Smells like Teen Spirit

20 Prospect has never been a very topical blog, unless you count stories of my adolescent crushes as being topical. (I know I do). But today I can’t help but to pause from my nostalgic navel gazing to tackle a subject torn from today’s headlines.

namely, “The Power of Smell in Picking Sexual Partners”

(Why do I suddenly feel like a copy of Cosmo?)

As I have said before, science has proven that the sense of smell is among the most powerful of human senses. (IT’S SCIENCE PEOPLE!!!!) So it would just stand to reason that a person’s “scent” would play a part in attraction. (I prefer the term “scent” to “odor”, which most certainly plays a part)

Dr. Alan Hirsch, director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, conducted research … to determine women’s scent preferences in 10 different cities. “In each city we tested, women reported different scent preferences,” he says, “indicating that geography has a direct correlation to what scents women find attractive.”

Here are the scents that women found most preferable by region:

1. New York – coffee

2. Los Angeles – lavender

3. Chicago – vanilla

4. Houston – barbeque

5. Atlanta – cherry

6. Phoenix – eucalyptus

7. Philadelphia – clean laundry

8. Dallas – smoke/fireplace

9. San Diego – suntan lotion/ocean

10. Minneapolis-St. Paul – cut grass

For the full article, go here: Paging Dr. Gupta @ CNN (hat tip Bella)

Since the readership at 20 Prospect has been scientifically proven to be a statistically valid sample of women in the 30 – 40 year old early 20 something swimsuit model demographic, please weigh in with your opinions to help us confirm or deny the research. What scents do you find to be the most sexually appealing? Is it shellfish in Hoboken, or chicken dinners in Frankenmuth, MI? Is it Basil Hayden’s in Louisville, or Rock Star Sweat in D.C.? Inquiring minds want to know…

37 thoughts on “Smells like Teen Spirit

  1. This vegetarian is not attracted by the odor of chicken dinners anywhere! Though maybe I once was . . . . I’m afraid I fall heavily in the Chicago group there with vanilla as being my favorite scent. I once knew a man who did not wear deoderant — didn’t need to, no, really — and his natural body odor was somehow like a vanilla cupcake. WOW.

    And supposedly vegetarians and non-vegetarians smell differently from each other. Hmmm.

    • My Indian friends tell me that they can tell a meat eater by the smell. I think the same can be said about garlic eaters. Mmmmm garlic… that one does it for me. But chicken dinners rank a close second.

  2. Tom,

    It never ceases to amaze me how we seem to be living in some strange parallel universe! Twice this week you have hit on something resonated right back home in Western New York. The first was the Disney vacation post – we must all share the fantasy of escapism this time of year, and Mickey is the ultimate tour guide. Like Grandma Moses for the tween parent set.

    Just last night though I stopped to get gas in Podunk, NY (not a real town) and as per custom and 16 years of training, I used my antibacterial hand sanitizer (Bath & Body Works vanilla bean Noel) and was complimented at the counter indside for how nice it smelled. Only problem was it wasn’t some young, wanton co-ed but a small, gnome-like male creature somewhere out of Deliverance meets Lord of the Rings.

    Hey – at least I’m smelling sweet to somebody!

    • You would have been easy prey in my old 72 Dodge Coronet, with the pine tree air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror.

      *wiggles eyebrows*

  3. I was going to shoot from the hip and yell out “harm hamster and shaved pine are divine” but I’m currently curled up on my couch devoid of my once sharp sense of smell so such tomfoolery seems useless.
    I’m a big fan of lilac and fresh cut grass but I can also be said to enjoy the scent of sheets dried outside on the line and limes.
    The list goes on and on.

  4. Ug. That should read “warm hamster” not “harm hamster” the guilt over poor buddy’s death is clearly making me spell poorly.

  5. Philly with their clean laundry sounds appealing and just because I am in the Berkshires does not mean I like patchoulie and smell of a “Through Hiker” (think Appalachian Trail from start to finish)

    Oddly enough something that brings me back is the combination of cigarettes, bourbon and cold air. Cold air smells like someting on a person.

    This is why I have some of the issues I have I guess.

    • Eeewww… “dirty stinking patchouli smelling hippie” is definitely a turn off for me. That’s why I could never move to Boulder.

      I love the smell of bourbon. I have often wondered why women don’t dab a little Marker’s Mark behind their ear when they are trying to attract men.

      Tobacco? not so much. Reminds me of my Granny who lived with us as she was dying of lung cancer, so at an early age the smell of cigarettes was equated with death.

      I know that smell of cold air. It reminds me of Dad coming home from work in the winter time. Cold air, with a hint of motor oil, and grease. That’s what mens cologne should smell like.

    • I confess, when I spill gas on my hands while filling up I can’t stop sniffing them once I am back inside the car. That could explain a lot about my driving.

      • It is my aversion to the smell of gasoline that drives me to vanilla bean hand sanitizer. That and germs. God knows who was touching that gas pump before me.

        I’ve never eaten hamster. Does it taste like chicken?

    • Hmm… Foofy bird taste more like purple ghost than hamster.

      Speaking of eating hamster, it’s important that you stay away from the free range hamsters. You never know where they’ve been.

  6. Okay, so there are two bourbon smells on a man… whiskey, which just reminds me of a bad ex with a temper……horrible smell.

    Then good bourbon, that is fine stuff.

    Mostly, I love the smell of a man. Especially a man in D&G Light Blue. 😉 Mmmmm.

    Other smells, cotton candy now makes me think Prince is following me(thank you Vapid, I like the thought of his tiny purple majestic one nearby), caramels remind me of cooking with my great grandmother, and fire reminds me of my brother and his best friend digging a hole by the fire and then covering it, tricking me and me falling in the embers. Yep…true story.

    • Sadly, I had to google D&G Light Blue, to realize it’s a cologne. I guess I’ve always been more of a cheap whiskey kinda guy, which can be hard to distnguish from the smell of gasoline at times. Black Velvet anyone?

  7. I read a similar study before and I agree, at least personally. I went out with a handsome guy in my youth and I had to call it off because I couldn’t stand the smell, and it was not at all overwhelming, just at a normal level. But somehow I couldn’t stand it. Vanilla for Chicago, eh? Very interesting.

    Should we lie and say we find the smell of sweat after you guys have labored around the house and complete the honey-do list super sexy and appealing? Esp. if you fix the leak in the toilet? *swoon*

    Fine. I will play nicely. Soap.

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