Scent of a man: We have seen Al Pacino getting it just right when it is about identifying the names of the perfumes that women he interacts with are wearing even though his character is visually impaired. Of course, we are talking about Scent Of A Woman. Now it is the other way around as the results of a study conducted by Marlise Hofer, from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada suggest. The study was accomplished some time back.Also Read – These Are The Amendments Canada Has Introduced For Protection Of Temporary Foreign Workers
SCENT OF THE MAN
The study focused on women as mentioned above. It says that women who are stressed out feel calmer after being exposed to their male partner’s scent, like smelling his T-shirt. On the other hand, says the study that when women are exposed to a stranger’s scent it had the opposite effect and raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Also Read – Yet Again! Women Passengers Slap, Pull Each Other's Hair Inside Mumbai Local Train | Watch
“Many people wear their partner’s shirt or sleep on their partner’s side of the bed when their partner is away but may not realise why they engage in these behaviours,” said Marlise Hofer, lead author of the study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Also Read – Women Can Become Fat Over Long-Term Exposure To Air Pollution. Here's How
“Our findings suggest that a partner’s scent alone, even without their physical presence, can be a powerful tool to help reduce stress,” said Marlise Hofer.
96 opposite-sex couples were enlisted for the study by the researchers.
THE PROCESS FOLLOWED BY RESEARCHERS
The researchers gave men a clean T-shirt to wear for 24 hours and were told to refrain from using deodorant and scented body products, smoking and eating certain foods that could affect their scent.
The T-shirts were then frozen to preserve the scent.
THE TEAM PLAYED A SMALL TRICK ON WOMEN
The women were randomly assigned to smell a T-shirt that was either unworn or had been worn by their partner or a stranger. They were not told which one they had been given.
The women underwent a stress test that involved a mock job interview and a mental math task, and also answered questions about their stress levels and provided saliva samples used to measure their cortisol levels.
WOMEN ACTED AS SMELLERS
The researchers asked women to act as the “smellers” because they tend to have a better sense of smell than men. They found that women who had smelled their partner’s shirt felt less stressed both before and after the stress test.
Those who both smelled their partner’s shirt and also correctly identified the scent also had lower levels of cortisol, suggesting that the stress-reducing benefits of a partner’s scent are strongest when women know what they are smelling.
WOMEN’S REACTION TO STRANGER’S SCENT
Meanwhile, women who had smelled a stranger’s scent had higher cortisol levels throughout the stress test. Researchers speculate that evolutionary factors could influence why the stranger’s scent affected cortisol levels.
“From a young age, humans fear strangers, especially strange males, so it is possible that a strange male scent triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response that leads to elevated cortisol,” said Hofer.