Sex-specific scents and the attractive power of smell.
If you've ever smelled your man and thought, "Baby, I'd love to eat you on a cracker," science can explain.
In a study, Swiss researchers took sweat samples from men and women's armpits, mixed them with the enzymes from bacteria normally found there, and discovered that men smell like cheese and women smell like grapefruits or onions. That's right: grapefruit or onion.
In the updated edition of The Joy of Sex, a woman's natural scent is listed as one of the key ingredients to, well, joyful sex.
"A woman's personal perfume can be a long-range weapon (nothing seduces a man more reliably, and this can happen subliminally), but at the same time a skillful man can read it if he's an olfactory type, and if he knows her, to determine when she's sexually excited."
The book points out that our perceptions of smell vary greatly. Some women can smell when they're pregnant. Some kids don't understand the point of blind man's bluff because "they know by smell who's touching them," and some of us don't recognize lovers' scents at all, in the same way not everyone can smell asparagus in urine.
Now, if all this talk of body by-products hasn't already killed your mood forever, apparently the group of sniffers that the scientists assembled found the female armpit odor worse smelling than the male scent.
Maybe that's because women generally do a better job of masking unpleasant odors with deodorant or perfume.
The Swiss company that sponsored the study researches fragrances and flavors for food and cosmetics companies. So a year or two from now, perhaps there will be new deodorants on the market with names like Grapefuit Be-Gone! or Onion, Oh-No-You-Didn't. If not, there are always other sexy scents as old standbys.