Did you know men and women are different, because they are. They are so different that they even like different things. Men like meat, visual stuff. Women like lemons, feelings. It's a wonder it ever works, because meat and pictures and lemons and feelings go together like a tornado in a teacup without any good smells in it.
Up to now, if you thought about the differences between men and women, you probably thought that men are from Mars, and women are from Venus, because of that book which has captured our imaginations and held them hostage for all time. I think the book was about how hard it is to get a woman to stop emoting on your grill, but I cannot say for sure (Hint: Try squeezing lemon juice in her grill).
No matter! The Daily Mail has informed us that new research shows the differences between men and women are not in our planetary headspace, they are in our noses. Honk. In an effort to learn how to "produce an exhilarating experience," UK personal care products company Radox has conducted a nationwide poll and discovered the top mood boosters for men and women. And they are as different as a bachelor's toolbag vs. a single lady's chocolate dildo drawer:
The results of the survey showed that women find smells associated with the home most pleasing, with freshly baked bread (15 per cent) second only to lemon, followed by clean sheets (12 per cent) and newly cut flowers (nine per cent).
Men tended to opt for smells associated with food, with sizzling bacon taking the top spot (19 per cent) followed by bread (16 per cent), coffee (11 per cent) and fish and chips (8 per cent).
This is exciting because it is precisely what we have always suspected would be true, isn't it? The best studies always demonstrate that all the effort to show that women and men are more alike than different is futile, because when the shit hits the fan, men wish it smelled like bacon, whereas women wish it smelled like lemons. But the truth is, this goes much deeper than fans or smells.
Obviously, women's most basic, primitive preferences are centered, predictably, around notions of domestic bliss — for us, the most comforting thing is a clean home, with soft candles, clean sheets, fresh cut flowers, freshly scrubbed with a lemon-scented something-or-other. Whereas a man can't feel properly settled inside without the sensation of meat sizzling somewhere nearby on a grill, preferably after a motorcycle has just blazed by, dusting everything with that intoxicating cocktail of motor oil, sweat and gasoline. And who could blame them? Takes all kinds you know. Or both kinds. Bacons, and lemons.
Also, men are more "visual." The study found that "most men agreed that when it comes to feeling uplifted they find a visual stimulus more effective."
Did you know that? Does that sound familiar? Is that something you've ever heard anywhere before, like maybe from your high school boyfriend to explain why he has to look at that girl from the LA Gear ad on the back of your latest copy of YM so many times? Do you think they showed the men a plate of bacon and a picture of Sophia Lauren and then actually made them choose? And do you think it was really hard for them? And maybe they gave a woman a baby to hold while spritzing her face with a lemon mist and she dropped the baby on the ground and was like, Sorry, smell beats picture in lady brain?
It's just science:
Professor Tim Jacob, an expert in the science of smell at Cardiff University, says that women's preference for scent over the visual stimuli could be explained by their heightened sense of smell.
'Women have a better sense of smell than men, because their brains are wired to process scents more acutely.
That makes scents. Get it? Scents? Moving on to sights, here is the straightest dose of truth you'll ever get in this lifetime, so hold tight:
Top Five Mood Boosting Sights:
- An attractive female (55 per cent)
- A beautiful beach (40 per cent)
- Watching sport (37 per cent)
- A juicy steak (37per cent)
- People laughing (36 per cent)
- A cute animal (54 per cent)
- A beautiful beach (53 per cent)
- A baby smiling (52 per cent)
- Flowers (48 per cent)
- People laughing (46 per cent)
Said Radox assistant brand manager Libby Sherriff, 'To treat commuters, we'll be pumping mood boosting fragrances throughout Waterloo station, to give commuters an instant lift and pick-me-up.'
But seriously Libby, to make it truly exhilarating, women should be treated to a veritable playpen of smiling babies, cuddly koalas, disembodied laughter, and cut flowers littering their pathway to the train, while men will graze in a seaside roofless restaurant where giant steaks cradled by beautiful women rain from the sky, kinda like that scene in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Everything will seem right with the world, how it should be, and exactly as we hoped.
In other news, gender socializing works.
Illustration by Tara Jacoby.