain sucks.
Some years ago, for a few weeks I went to a nearby gym on my lunch break to just do some light weight lifting exercises. I didn’t even break a sweat. So I thought, nothing much, I’ll just change back into my work clothes and not waste time it would take to shower and dry off.
After finishing at the gym, I go back to work thinking everything’s okay. After all I can’t smell anything. But then my female coworker approaches me asks, “Have you been to the gym?” I mean I was surprised, because I mean, how would she know that. And she told me that I had that “funny gym smell.” She could smell something that I couldn’t.
Now part of the problem in this case is that not only can’t men smell very well, but we lose our perception to a scent over time. Which means we may be in a locker room and get a whiff of that locker room smell, but then after a minute or so it goes away. At least we think it does, but in reality we’re just getting use to it. Meanwhile, for everyone else, the odor is still there.
My Friend’s Smelly Experiment
I can relate a more extreme case of this phenomenon in regards to one of my friends who was going through a fad with the hippie lifestyle and he came over to my house one day. But when I got within two feet of him I hit this wall of noxious body odor. It just hit me like a wave, like one of those killer Japanese Tsunamis. And I’m telling you he must have smelled strong because normally I have no sense of smell whatsoever and yet I could clearly smell him from two feet away. I could imagine for women his smell wall must have sent a shock wave out about ten feet or so.
Now he explained to me that, some Europeans only shower twice a week, and that since we live in a commercial society that tries to sell us on the idea of using hygiene products we should fight the cultural pressure and live naturally again as we once did hundreds of years ago.
Well, even if some Europeans do only shower twice a week, he hadn’t showered in over two weeks. The thing is, he didn’t believe me when I told him he outright smelled. Again, a person subject to the same scent for a prolonged period of time begins to lose perception of that scent.
Women Like Good Smelling Guys
Don’t despair though. Fortunately, since women can pick up on body odor and the like easily, smelling good can work for you in hitting that limbic brain of theirs and turning them on.
About 2 years ago, I went to a seminar on transformational experiences. On the lunch break, I went outside to the hallway to grab a drink of water when I bumped into this older, attractive woman I had seen at the seminar and I asked her how she liked it so far.
Well unfortunately she was a little rude and kind of brushed me off without making eye contact, telling me that she liked it, but that she’d been to this kind of thing before so she knew what it was all about.
But then she looked at me differently and asked me, “Hmm… what are you wearing.” I said, “Jeans… a shirt… shoes…” She said, “No I mean that scent.” And she came in closer and smelled my shoulder. Then she smiled a little more, and said to me, “Hmm you smell nice!” After that she just kind of opened up and we ended up having lunch together.
Then, after the seminar ended, she invited me for a drink at her cousin’s bar a few miles away. When we got to the bar we sat down together, ordered our drinks, and we ended up talking about everything, from the seminar to other esoteric topics for about two hours.
But then I decided to cut it short, because I really had to go.
I walked her to her car. I asked her, because her turn around in attitude toward me was so abrupt, “I’m curious…what made you invite a total stranger out for a drink?”
Her response was… “I couldn’t get over your smell… you smell SO GOOD!”
We ignore this sexual cue of scent at our own peril because there’s a direct connection from women’s olfactory glands to her limbic brain that will process emotions of either attraction and lust, or oppositely, revulsion and disgust before her conscious mind even knows what’s going on. Your scent is working for you or against you.
Fortunately, taking care of your scent is rather easy as long as you go through the motions that I’m about to give you.
1. Shower and Body Wash
Probably the most important thing you can do to smell clean and keep clean is to take a shower everyday in the morning as well as shower after you do any kind of exercise or heavy physical exertion. Yeah, I know maybe some people in Europe don’t shower as often as that, but you’re not them and you have different goals then they do.
You should also use soap in the shower to get really clean. Personally for me, soap makes my skin feel dry and rubbery so I use a liquid body wash that will cost you a little more, but it’s well worth the money.
2. Shave Your Pits
Next, check your armpits. If you’ve got a lot of hair under there, shave it off. It’s not actually the sweat in your armpits that smells… sweat itself is just a mixture of water, salt, and chloride and is odorless. But your armpits secrete an oily substance called sebum which bacteria love to eat and breakdown causing the odor we all know and love as B.O. All that hair in your pits gives the sebum a lot of surface area to spread itself out on and collect odor-causing bacteria. So get yourself an electric razor and shave under your arms.
3. Use Deodorant and Antiperspirant
While shaving the excess hair from your armpits goes along way to eliminating obnoxious odors, you’ll also want to wear an antiperspirant or a deodorant for your underarms. Now there’s a difference between an antiperspirant and a deodorant and you can use either one, it’s really up to you.
