'Smell' may hold the secret to true love: study
Research is increasingly showing that olfaction, one of the oldest sensory systems but probably the least understood, has an important role in a large number of areas.
According to one study, women are more concerned about the smell than about the look of a potential mate, while men are the opposite.
Another study found that 13 per cent of men and 52 per cent of women have slept dressed in the clothing of another person, usually their partner, because of the smell.
"The sense of smell provides social information about others. Its absence is related with reduced social security in men and women, and affects partnership," said the researchers from the University of Dresden.
"Men exhibit much less explorative sexual behaviour and women are affected in a way that they feel less secure about their partner. Our results show the importance of the sense of smell for social behaviour," they said.
Phillip Hodson, a psychotherapist and author of How 'Perfect' Is Your Partner?, described the new study as "a very astute piece of work".
"Instead of testing pheromones which control moths but may not control humans they've studied the smell-disabled to see how they differ from the rest. And both sexes with faulty noses appear to be less than sexually confident," he said.
"We know the nose is a sexually interactive organ: it tends to run when we get aroused and often people sneeze when extremely excited," he said.