You may have heard of the pheromone androstenone, found in boar saliva, that is similar to what men secrete through sweat glands. It is said to drive some females into a frenzy. Did you know that truffles (the wild mushroom kind not the chocolate kind) smell similarly? Truffles’ scent is what makes sows such effective detectives to route out the expensive vegetable (reportedly one of the highest-priced foods in the world).
So why don’t men slather androstenone — or truffles — on themselves before going on a date? If the affect is similar to how sows in heat react to boars — wearing low-cut tops, mini-skirts and fishnets — women would be throwing themselves at them
Well, good news for us, ladies. We can’t be manipulated quite that easily, with either mushroom truffles, chocolate truffles, or androstenone. According to a National Geographic Smell Survey, 30% of humans cannot detect androstenone unless the concentration is extremely high. So he’d have to bathe in it to become the babe magnet of most men fantasies. And even worse, a random sampling of 100 people found that around half will detect nothing, 15 or so will smell an inoffensive musky-floral-woody aroma, and the rest will be thoroughly repulsed by a liquid that, to them, reeks of stale urine or particularly nasty body odor.
Some men wouldn’t mind the risk of being repulsive to 35% of women in order to attract just a few. I couldn’t find data on the percentage of women who are attracted to this scent.
I found a few products that included androstenone. I’d be curious to hear reports from those who tried it. Did women flock to the man’s side, start ripping off clothes, throwing phone numbers, attacking him in crowed buses? I think this would have made the news. So either not many men are trying this, or again, we’re safe.
Women, what do you like to smell on a man? And what scent would be a sure bet for you to wear? I’ve explained my nomination in “The scent of love.”
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