Tag: perfume

Immune System-Mimicking Perfumes Are Preferred By Women According To Studies

Immune System-Mimicking Perfumes Are Preferred By Women According To Studies

Woman passionately spraying perfume on her neck

 

Women prefer the smell of perfume, much like the escentric molecules perfume, that has chemicals in it that mimic the smell of their immune proteins when given the selection, according to American research, women have a preference for the smell of men with a defense system similar to that of their fathers.

The HLA proteins are best known for their role in the rejection of transplanted organs and the defense against foreign invaders, such as microorganisms. The genes that code for these proteins vary greatly from person to person.

According to the American researcher Martha McClintock of the University of Chicago, women can unconsciously smell which HLA proteins a man has. McClintock had several women smell pieces of T-shirts. The T-shirts were worn by a man for two nights.

There turned out to be no most ideally scented man. Each woman had her specific preference. Just like for flavors, the preference for fragrances also differs. Still, McClintock found a pattern in women’s scent preference: They were more likely to prefer the scent of a man whose HLA proteins most closely match their own father’s. The researchers found no link between the women’s odor preference and their mothers’ HLA proteins.

 

ALSO READ: How What You Eat Affects Your Immune System

 

McClintock’s discovery contrasts with previous research, which found that women prefer to smell men with HLA proteins that are as different as possible from their HLA proteins. From this, a Darwinian theory was distilled at the time that states that children of parents with widely differing HLA systems have a better defense. They have a wider repertoire of HLA proteins, which would make them more responsive to foreign invaders.

The research of McClintock and other geneticists may seem a bit far-fetched to an outsider. Making a connection between the smell of pieces of T-shirt, genetic HLA patterns and partner choice does not seem very obvious. McClintock herself also admits that her research is difficult to substantiate. Not only are HLA genes in humans very diverse so that millions of combinations are possible, but body odor is determined by many other parameters. In addition, people tend to use all kinds of exotic smells that disguise their smell.

Nevertheless, McClintock’s research was able to convince the reviewers of the journal Nature Genetics to publish its results. She argued that animals have known for more than twenty years that the proteins of the immune system are a source of individual body odors. These scents are particularly important in the animal world in territorial demarcation, recognition, hierarchical structure, pair formation, and nesting behavior. If that data is ever extended to humans, we must replace the phrase “love at first sight” with “love at first smell.”