When you have a hot date lined up, it makes sense that you want to turn up smelling as good as you look in the hope of impressing you prospective love interest.
But finding the perfect scent to attract a partner involves more than splashing on your favourite perfume, according to olfactory expert Dr Caroline Allen of the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University.
Dr Allen is working with dating site Match.com on the launch of a pop up called Eau Mon Garcon, housing the scents of six of its single men to explore the role of smell in the science of attraction and help daters follow their natural instincts.
And she has exclusively revealed to Femail how unlikely scents such as garlic or the aftershave Mum bought for Christmas for male daters, could be the key to dating success.
Here she reveals the rather unusual ways to make sure your scent is giving off the right impression.
‘Trust your mum’s judgement’
A recent study found that female family members who selected fragrances for their male relatives, made them smell more pleasant than the fragrances they had selected for themselves.
So if your brother, cousin, or nephew is heading out on a date then perhaps suggest they dig out the perfume their mum bought them last Christmas.
There is evidence that the same fragrance smells different on different people and that you smell better when wearing a fragrance you have chosen over a randomly selected one.
Children of divorced parents who live with a step-mother or father may face greater mental health problems
So women might want to reconsider wearing a perfume someone has bought as a gift for an all-important date and opt for an old favourite instead.
‘Eat garlic before a date’
The food you eat can influence the way your body odour smells, and not always in a way that you would expect. Researchers recently found that individuals who ate garlic were rated as having more pleasant and attractive smelling body odour.
This may be because garlic has beneficial health properties, while other studies have found that healthier individuals smell more pleasant.
I’m not suggesting you eat several cloves, but it might be worth considering incorporating it into a healthier diet and making some lifestyle changes if you want to alter the way that you smell in the long term – and potentially appear more attractive to a date.
‘Never skip deodorant’
Studies show that wearing a fragrance doesn’t just affect the way that you smell, it can also affect how you feel and in turn those crucial first impressions.
One study looked at how body odour alters men’s self-confidence and how attractive women find them. After watching a series of videos of the men, women voted those wearing deodorant as more attractive.
Although they did not know which men were wearing deodorant, the findings suggest that their body language had changed in ways that made them appear to be more confident.
‘Wear perfume to ease fidgeting’
Another study also found that people wearing a perfume showed changes in body language, which were related to perceptions of self-confidence – for example less touching of their hair and face. So next time you’re feeling a little nervous about a date, reach for your favourite fragrance and it may just give you a much-needed boost of self-confidence.
‘Shave underarm hair’
Unsurprisingly, your personal grooming may have an effect on the way that you smell. One study found that individuals with unshaved armpits smelled more intense than those who were clean shaven.
We often find that more intense smells are rated as less pleasant, so you might want to consider this when deciding whether shaving is right for you
‘Pay attention to how your date smells and trust your instincts’
Findings have shown that dominance, neuroticism and extraversion – which are all important personality traits when searching for a date – can all be rated relatively accurately from body odour.
Studies have asked individuals to provide an odour sample and complete personality questionnaires.
Others were then asked to rate the odour sample using the same questionnaire and the results were surprisingly accurate. It seems your natural instincts play a bigger role than you think.