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How Perfumes help women look and feel better

Harold Mandel's picture

How we look and how others perceive of how we look plays an important role in our psychological well being. When we feel good about ourselves this can also have an impact on vital components of our physical health such as our blood pressure which has an effect on the health of our heart and brain. Therefore, placing a high value on cosmetics serves more of a purpose than simply feeding our egos. Recent research has found that women get a higher rating for looking nice when there are pleasant odors present.

Scented cosmetic products influence perception of one's appearance

One way to favorably influence perception of one's appearance across cultures is with scented cosmetic products reported PLOS One. The effects of pleasant odors on perceived attractiveness of facial features has been demonstrated experimentally. Researchers have concluded that olfactory enhancement of perceptions of facial judgments occurs for attractiveness.

Olfactory effects on perception of a person have long been neglected by scientists. This study highlights that such effects are likely to have an important effect on the affective connotation in dealing with real-life social interactions and therefore are deserving of further attention.

Pleasant smells increase facial attractiveness

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What this means in simple language is pleasant smells actually increase facial attractiveness reports Monell Chemical Senses Center. It has been revealed by new research from the Monell Chemical Senses Center that women’s faces are really rated as more attractive when pleasant odors are present. The pleasantness of odors was found to have less of an effect on the evaluation of age.

It has been suggested by these findings that the use of pleasantly scented products such as perfumes may alter to some degree how people perceive of one another. Lead author Janina Seubert, PhD, a cognitive neuroscientist, has said that odor pleasantness and facial attractiveness are integrated into a single emotional evaluation. It is her opinion that this may indicate that there is a common site of neural processing located in the brain.

Perfumes are used to enhance overall personal appearance

For centuries perfumes and scented products have been used as a manner in which to enhance overall personal appearance. It was found in previous studies that the perception of facial attractiveness could be influenced when using unpleasant versus pleasant odors. It was not known whether odors have an influence on the actual visual perception of facial features. In other words it has not been clear if odors influence how faces are emotionally evaluated by the brain.

Jean-Marc Dessirier, lead scientist at Unilever and a co-author on the study feels the findings from this study have fascinating implications in regard to how pleasant smells may assist in enhancing perceptions of natural appearance within social settings. Now he wants to determine if these findings extend to an evaluation of male facial attractiveness.

This study really does have important implications for the well being of women. A woman who feels better about herself is likely to have a better mood and be more pleasant to be around. The finding that pleasant odors have an effect on how a woman's appearance is judged makes an investment in high quality perfumes seem worthwhile.

It appears reasonable to conclude that future research may reveal a similar association between pleasant odors and perceptions of how good a man looks. Men are also likely to be healthier in mind and body when they feel good about themselves which is often influenced by how others see them.