If you want to be more attractive to others, it may be time to invest in a new perfume.
New research suggests attractiveness isn’t just a matter of good looks, but also having the right scent.
Scientists, from the University of Wroclaw in Poland, also found that our voice can play a big part in how attractive we’re perceived to be by others.
The researchers said perceived attractiveness impacts day-to-day life in a variety of ways, influencing not only romantic relationships, but also friendships and professional interactions.
“Recently, most reviews have focused on visual attractiveness – for example, face or body attractiveness,” said lead author Agata Groyecka.
“However, literature about other senses and their role in social relations has grown rapidly and should not be neglected.”
It’s easy to understand why an off-putting body odour or grating voice may make you find someone less attractive, but little research has been conducted on this, the researchers said.
“Perceiving others through all three channels [eyes, ears and nose] gives a more reliable and broader variety of information about them,” said Groyecka.
The researchers combed through over 30 years of literature to provide a brief overview of the few studies that have looked into the role of voice and scent in attractiveness.
While not extensive, this research field has already given insight into the quantity and variety of information that can be gathered by these other senses, they said.
The findings revealed that people can often guess gender and age based on voice alone.
Listeners have also proven to be skilled at detecting an unexpected range of characteristics from a voice, including the dominance, cooperativeness, emotional state and even the body size of the speaker.
Even more surprisingly, other studies have shown that people can correctly deduce very similar types of information based on scent alone.
Unlike visual attractiveness – where we tend to feel attracted to people with similar facial features to our own – the researchers found evidence that we like scents that are different to our own.
In terms of voice, men were found to find women more attractive when their appearance and voiced matched one another in terms of the perceived level of femininity.
Meanwhile women are happy to trade one trait off for another – for example, they may opt for a guy who has a “less masculine body” and a more “masculine voice”- if overall, he reaches their personal preference of masculinity level.
The review highlights a variety of explanations for these multisensory aspects of attraction, such as having an ability to detect traits both from a distance (voice and looks), as well as up close (scent).
“I hope that this review will inspire researchers to further explore the role of audition and olfaction in social relations,” Groyecka said.
The review is published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.