Ever wonder why the perfume you get as a gift doesn't usually smell as good to you as the stuff you pick out for yourself? Well, Dr. Jan Havlicek, an anthropologist in Prague, has found the answer:
"Perfumes have been used by people for thousands of years and the prevailing view has been that this was to mask our natural body odour to make us smell more attractive. In fact, what we have found is there is a strong individual interaction between perfume and body odour. People choose fragrances to complement their own odour."
So since you alone can sense what your natural smell is, only you can pick the perfume that best enhances it. Dr. Havlicek's research backs this up. Twelve women were asked to choose their own fragrance, which was applied to one armpit. Then another randomly selected fragrance was applied to their other armpit. A panel of 21 women then smelled swabs from both armpits (lucky them!), and this was the result:
"The women consistently found the smells more attractive and pleasant when the fragrance was one the volunteer had chosen themselves."
Interesting. No word on whether the same holds true for men, but for now at least this should simplify buying perfume for the women in your life. Instead of trying to pick something you think they'll like, just get them a gift card and tell them to pick the fragrance that best complements their odor. People love it when you tell them they have an odor...
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