A new study has found that the exact same woman tends to be rated more physically attractive when she is wearing a nice perfume as opposed to not wearing any. Does that mean that wearing a nice perfume can make one look more physically attractive? That is what researchers have concluded based on their studies. The reason behind that statement is that perceptions of physical beauty are irrational and emotionally driven.
However, while spraying on a sexy perfume might make a woman look and feel better, it is not a magic potion in that it will not make older women look younger nor will it make a younger woman look older or more mature. This list of the best perfumes for women, as voted by tens of thousands of users, show just how much of a difference using the right perfume can do for you. A pleasant fragrance might make one look more youthful, while an unpleasant perfume might make older and younger women look similar in age.
The APA’s Scents and Senses Centre found from their study that odour pleasantness has nothing to do with age, but more to do with attractiveness. “It is an emotional evaluation”, says Dr. Seubert Holmes, a cognitive neuroscientist at Newcastle.
While we all know that perfumes have been used for centuries to enhance one’s appearance, this study may be a breakthrough in indicating a common site of neural processing in the brain. Previous research studies have shown that the perception of attractiveness could be influenced by various aromas, however it was not clearly shown whether having on the right perfume or cologne affects actual visual perception of one’s face or if one’s face is generally emotionally evaluation by the brain.
This new study has however centred on the principal that judging attractiveness involves a different processing method as compared to judging one’s age. Judging attractiveness is assessed as an emotional process while judging age is one that is cognitive, based on rationale.
The study asked a group of 300 teenagers to rate the attractiveness of ten male and females faces of various ages. During the evaluation process, five blends of perfumes were released, ranging from pure rose oil on one extreme end of the scale to pure fish oil on the other end. The teens were asked to rate the attractiveness of the faces they have viewed, and the pleasantness of the aromas. As the study concluded, aroma pleasantness directly influences judgments of facial attractiveness.
However when it came to guessing one’s age, it was a cognitive task. Visual cues such as hair color, wrinkles, skin texture and tone and blemishes were linked to a perception of old age irrespective of whether there was a pleasant or unpleasant scent during the judgement process. This goes to show that we evaluate using our brains rather than our emotions.
This is definitely an interesting find in terms of how we perceive someone’s physical attributes in a social setting. It goes to show that physical appearance and assessing someone’s attractiveness has nothing to do with knowing someone’s age. The next step would be to understand if this study also extends to the evaluation of male attractiveness or any other physical attribute for that matter.