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Why Are We Attracted to Certain People and Not Others? Your Nose Decides - Chemistry Is More Important Than You Thought

As a psychology major at the University of North Texas, C. E. Clark found, and continues to find psychology endlessly fascinating.

Here is a good reason not to have an arranged marriage. Whoever arranges your marriage for you cannot make the most important decision satisfactorily, because their nose is not your nose. It is ultimately your nose that decides who you will be sexually attracted to. Your nose that will get you the best mate to assist you in producing offspring. Why does it matter? Read and learn . . .

Evolutionary psychologists study why humans behave the way they do in the context of evolution. Are humans still behaving much as they have from ‘the beginning’ without realizing it? Are certain behaviors and instincts hard wired in our brains the same as with other species? It would seem that when it comes to choosing a mate, that we are behaving pretty much the same as humans have behaved from the very beginning of our existence.

DNA strand

DNA strand


The Sweaty T-Shirt Experiment

Back in 1995 a biological researcher and zoologist, in Switzerland named Claus Wedekind did a study to find out what part, if any, pheromones (chemical signals) play in human mating. Results were very interesting.

First of all, male participants were asked to wear a clean new T-shirt for 48 hours straight, no shower, no cologne, no aftershave, no deoderant, no scented soap, etc., until they turned their T-shirts in to the research lab. They were not to add anything, or subtract anything, to there physical person that would alter their natural body scent. After the 48 hours were up and they turned the T-shirt in to Dr. Wedekind, the T-shirt was placed in a sealed container with only a code to identify who had worn the T-shirt.

Prior to actually wearing the T-shirt, the men participating in this experiment had agreed to have genetic testing to determine what if any diseases they were genetically predisposed to develop under certain circumstances, and what if any diseases they were unlikely to be predisposed to develop.

After the genetic tests, the wearing of the T-shirts, and placing the T-shirts in containers, a group of women were asked to smell the shirts inside the containers through sniff holes, one container/T-shirt at a time. The women were asked to describe each T-shirt according to its smell intensity, sexual attraction, and how much they liked the smell overall.

The women also had genetic tests before participating in the study. It turned out that women who were not on birth control pills were most attracted to the T-shirts worn by men whose genetic predispositions to various diseases was different from their own. Women taking birth control pills were more attracted to the T-shirts worn by men whose genetic predisposition to various diseases was the same as their own.

To better understand how this experiment was conducted, watch this explanation by Sir Robert Winston on video.

Your Nose Knows

Apparently our nose knows which mates will be most likely to assist us in producing offspring that will be physically more hardy than ourselves. For example, if we are predisposed to develop cancer, we will choose a mate that will cancel that predisposition out, if their gene that stifles cancer is passed on to the offspring.

Our olfactory system will determine which prospective mates will most strengthen any offspring we have and that will in turn determine who we are sexually attracted to!

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Insuring The Continuation of Your Genes

Strengthening Our Own Immune System Through Our Genetic Makeup Not Only Assures The Continuation Of Our Species, But The Continuation Of Our Own Genes And Our Own Family

By mating with people who have genetic strengths we do not, we increase the possibility that our offspring will be stronger than either of their parents.

Someone predisposed to cancer will find himself or herself attracted to a person who is not predisposed to cancer, because their nose can smell that the other person is not predisposed to cancer. Yes, that is what this study discovered to be true.

A person who is predisposed to heart disease may be attracted to a person who is not predisposed to heart disease. If the two people, the one most immune to cancer and the one most immune to heart disease, mate and then pass their genes regarding these diseases on to their offspring, then their offspring will have a built in deterrence against both of these major diseases.

Of course there are many different diseases, mental disorders, and birth defects besides heart disease and cancer that can be genetic. Trusting our gut feelings may make more sense than we thought. Many people try to ignore their ‘intuition’ in favor of hard facts and considerations, but perhaps they need to give more weight to how much they are attracted to a possible mate in order to benefit their offspring.

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Our Subconscious Mind Has More Control Than We Thought

Being attracted to people who have immune system strengths that we do not ourselves have, is controlled by our subconscious brain through our nose, or olfactory system. All the time we thought it was appearance and personality that created that “chemistry” we have with certain other members of the opposite sex, but it turns out it is all in the nose!

