December 12, 2014 Angela Melero Spotlight

The Science Behind Why You Should Smell Good

Every girl has that staple perfume or body spray that has become her signature fragrance. We’re not sure what it is, but leaving the house without spraying on that familiar scent is like walking out naked. OK, maybe not to that extreme, but you totally know what we’re talking about, right? What if we told you there is scientific reasoning behind this need to smell nice as well as our attraction to those with an equally pleasant scent? If you don’t believe us, take it from Chicago-based smell and taste expert Dr. Alan R. Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Center. Check out what he has to say about why smelling nice is so important.

smell good
The Power of Perception

The reason we all feel it’s important to smell good is because it is. “As humans, we believe you are what you smell like,” says Dr. Hirsch. “If you smell good, it’s a reflection of your inner soul and overall self. If you smell bad or unpleasant, it sheds a negative light on you as a person.”

Research has determined that human attraction is a result of chemical messengers called pheromones. These chemicals trigger everything from physical and sexual attraction to deep emotions of love and empathy and can be detected subconsciously through a variety of avenues including, that’s right, the nose!

Now that we have the science lesson out of the way, let’s talk about the impact of scent. According to Dr. Hirsch, scents can also impact the moods and feelings of those around you (crazy, right?). “Scents like eucalyptus, menthol and camphor can trigger feelings of empathy in those you come in contact with.”

Similarly, he adds that certain scents can change the perception of your physical image, too! Want to shave a couple pounds off in minutes? “Studies have shown that women who smell of floral and/or spicy scents are perceived to be 12 pounds lighter,” explains Dr. Hirsch. We don’t know about you, but we’ll be adding a spicy fragrance to your bag of slimming tricks (we love YSL Opium Eau De Parfum Spray).

This little scented smoke-and-mirrors routine works for age as well. “Grapefruit aromas have shown to allow women to be perceived as six years younger,” says Dr. Hirsch. Forget the fountain of youth! Just pick up a bottle of Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends: Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit and you’ll be a new woman!

It comes as no surprise that fragrance can be also be a vital tool in attracting the opposite sex. Dr. Hirsch says scents like lavender and licorice have been proven to be especially alluring to men. Going on a hot date? In addition to your coral lipstick and perfectly curled hair, spritz on a sweet scent like Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb to make sure all our bases are covered!

What’s your go-to fragrance? Sound off in the comments below!

Photo: thinkstock

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    About the Author: Angela helps inspire and inform the Makeup.com audience by delivering the latest beauty tips, tricks and trends.