Antiperspirants prevent you from sweating at all with zirconium and aluminum that block the skin pores that release sweat.
Deodorants on the other hand cover up the smell. Deodorants may contain a fragrance or have anti-bacterial ingredients, such as triclosan which kill off odor producing bacteria. But they don’t prevent sweating itself.
So if you tend to have wet underarms an antiperspirant will be better as it will prevent you from sweating altogether. And if you don’t like the idea of shutting off your natural bodily functions, a deodorant may be your preferred choice.
As far as how much money you should spend in an antiperspirant or deodorant, there’s really no difference between cheap and expensive brands. Any antiperspirant will have the same active ingredients that stop sweating and any deodorant will cover up the smell.
4. Clean Your Mouth
Your mouth is another place that bacteria love to flourish. At any given time bacteria in your mouth are producing hydrogen sulfide with its rotten egg smell; skatole (ska-tol-le) which is present in feces; indole (in-dol-le) which is used in small amounts in perfume but smells foul in large quantities; cadaverine (kay-da-ver-rine) which smells like rotting corpses; putrescine (pyoo-trescine) which is also found in decaying meat; and isovaleric acid which smells like sweaty feet.
It’s usually the very back of the tongue rather than the teeth or gums where the bacteria that causes bad breath collects and thrives. However, bacteria can collect in any nook or crevice that isn’t cleaned properly.
You should brush and floss twice a day. But also use a mouthwash once in the morning and once before you go to sleep at night. Using a mouthwash before you go to sleep prevents bacteria from building up and causing odor during the night.
You’ll also want to keep a breath freshener handy if you expect to be involved in any close up encounters. Those lifesavers shaped breath fresheners are rather big and bulky to carry around and anything in a box tends to rattle. What’s worse is they take a while to dissolve in your mouth so it’s kind of obvious when you take one.
So what I like to do is carry one of those breath strip packs or you might call them mint films. They’re tiny pieces of transparent film that dissolves in your mouth instantly and thus discretely, leaving you with fresh breath. And the packs are tiny and don’t rattle so they’re easy to keep handy in your pocket or wallet.
5. My Cologne Tips
But besides smelling clean, you also want to smell good, because after all to really trigger that sexual cue of scent in a woman you want to smell more than just neutral.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the situation where you got close to a woman and unexpectedly you smelled her skin and it smelled sweet or it smelled of flowers, but for me I find that very attractive.
For example, researches have found that odor influences people’s opinions and that it’s one of the quickest ways to change shoppers’ emotions.
For example one research study had two identical rooms stocked with identical pairs of sneakers. However, one room was unscented and the other room had a floral scent. 84% of the volunteers in the study said they preferred sneakers in the floral scented room, even though the sneakers were identical to the pairs in the odor-free room. The volunteers also said they would pay, on average, $10 more for them.
In Las Vegas some casinos odorize their slot machines with a pleasant aroma because they know those slots will get played much more often than unscented slots.
Just think about it. Some of the largest corporations in the world use aroma as their central marketing strategy. Take Starbucks or McDonalds. Both companies sell food with a compelling signature smell. Walk into a Starbucks sometime and you’ll notice that the smell is part of the whole atmosphere and the aroma makes you want to buy a coffee. As for a McDonald’s hamburger I can smell one from 10 feet away and it triggers a hunger response in me every time.
These companies spent tens of thousands of dollars figuring out what smells attracted customers because they knew that people have a visceral, primal response to scent on a deep, deep level.
That’s why, not only do you want to keep clean and fresh, but you want to wear a cologne on a regular basis to create attraction in women.
Important Points to Remember
Now I know that all this – showering, shaving, deodorant, mouthwash, cologne, can all seem like a big pain – after all we have busy lives, and it may seem over the top to squeeze in the time for something that we as men can hardly detect with our own senses.
But I’ll say this again. Ignore the sexual cue of scent at your own risk. Women’s sense of smell is much, much more sensitive than a man’s and it will work against you if you don’t take it seriously. Fortunately, smelling good is not something you have to study. You can easily take care of it just by going through the motions that I’ve described.
So keep in mind these six rules when it comes to the nonverbal sexual cue of scent.
First. Take a shower every day and after exercise.
Second. Use soap or liquid body wash in the shower.
Third. Keep your armpits shaved.
Fourth. Use an antiperspirant or a deodorant.
Fifth. Rinse with mouthwash after brushing and keep breath fresheners handy.
And sixth. Wear cologne.