Don’t believe your eyes—pleasant smells can make a woman’s face more attractive than you’d otherwise think.
A new study published in PLOS One confirms what the perfume industry has suspected all along. Researchers had eighteen young adults (two thirds were women) examine eight pictures of female faces and rate their attractiveness. While they were doing that, researchers released one of five odours: mild fish oil, mild rose oil, strong versions of both, and a mix of both. Subjects were also asked to rate the pleasantness of the odours.
Researchers found that odour pleasantness directly influenced facial attractiveness—suggesting a common site of neural processing in the brain. According to Jean-Marc Dessirier, a co-author of the study, “These findings have fascinating implications in terms of how pleasant smells may help enhance natural appearance within social settings. The next step will be to see if the findings extend to evaluation of male facial attractiveness.”
Well, we sure hope so, because we spend a lot of time thinking about this stuff.