Let me remind you that women who were taking birth control pills had just the opposite results. Apparently using birth control pills prevents the human olfactory system from operating the way it was intended to do. Women who want to take advantage of this natural phenomenon of being able to identify people with immune system strengths they do not themselves possess in order to produce stronger, hardier offspring than themselves or their mate, may want to think about using a different birth control method than the pill.

All the time you thought it was a gorgeous smile and a charming personality that had you hooked, and really, it was their smell!

© 2012 C E Clark


C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 11, 2020:

MG Singh, thank you for sharing your experience with me and my readers!

MG Singh emge from Singapore on January 08, 2020:

Hi! I will relate the smell to a small incident. I had attended a dating party sometime back. The men's T-shirts were put in the basket and the girl's presents were to smell the T-shirts and select the man for the date. Smell played the part here and it was simply delightful.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 08, 2020:

MG Singh, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Yes, experiments showed what a big part smell plays in attraction and we didn't even know it! I suspect there is a good deal more we don't know and will discover as times goes on . . .

MG Singh emge from Singapore on January 04, 2020:

Hi, I can see you have put in a lot of effort for this article. Excellent article and very topical. I will say smell plays a big part in union.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 04, 2020:

Diogenes, good to hear from you! It's been a long time . . .

I could usually sense when men were interested in me when I was younger, but back then I was infused with what is sometimes referred to as 'animal magnetism,' and I was very attractive, so men were naturally drawn to me.

However, this article is about why we are attracted to certain people for more than an hour or a night. It explains why we may not be attracted to someone visually, but still have a strong attraction to them that may not make sense even to ourselves. After all, biologically we are attracted and tempted for the purpose of continuing our species. We are perhaps tricked into thinking there are other reasons, in order to accomplish that purpose.

Hope all is well with you Bobby, and that you have great 2020 all year long!

diogenes on December 31, 2019:

One upon a time, when I was febrile and always ready, a "ready" women was always sensed in the groin as well as with other (or a combination of) senses. In the same way that this is sensed in the animal world by mammals.

I am sure the same applied to women I met because I also sense it's missing now.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 31, 2019:

Satyam, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! I'm glad you found this information helpful. And, welcome to HubPages!! I look forward to reading your articles . . .

Satyam from India on December 31, 2019:

Its so knowledgeable for me..

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 18, 2019:

Elizabeth, thank you for your inquiry. You have a very good question. I can only tell you what I think, since that information wasn't included in the analysis of the study.

As a young girl I was attracted to some of the movie stars and singers, etc., famous at the time, but in general that ended by the time I was 12 or so. I know that isn't true for many females, but I realized early that these people aren't generally accessible ever, so it's kind of a waste of time to get very invested in someone you will likely never meet let alone possibly have a relationship with. To this day I do not give even a first thought to men I perceive to be unattainable for whatever reason.

I think a lot of things go into attraction, but I also think that when those attractions are formed over a long distance and one has never actually met the person s/he is attracted to, s/he also forms an imaginary persona of that person. If one ever gets to meet the person they're attracted to, s/he will often discover that person isn't who they imagined they were. The characteristics they gave their crush were and are not the true characteristics of that person often times. Not only that, but if one ever does actually meet a distant crush, the chemistry may simply not be there.

I really think we notice a chemistry with the people we are most attracted to in person and I think the nose plays an important part in that. We sense that we're drawn to certain people, but may not always understand why, at least in the beginning.

Elizabeth on August 14, 2019:

I’m curious about celebrities, like how women have crushes on celebrities that they have never met so they can not go off smell, thanks.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 24, 2019:

Hacicu Bogdan, thank you for reading my article and I'm pleased that it has gotten you to thinking.

It is my understanding that this attraction to a particular scent is a 2-way street. In other words, men are also subconsciously drawn to women who have a complimentary immune system. Of course women wear perfume and deoderant, etc., too. And yes, men are often drawn to women who are physically attractive regardless of their immune systems, but it is often a different kind of attraction and not necessarily lasting over the long run if his and her immune systems do not compliment each other.

I think the olfactory nerve is able to operate through all the added smells from perfume, deodorant, etc., since it is a subconscious effect. Our brain can do amazing things subliminally without our conscious mind having the slightest hint it is so busy.

