The Incredible (and Little Known) Way Perfume Can Make You More Attractive

Why do we wear perfume? To smell nice, of course. But is there something more to it? Research teams have spent years trying to work out exactly why it is that we like to wear perfume, and whether or not the kind of scent we decide to spritz on ourselves has an affect on a potential mate. 

Turns out, there is something more "natural" about why we wear scent. Delve into this fragrant world, and you'll discover it's very much to do with your DNA.

Everyone has a major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which are the genes that map out the immune system (stick with us here, it's worth it). When hunting out a mate, we look for someone who has different MHC genes from us, as it should mean any offspring will be better equipped at fighting disease.

In a study called the Sweaty T-Shirts and Human Mate Choice (catchy, no?), men were asked to wear a T-shirt without cologne or any other strong-smelling odours. Women were then asked to smell the T-shirts and say which one they preferred. Women preferred the smell of T-shirts that had been worn by men whose MHC genes were appropriately different from her own.

Even more interestingly, in another experiment, women tended to wear the kind of perfume that mimicked their own scent, therefore advertising their MHC genes to prospective mates. So what does that mean for us and how we decide on our own fragrance? Pick the scent that suits our MHC, and we'll be much more likely to find our perfect partner.

We spoke to fragrance expert Nick Gilbert of Love To Smell to understand this science further and figure out how we can use it to our advantage.

"With these studies, it's not exactly something you can replicate. There is a thought, however, about wearing a fragrance that means you smell more like yourself. This is why the molecule perfumes, such as Escentric Molecules Molecule 1 (£27) do so well. Iso E Super, a main ingredient, essentially helps you smell more like you, as it acts as a booster for your personal scent. And it works for everybody.” 

But say you don't want to wear a one-molecule perfume, how can you ensure that you’re wearing a fragrance that’s just as guaranteed to make you feel and smell more attractive? Essentially make sure you’ve found a scent that you love. 

Keep scrolling for Gilbert's step-by-step guide to finding the right fragrance for you. 


How do you find your perfume? And do you feel more attractive with some on? Tell us in the comments!