Are there sure-fire ways to lure the opposite sex "by the nose", so to speak? Fragrances and colognes which produce that extraordinary feat of attracting a partner? No disclaimer should be necessary, but let's put it anyway: Sexual attraction is a complex process which relies on sublimilar as well as physical attributes and is -here's the catch- completely individualised. Even if one could argue that value or beauty have an objective facet to their basis, it's sexual attraction which escapes preconceptions, cultural lumpings together and the "golden rule", being the last individualistic frontier. Simply said, there is no golden rule in attraction. Everyone's different and not even the same person is attracted by the same thing constantly! If Tania Sanchez infamously quipped men are attracted to the smell of bacon (in order to make a point that there needs to be put an end to this "objectifying" perfume and regressing it to the status of voodoo talisman ), still it's enough to Google "perfume that..." in order to bumb into autocomplete options that heavily feature"perfume that attracts men, that men love on women, and that turns men on". But it isn't just the ladies who are doing the asking. There are also the popular autocomplete options to the phrase "what smells" which run the gamut from "what smells do guys like" and those that "turn guys on", to "what smells turn women on". Men are also searching for what women like to sniff on them. Like with words in languages, when there is a keen interest, there is a keen need for something. What is this need? A shortcut into a maze, most probably.
So let's take the suggestions by a popular webzine, YourTango.com and break them down one by one with our own comments and see if we can get out of that maze. They have nicely proposed lists for both the ladies and the gents. I suppose, if you're playing for the other team, you have to improvise a bit and expand your horizons on the perfume counter (Doesn't sound so bad!)
SMELLS WHICH TURN WOMEN ON
- Old Spice: From 1937 and with no signs of waning (witness the ingenious award-winning commercials), this is a dependable classic of lavender and citrus over spicy woodiness that even back in 1969 ads it was advertised with the tag line "Girls like it -Is there any better reason to wear Old Spice?" Careful though, lest it reminds her of her dad.
- Victoria's Secret Very Sexy for Him: I will have to take their word on it, as I haven't smelled this myself. Is it that sexy?
- Guy Laroche's Drakkar Noir: Named after a Viking ship, the definition of a chest-thumping masculine fougere, and still quit popular, decades after its release. Oddly enough it has characterised a generation of dykes who snatched it from the masculine cologne shelves in the late 1980s. Perfume and sex orientation can make for a fascinating thesis.
- Ralph Lauren Polo: There is something about this scent which smells both outdoorsy (that mossy background) and at the same time like one is doing their own laundry at home (that powdery fresh and coumarinic blast). Interestingly enough, the YourTango.com article mentions that "any Lauren scent fares well". I beg to differ.
- Aftershave: Nivea and Gillette. What do we see? The triumph of the familiar yet again. The classic aftershave "note" is one constructed on the deceptively simple axiom of the "aromatic fougere" fragrance family structure. Do I hear a stampede at the drugstore while doing the weekly shopping now?
- Laundry detergent/soap: Now you know why everything is being advertised as being "clean-smelling", like "just out of the shower" sexy etc. etc. I guess, if you're going to be doing any skin contact with any guy it's a relief to know he is at least hugienically approved. The rest of the problems are just waiting to raise their little head, but at least he's clean.
SCENTS WHICH ATTRACT & MAKE MEN DROOL
This list was inspired by the famous Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation and the findings of dr.Hirsch and yes, you can imagine I'm wielding my fist at them, spawning as they did a myriad incarnations of the same sweet swirl laced with vanilla and juvenile foodie smells on Sephora shelves, making us all smell like little bakery girls eternally putting glaze on ourselves! But I digress...Supposedly, some of these smells produce alpha-brain waves, which produce a relaxed state of mind. Or others rouse penile flow. I don't know which is worse, having someone fall asleep on your neck from nuzzling thus denying you the continuation into a promising ~fireworks!~ night, or being chased around by a rabit erection and a not-so-subtle glint in the eye? Again, I digress...So let's get down and see which smells make the cut. Ahem...anyway...
- Vanilla: Guerlain could tell some tales on that score, as they have long held it's an aphrodisiac and put it in many of their sophisticated creations. Apparently, the somewhat less sophisticated readership of Askmen.com seems to agree. Dear reader, please, if you must go the vanilla route, pick up something rich, full-bodied and reminiscent of real vanilla pods (a very complex, almost boozy smell). Yourtango.com recommends Shalimar. Excellent choice, I'd add, unless it was his grandma's scent of choice. (Success lies in the details)
- Doughnut & Black Licorice: This depended on the appex of penile flow charted. Don't be so swayed and exhaust yourself trying to find that combo in a ready-made perfume, other brave souls went there before you and returned empty handed. Demeter makes a Licorice though reminiscent of candies and as to the doughnut, get your lazy bum in the kitchen missie and make him one, already! He will be thankful.
- Pumpkin Pie: Purely a cultural breed apart. This is specifically a fond association for American born & raised men, as the dish isn't popular in other parts of the world. It is thought to be particularly effective when combined with lavender (the spices suit it). It is thought to be particularly silly to be hunting for that combination at the perfume store. Yet Bath and Body Works makes a Cinnamon Pumpkin, which might be second best choice for that thing. Also a Pumpkin Pie Paradise body lotion...
- Orange: Humble fruit, a happy smell. Euphoria is, ahem, uplifting. There are hundreds of fragrances on the market which feature a distinct orange note, from orientals like the body products line of the classic Opium to the fruity smell of Marc Jacobs Splash and Boss Orange.
- Lily of the Valley: If you are a non gourmand fragrance lover and have been exasperating reading this list, rejoice. Lily of the valley may have a demure and chaste image but as we have focused on in our previous article, it's anything but; on the contrary it attracts male sperm! Who would have thought? The classic Diorissimo coupled with something white might run the thought of your white sheets through his head. Only he will be too apprehensive of that thought and feel a little guilty, fooled by the virginal quality of the flower. Prey on it, ladies!
And you, what do you recommend? Which fragrances have been men-magnets or women-attractants in your experience?
Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Romancing the Scent part 1 and part 2
Paintings by Stella Im Hultberg and Sexy by Tatinan Escobar.