Basic experiments usually remove as much information as possible that may cloud an outcome, which is why participants in the T-shirt experiment were told not to add perfume, cologne, aftershave, etc. to the mix. They wanted to be sure the results were not complicated by these additional smells. At some point in the future someone may decide to experiment with all those other scents mixed in just to see for sure if they make a difference in the outcome.

There are so many things we still haven't discovered about the human body, and that makes life fascinating, don't you think?

Hacicu Bogdan from Cluj-Napoca, Romania on May 23, 2019:

This is so interesting. But what happens if men do cologne, aftershave or deodorant. Can the women still find out which one is better for them?

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 24, 2016:

Paula (Fpherj48), thank you for your wonderful comment. You should definitely get the Hubbie award for comments cuz yours are always the best!

Really, you just THOUGHT you were attracted to his "piercing eyes, gorgeous smile, 6-pack abs & dancing skills." In fact your olfactory nerve was turned on by his sweat-- and no need to wear the shirt for 48 hours. They just did that to make sure there was sufficient smell for the experiment. Your nose actually picks up on pheromones immediately -- and it's not just Your nose. It's his nose too. Your brains can determine from the scent you both exude, whether your offspring will be an improvement, stronger than either you or your object of interest.

But of course this (and all other hundreds of human/animal/plant systems) is all just a coincidence of the Big Bang, no planning involved, no intelligent design . . .

Suzie from Carson City on August 15, 2016:

Au fait....I can't imagine where this incredibly fascinating hub has been hiding for so long! Quite honestly, this work of yours is about the most

educational I've read since earning my degree! We did have a number of these tutorials & corresponding scenarios acted out in our labs, but I don't recall this one.!

Gosh, Au fait, to think all these years and so many years ago, I was checking out men all wrong! Silly me. Here I was attracted to piercing eyes, gorgeous smile, 6-pack abs & dancing skills. I could have thrown that check list out and just given him a T-shirt, ask him to wear it 48 hrs non-stop & then return it. What a time saver! more joking, This is a positive MUST read for everyone!! It is far too interesting to miss!.......I love it......P

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 15, 2016:

Colorfulone, thank you for commenting! Glad you enjoyed this article. Isn't it interesting that we are programmed to seek out someone whose DNA will compliment our own and make our offspring stronger?

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 11, 2016:

Diogenes, thank you for stopping by. Hope you find my instructions easy and that all is well with you! Take care . . . xoxox

diogenes from UK and Mexico on August 05, 2016:

What little box on the profile page? I couldn't find the right one.

R xoox

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on August 04, 2016:

That really is interesting how chemistry plays such a big roll, but even more so that people know by smell. Its really neat! Shared. - Kudos!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 29, 2014:

Thank you Peggy W for Google+ing and sharing this article!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 27, 2014:

Came back to once again share this hub and will G+ it as well.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 15, 2014:

Thank you Rafiq23 for taking the time to read and comment on this article. In fact most people do not even realize their nose is in charge of who they become sexually attracted to. Most people call it 'chemisty' when in fact there is a biological reason why they feel attracted to a particular person or persons.

Muhammad Rafiq from Pakistan on March 12, 2014:

It is very interesting to choose your life partner through your nose! Though there are many ways to choose your life partner, but one thing that I want to share is that Rh Factor also plays a vital role in choosing your life partner. It's a very unique article. Well done Au fait!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 10, 2014:

Thank you for stopping by Deborah-Diane. It is interesting to learn about how our minds and bodies really work. Most people believe they are in charge of their destiny, but scientists are discovering that it's really hormones that determine our mood and a lot of other things, such as who we're sexually attracted to, etc., and we can still take control in that circumstance, but only if we're aware that we have to take control or our biology will manage us!

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on March 06, 2014:

This is so fascinating! I thought that some of my followers would enjoy hearing about this, too.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 27, 2013:

Thank you for stopping by Bobby (Diogenes). Have no idea what you're on about regarding crowns, thorns, or hairy legs.

There is bad weather here in the states too, and some people have died as a result. It's that time of year when we can look forward to bad weather at times for the next few months.

Why is Christmas dragging? Is your imaginative mind unable to work if someone says it's Christmas? What exciting thing would you normally do on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday? Do it. Christmas should have no effect.

