You probably already know the physical features you like in a mate—be it body type, personality traits or facial hair. While it’s true that you can be attracted to many different people and put off by others, there is some science to the “finding-the-perfect-mate” process. How? Oddly enough, with your nose!
Yes, we spend time and money on disguising our smells—with perfume, deodorant, shampoo and detergents. But, our brain still cuts through all of that to detect the unique scents of different people. These are micro-smells called pheromones. They’re so subtle you can’t detect them consciously, and at the same time, powerful enough to influence your decisions about attraction.
These odorless steroids float through the air, stimulating the nerves in your nose. The nerve signals travel to your brain, triggering complicated chemical reactions.
This then sometimes ends with the question, “Can I buy you a drink?” (These chemicals are also important because they help animals distinguish each other. For example, pheromones help a father recognize his own daughter and decrease the chance of their mating and causing sexual mutations.)
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