Smells Like Love

There is something powerful about smell.

I’m currently sitting here wearing a t-shirt that my husband wore all day yesterday. I adore the way it smells; a mixture of body wash, deodorant, aftershave, and his delicious sweat.

Soap and deodorant are nice, but it’s his natural smell that drives me wild. I really don’t think he stinks, ever. It sounds gross, but I could stick my face straight in his sweaty armpit and not in any way feel uncomfortable. I can’t describe the smell… It’s just good. I think he’s only been away from me on a trip once the whole time we’ve been together, and that weekend I slept with my pillow wrapped in his well-worn t-shirts.

He claims to feel the same way about my natural smell. I don’t think either of us believes the other. I hate the way I smell when I’ve been sweating, but he really claims to love it.

According to this article about a Rice University study, women can smell men’s sexual intentions. He is always trying to get into my pants, so maybe that’s what I’m smelling.

Chen and her colleagues asked 20 heterosexual guys to stop wearing deodorant and scented products for a few days. Then they told the men to put small pads in their armpits as they watched pornographic videos and became aroused (the researchers confirmed, using electrodes, that the images did the job). Later, the guys were asked to exchange those pads for fresh pads to collect the sweat they produced when they weren’t aroused.

Then the researchers recruited 19 brave women to smell the men’s pads while undergoing brain scans.

The investigators used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a technique that reveals the brain regions a person is using at any given time — even if their brain activity is subconscious.

Sure enough, the women’s brains responded very differently depending on which sweat they sniffed. (And no, none of them passed out.) The sexual sweat, but not the normal sweat, activated the right orbitofrontal cortex and the right fusiform cortex, brain areas that help us recognize emotions and perceive things, respectively. Both regions are in the right hemisphere, which is generally involved in smell, social response, and emotion.

Smell also evokes a strong memory response, just like hearing an old song or reading an old letter. Early in our relationship, we were long distance. After we’d been dating for a month or two, I had to go overseas for a few months. Every day I was away, I used Irish Spring soap and Old Spice deodorant, because those were the two smells I most associated with him, and it made me think of him throughout the day. I sort of wonder if the guys I worked with thought I was insane, smelling like a guy all the time, or if they even noticed. It was almost a form of self-torture, I drove myself insane. (We hadn’t had sex yet, but at some point I made the decision that I was ready for it while we were talking late at night. 9 times the weekend I came back, yup.)

I’ve been pondering today that I should start wearing perfume on a more regular basis. Not enough to cover up the natural smell that he loves, but enough to enhance it. Something I can very, very lightly apply to the collar of his work shirt to remind him of me during the day, on rare occasions. And perhaps also to mark my territory? He mentioned that he got hit on at work yesterday…. Grr…

9 comments on “Smells Like Love

  1. Great post! (I’m stealing the excerpt…)

  2. Awesome post RPW! I too love Levi’s smell…Good luck shopping for some perfume…there are so many out there. I have heard of some that enhance your phermones and smells differently on everyone…that might be something for you, but not good for marking your territory:)

  3. Finding the right scent is a complete pain in the behind, but so awesome once you nail it.

    My DH smells really yummy to most women, especially if he wears cologne. Cheap, dime-store cologne smells almost illegal on him. (Totally unfair!) My favorite smell on him is definitely when he’s gotten mad (or really hard-work sweaty) then taken a shower. You get all the nice pheromones from the emotion, minus the sweat.

  4. There is research on the biology of love, and I’m too lazy to look it up on my lunch break, on the role of scent in our relationships. That natural aroma really does matter. It’s one reason I don’t like my woman to go Brazilian

  5. i posted about this on a video. i learned about how women respond to men’s scent. most specifically the scent of the man they’ve bonded to. i’ve heard women say that if they don’t initially like the scent of a man, there’s ZERO attraction.

    as Doc stated, pubic hair emit pheromones.

  6. Are you sure he’s not gaming you? ;)

    I tell my wife all the time I am getting hit on. I probably haven’t actually for real been hit on, in years. Flirt, yes. Hit on, no.

    Then again, the women I work with are all over two bills and are old enough to be my Mother.

  7. I feel you on the “I really don’t think he stinks, ever” thing. He thinks it’s funny how I’m always sticking my nose on his neck or his chest or anywhere else I can reach and taking a big ol’ whiff.

  8. [...] out partners with a different DNA make-up to produce offspring with better genetic immunities. RedPillWife had a nice post on how scent affects a [...]

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