I am a Clark by birth. Have you noticed how many Clarks there are in the world? Not as many as there are Browns and Smiths and Johnsons, but a fair number of us just the same. So of course I have family all over this country and probably some in other countries -- like England where we came from originally. I have relatives who don't share the Clark name too. My immediate family is up north, but I have cousins all over the place. Clarks tend to be prolific as is my mother's side of the family, and they are not Clarks.

Hope you are enjoying the day and basking in the realization that it is not Christmas. Just think, Bobby -- 364 days of ambrosia every year and only one hellish day that is Christmas! Maybe it won't seem so bad if you look at the glass as being 9.999/10 full . . . ;) xox

diogenes from UK and Mexico on December 24, 2013:

Another reason we're incompatible? Oooooo, you like to make 'em wear the crown of thorns, don't you? I HATE hairy legs on girls...funny how some attracts and other repels. I love to run my hand up silky smooth legs until the searching digits come across the holy grail! Return did you say?

God, this damn Christmas is dragging. We are having rough weather: floods, storms, etc., this country closes down when we get an inch of snow! (No snow though, a wet not white Chrissie) Do you have family apart from the dottah?


C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 24, 2013:

Thank you for stopping my River and Mountain. It may very well have been the sweaty T that brought you two together. I rather think it was/is more than that keeping you together because most people are attracted to more than one sweaty T. The purpose is to insure as much as possible that offspring will be stronger and better able to survive than either of the parents, and that could be so with many different partners. So the nose may bring people together, but companionability or circumstances (or both) is what keeps them that way.

Thank you again for stopping by . . .

river and mountain on December 22, 2013:

Thanks again for sharing. So I guess there was a method to my madness for that first date 26 years ago being a hike up a mountain. I was worried about my T-shirt being too sweaty. The shirt was very sweaty after the hike.

But apparently the smell test worked, because my wife and I have been together since that hike.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 27, 2013:

Thank you tobusiness for reading and commenting on this hub. Yes, it's the often taken for granted nose that leads to the kiss . . . :)

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 25, 2013:

Lovedoctor926, thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this article.

Read your hub on "Why Are Fortune Cookies Like Horoscopes. An interesting reflection, but there is no comment section so I was unable to leave a comment. Also tried to send you an email to let you know I'd been there and attempted to leave a comment, etc., but that was not available either. This would seem to be the only way to let you know I tried if you check back at some point in the future. I did vote it up and interesting.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 22, 2013:

Sam, I think we must each find our own way to make it work, and right now it seems like people are more interested in themselves than in compromising, or thinking of someone else first, which is essential to making any marriage work.

samowhamo on August 22, 2013:

Well hopefully in the future someone will think of a way to make it work for everyone so that people will have better chances at being happy and successful in marriage and romantic relationships.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 22, 2013:

Sam (samowhamo) thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this subject. I wouldn't want an arranged marriage either but it is the tradition in some countries. True that one's nose would not be able to determine if there was chemistry between them until after the marriage ceremony, and then if there isn't any, too bad. People in many cultures still marry for economic and political reasons, not for love. It used to be that way everywhere. With our divorce rate, I'm not sure our way is any better. It's just different.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on August 22, 2013:

And all this time I thought it was in his kiss :). Mother nature always knows best....a very interesting write.

lovedoctor926 on August 22, 2013:

This was a very interesting and well-written article. Thank you for sharing. voted up+ useful

samowhamo on August 22, 2013:

This was a very interesting article that woman that I mentioned in that other comment that I left in your marriage hub should try looking this up (and also stop making ignorant judgments about the way Americans live). She even says that if she finds someone eligible she will get an arranged marriage for her kids well she must know a lot of happy arranged marriages because from what I have heard about arranged marriages a lot of women (and men who are not to fond of it either) can't stand them (and I can't say I blame them being forced into a marriage with someone whom you may not even love).

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 01, 2013:

Diogenes, thank you Bobby for stopping by. Everyone has their special little something that turns them on, but I wouldn't have taken you for a hairy armpit sort of guy. Hairy legs maybe . . . so there's another reason we're incompatible. :( My legs are silky smooth. Oh well . . .

Hope you are well . . . xx

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 01, 2013:

Thank you, Brian, for your continued interest. I frankly haven't read anything about birth control being involved in any of these studies so I'm not qualified to give an opinion.

