Link #3: Men Smell More than Women; Women Smell Better than Men

Link #3: Men Smell More than Women; Women Smell Better than Men

Chain of Facts - A Connection of Facts

Link #3: Men Smell More than Women; Women Smell Better than Men

Previous Link  in the  Chain of Facts
Next Link in the Chain of Facts




Mr. Jason Davis is demonstrating a 'nasal ranger field olfactometer' which enhances his sense of smell cc3.0
Mr. Jason Davis is demonstrating the use of the nasal ranger field olfactometer cc3.0

The sense of smell is arguably the most important of all the senses that human beings possess. It actually makes other senses work better. For example, as we discussed in our last post, the sense of smell is crucial to an individual’s sense of taste. In fact, if your nasal cavity is blocked then you can’t even tell the difference between an onion, an apple and a potato.

One of the more surprising aspects of smelling, both inward and outward, is that it varies between men and women.


Men Smell More than Women

JP's all sweaty by Phil Scoville cc2.0
JP’s all sweaty by Phil Scoville cc2.0

Research has shown that men have a tendency to smell more than women. This doesn’t mean that a man has a greater capacity to smell. Instead it means that his body odor is much stronger than the odor of women. In fact, women’s body odor is much easier to mask than men’s.

The possible reason for this is that a person’s body odor contains much more information than just when the last bath was taken. For instance, in pre-historic times, it’s thought that women obtained a lot of information about potential mates, from their body odors.


Women Smell Better than Men

If your sister troubles you about your “boy smell”, then you should know that there’s not much you can do about it. The reason for this is that smell-wise, the chips are stacked against you. The other side of the fact that men have stronger body odor than women is that women have a stronger sense of smell than men do. Women have better biological skill in detecting odor, distinguishing one odor from another, and even identifying the source of the odor. Sometimes, a woman can even determine the mood of a man by smelling his body odor.

This is most probably the reason why, in a new location, a woman may sense a unique scent much faster than a man. The reason for this, though, is the same as the reason why men smell more than women — women need to gather biological information about potential mates. Thus, their smelling power is especially keen.



It Is Related to Hormones

Another side to this whole system is that a woman’s sense of smell varies from time to time. It varies depending on her estrogen level. Effectively, when the estrogen levels are high in a woman’s body, her ability to smell body odor and other scents is much stronger. Thus, the potency of a woman’s sense of smell changes according to her monthly cycle.

Not surprisingly, this works in the opposite direction as well — depending on where a woman is in her monthly cycle, her own body odor will vary. Men can sense these subtle changes in a woman’s body odor.

Additionally, a woman’s sense of smell also depends on her age. For instance, your grandmother’s ability to smell may be less than your mother’s, and a teenager’s smelling ability may be better than her mother’s.




Can you Guess the Next Link in the Chain?

What will be the next link in our Chain of Facts? Think you might know? Scroll down to add a comment below with your best guess.

Previous Link  in the  Chain of Facts
Next Link in the Chain of Facts

You can view the full list of links in the chain here.


Sources:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/women-smell-better-than-men-09-04-09/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1796447.stm
http://www.livescience.com/3457-women-smell-men.html
http://www.sirc.org/publik/smell_diffs.html
http://www.medicaldaily.com/women-could-sniff-out-their-perfect-match-science-compatibility-genes-256112

NO COMMENTS

Leave a Reply