I can tell you that I have never been able to take birth control pills successfully. They always make me sicker n' a dog. The last thing on my mind when under their influence is sex. My migraine headaches are horrendous and that's just the beginning. So, since I couldn't take the pill, I guess I can't blame them for my 3 failed marriages. Have only one child and she has always been healthy from day one except for minor things. I come from a long line of tough old coots who live into their mid 90s even with heart disease, so hopefully I passed those genes on to her. ;)

bwims on August 01, 2013:

Hello again,

thanks for the reply. There is an implication, actually, though it may be a mis-print! I quote (with * emphases):

"... It turned out that women who were *not* on birth control pills were most attracted to the T-shirts worn by men whose genetic predispositions to various diseases was *different* from their own. Women *taking* birth control pills were more attracted to the T-shirts worn by men whose genetic predisposition to various diseases was *the same* as their own."

Do you see it? No pill, _different_ predispositions, With pill, _same_ predispositions.

The logical conclusion from this paragraph is that finding a partner whilst on the pill then later conceiving renders a woman more likely to have offspring with genetic disease - and more likely to divorce.

Moral: only take birth control if you want a casual hookup, but not if you are looking for a life partner.

I would love to be wrong on this - if so, please point it out!


C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 31, 2013:

bwims, thank you for taking an interest in this study which was performed many times. In the hundreds of times.

To my knowledge birth control was not an issue. I am not aware of any of these studies being done taking birth control of any kind into consideration.

No doubt some participants were on birth control because the participants were chosen at random as required by the scientific method.

Since the purpose of the experiment was to determine if people could tell via smell which possible partners had genetic predispositions that would compliment and/or strengthen the immune systems of their offspring, use of birth control would not seem to have interfered with the results. Apparently a woman's nose continues to perform adequately even when she is on the pill. Not all women use the pill.

There is no implication whatever in this article, or in the study, regarding birth control of any kind. Maybe you forgot to read this article and are mixing it up with a different study?

I am just reporting the findings of this study. I am not a scientist myself. I have no idea if birth control affects attraction between men and women.

diogenes from UK and Mexico on July 30, 2013:

Hairy armpits does it for me - common in Europe...just saying dearie

R x

bwims on July 30, 2013:

Hi, there seems to be an implication that a girl taking birth control pills at the time she meets an attractive-smelling partner is taking the risk that their offspring will have genetic disease... is that right? If so, it would seem sensible for women without partners to _not_ take contraception pills (and hence necessarily avoid casual hookups to avoid pregnancy/abortion). It also implies that a women taking contraceptive pills _after_ finding an ideal partner will subsequently find her less attractive - with the risk that she may have affairs - do you agree? Question: How does the use of contraceptive pills effect how the male finds the female attractive?

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 13, 2013:

Thank you for sharing that with us Shyron. Clearly the nose has more than one way of helping us know who is Mr. Right. ;)

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 11, 2013:

Thank you Deborah-Diane for reading this article and for pinning it! There is so much we don't know and amazing discoveries are made all the time.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 06, 2013:

I had to re-read this, I am just watching a movie about a girl who got a punch in the nose from her boyfriend and I think the punch changed her mind about him.

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on July 06, 2013:

Fascinating research! I knew that smell was important, but didn't realize how important. I am pinning this to by board of "Interesting Articles.! Voted UP!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 28, 2013:

Gracias, Diogenes! xox

diogenes from UK and Mexico on June 24, 2013:

Ha! Comprendo xoxo

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 23, 2013:

Bobby, there is no such person as Mr. Wonderful. Been keeping my nose to the grindstone trying to get a lot of things caught up. Opened a new Pinterest account, and plan to expand into a couple of other sites with writing.

Really wish you would take the time to go to your profile page like I told you and click that little box that would make all your hubs available and visible to people who might like to read them. As it is, they're just sitting there rotting. A terrible waste. A few of them I really liked a lot and I can't access them anymore. :(

Boredom is no good. You need to get out and find something you enjoy doing and that is where YOU will meet Ms. Wonderful, or someone who will pass as such. ;) Be open but don't put too much effort into it and things will change for you. You might also consider women over 50. Just a suggestion . . .

I'm always chipper, Bobby, just sometimes I'm chipperer. You mean I sound chipperer than a couple of weeks ago? Some things have changed all right, but not in that area. Not on the market, like I told you. Been there, done that. Most women are even slower learners than me, and that's to your advantage.

Perk up and read my hub about the things you can do for depression, but most of all, get out and be around people. They won't be interested if they don't now you're available and they can't know that if you're sitting there moping by yourself. Oh, and get a snotty cat. Snotty cats always keep things interesting. xxX!

Take care of yourself cuz I have enough problems without having to worry about a guy I've never met who's 6000 miles away. Comprendé?

diogenes from UK and Mexico on June 21, 2013:

yeah...think these page view are as phoney as a politician's smile. I haven't published anything for weeks, and they went right down, then sprang up a huge percent yesterday!

I have no real interest any more.

How are you doin" You sound a lot more chipper these days than you did a couple of years ago? have you met Mr Wonderful??


C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 21, 2013:

I've heard that sometimes people end up with a serious infection from the tongue piercing and sometimes have to have their tongues removed as a result. Not too convenient I would think.

I think they're already mad at me because my pageviews are being taken away. Not dropping, but instead of adding more they are subtracting them. Every time I look there were fewer than the time before. xx ;)

diogenes from UK and Mexico on June 21, 2013:

Re tongue metal. Fascinates me, but not in a sexual way...more tribal. Never felt it. I can't think it would add much I am not a great fellow for fellatio anyway. Tho I like the 'cunning one...I don't care if they ban me, that's becoming an honorable end on here I think, but wouldn't want to drag you down with me, Misty


C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 21, 2013:

Bobby, I do believe the motivation from the id is different for men than women.

It really depends on the youth. Some or more promiscuous than others. A lot seems to depend on how much supervision they have from parents. Young people tend to have the values they are taught most of all by example.

I'm not sure there is a healthy attitude about sex in American society, and British isn't all that different. From my observation there are the people who are puckered at both ends and then there are the people who are into porn and prostitution and all that jazz. No happy healthy medium.

So you like the tongue piercings? The look? The thought? Or the feel?;)

Be careful what you say. We don't want to be banned.

diogenes from UK and Mexico on June 21, 2013:

Do you believe the motivation from the ID is different in men and women? Sex seems such a casual affair with today's youth. Hardly worth mentioning. Perhaps a more healthy attitude than the huge social affair it was in "my" day. They would seem to be more skilled, as well, especially the girls with the tongue metal and all the online hookery.

I'm fine thanks Misty...x

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 21, 2013:

Thank you for stopping by Diogenes and for sharing your thoughts! I don't know if the nose still cares once a woman is beyond conceiving. Apparently men (and women) give off odors that tell our brains what our physical strengths are regarding disease. After all, the experiments had men sniffing T-shirts to see which ones were most appealing too.

I would say there is a difference between having sex for sex's sake and having sex because you're really drawn to the person your involved with. If you're just having sex to have sex, I would expect smell isn't an issue, but if you're having sex because you're really drawn to that particular individual, then it's probably due to them having the right smell.

People are sometimes attracted to people because of how they look or how they imagine their bank account looks, but to have real chemistry, the nose knows.

Neither men or women consciously choose sexual mates by smell. But the smell has an effect on the brain which causes the chemistry that may not be present simply because somebody looks good or is believed to be financially or otherwise successful.

Attraction and chemistry are two different things.

Hope you're doing well, Bobby. xx

diogenes from UK and Mexico on June 19, 2013:

Me again. But can the male's situation in life determine what "smells" (pheromones, etc.) he gives off? What came first, the cart or the horse? And when a woman is beyond conceiving, is she still using the nose as her guide?

Women have been said to have been attracted to successful men as mates, and men to those women who appear to be good breeders.

Aren't their many factors behind attraction?


C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 19, 2013:

Thank you Peggy W for pinning this hub!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 16, 2013:

This is another great hub to add to my board on Pinterest titled Do you know this? The nose knows! Interesting!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 12, 2012:

Thank you JKenny for reading, commenting, and telling us all that funny story about the chimp!

James Kenny from Birmingham, England on September 12, 2012:

Interesting hub Au Fait. I remember watching a documentary called 'Chimps are people too' They conducted the sweaty shirt experiment using two men and a chimp, and amazingly one of the women judged the chimp to be more attractive than one of the men. Just goes to show how truly similar we are to each other. Thanks for this.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 23, 2012:

amanthkr01, thank you for reading and commenting on my hub! Yes, I did some research on this subject, but I already knew much of this information from the many Psychology classes I have taken at the university. I learned about this experiment several years ago and I thought people might find it interesting to read about. Glad you enjoyed!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 22, 2012:

Robert Erich, thank you for reading and commenting on my hub. Really, it isn't the 'stench' so much as the smell of your genes. ;) She can smell your genes even where you're freshly showered and is obviously drawn to them. ;)

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 21, 2012:

nanderson500: Thank you for commenting on my hub!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 21, 2012:

janiek13, thank you for reading and commenting on my hub. Videos can be so helpful in explaining how things are done and what the outcome was and how it affects what we know about our world. Glad this experiment makes sense to you now.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 21, 2012:

Doctor Bees World: Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub! I don't know why you left hubpages, but if you come back to read comments, know that I appreciate your taking the time for my hub while you were here.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 20, 2012:

Jainismus: Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 20, 2012:

Peggy W, thank you for reading and commenting on my hub! I first heard about this study from one of my PSYC professors several years ago. I know most studies are done by different people/researchers many times to make sure following the same methods produce the same results. I was unable to find anything about how many times this particular study was done, but I think it's interesting that it worked at least twice.

Aman Thakur from India on August 19, 2012:

This is really a very interestig hub. I have heard about such stuffs earlier but your hub made me curious to search more on this.

I must say that you have done a thorough research on the topic. Thanks for sharing the information. Voted up and shared.

Robert Erich from California on August 19, 2012:

This is a great hub! I wondered why my girlfriend was crazy about me - I guess it is simply because of my stench! lol.

nanderson500 from Seattle, WA on August 19, 2012:

Quite interesting. Hadn't read about this before!

Mary Krenz from Florida's Space Coast on August 19, 2012:

very interesting article, I had heard that, but I understand it much better now, Thx!

Doctor Bees World on August 19, 2012:

That is fascinating Au fait, the video was great, and you summarized it beautifully. How simple his test of this theory was - elegant and interesting.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on August 19, 2012:

Interesting Hub.....

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 19, 2012:

What an interesting article!!! The video was worth watching as it bore out the research in quite a demonstrative way. Wonder how many times this same test was given and to how many people? Voting this up, useful, interesting and will share.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 17, 2012:

Thank you John Merrill! Totally agree with you! Appreciate your stopping to read and comment on my hub.

John Merrill on June 16, 2012:

Super intriguing!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 23, 2012:

Olde Cashmere: Thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. This is one of my favorite studies -- both men and women did the sniff test, which means both men and women will know from their nose who they are most attracted to.

Olde Cashmere on May 14, 2012:

Fascinating information. This hub was interesting and raised my eyebrows quite a bit. Thank you for sharing a well written and engaging topic. Voted up, interesting, and awesome :)

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 30, 2012:

If you don't sense the chemistry, then s/he is probably not approved of by your olfactory nerve. As for whether it is love? I think the olfactory nerve determines only if your offspring would benefit by combining your genes. It's possible for that to be the case even if you don't even like each other.

Once you determine if the two of you have chemistry, then you must get to know each other to see if you have similar interests and values, etc.

Angel Mehsinjer from United States on March 29, 2012:

Is this what causes love at first sight? Like when you meet someone and there's an instant attraction to them that you can't explain? Is that because your nose is telling you that person would be good for a relationship because of their genes that are different from yours?

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 23, 2012:

Shyron: If you were attracted to your mate because of his/her sex appeal and the 'chemistry' between you, then your nose approved. If you chose your mate for other reasons, social position, financial situation, etc., then maybe your nose wasn't so happy about it.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 22, 2012:

Thank you for your comments Queen Hypatia: You raise an interesting point. Thank you for your encouragement, also!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on March 21, 2012:

This is a very interesting study. Makes one wonder if they would choose the same mate.

Queen Hypatia on March 20, 2012:

I have not heard of this study before. This is very interesting. If a person has ever been attracted to someone and wondered why, when that person seems not to be one's type at all, this must be the explanation. You always have such intriguing articles!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 19, 2012:

Thank you Bob, for taking the time to read my hubs. I appreciate it more than you realize . . Yes, it's amazing what the nose knows!!

diogenes from UK and Mexico on March 19, 2012:

Yep. All true..."The nose knows!"



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