The Scent of a Man

Afternoon Ski Time!
Afternoon Ski Time!

From slightly tickling your nose to tingling your spine, scents can carry weight, be it a powerful stench or one that wallows just below the surface. Our preferred ones might remind us of a lost love, an epic adventure, a favorite place, or a childhood memory. Some scents draw us to them with such power that we reach a new level of vulnerability.

If your nose is aligned with mine, your sense of smell isn’t particularly strong, and thus, you’ve spent your life relying on your other senses. When you light candles in the house, you have to light several of them. Your nose has to get punched to wake up; the smell must carry some weight, some meaning, so much so that during much of life, you haven’t really paid attention to your sense of smell at all.

However, when it is in charge, you clearly are not, like with the scent of a man. As all the research suggests about women and men, my sense of smell is heightened around them. My body knows I’m around a male, and therefore, my sense of smell kicks in like it has been awakened from a deep sleep. This lack of control use to bother me, but I’ve learned that there is really nothing I can do about it so I have just chosen to embrace it instead. Regardless of the situation, and there have been many awkward ones, I’m just relying on the idea that no one else knows that it’s happening but me, but I realize that this is ridiculous because I don’t believe that I’m unique in this department. Even so, the intensity of it baffles me and I never understood why a man’s scent would carry so much weight with me during a conversation-be it professional, casual, or even with a stranger on the bus.

Coyote Trail, Mirror Lake
Coyote Trail, Mirror Lake

We are all attracted to other people through our senses, but did you know that smell experts suggest that women are more attracted to the scent of a man over anything else? I didn’t so this helped me to understand the control it can have over me. When around men, their scent is what hits us first. Not looks. Not fashion. Not shape. Their scent even beats soccer legs! If the male has a pleasant smell according to that woman, this takes precedence over anything else, and will make that male attractive. Our sense of smell can also bring more emotional memories than words, sounds, looks, etc. Basically, our sense of smell rocks, and if men are our orientation, we are attracted to the core root funk of men. This research scientifically supports why so many of us are into the dirty boys. Great news for them!

I’m not so sure I buy that it has that amount of power, but when I consider my reactions to scents when around men, I won’t argue against it either. On the flip side, due to this heightened sense of smell, there are also the smells that I loathe, and as the research suggests, these guys won’t ever be attractive to me, even if they have soccer legs and the most delicious eyes.

For example, the dryer sheet guy: Why don’t I smell women walking around smelling like dryer sheets? Do they exist? Do men smell the dryer sheet girls and I don’t because I am a girl? Or is it because I’m not into girls? I don’t enjoy smelling a guy that smells like dryer sheets and I don’t understand why he isn’t annoyed by his own scent. Having said that, according to the research, the scent of a dryer sheet must cause some women to charge, but when the dryer sheet guy comes around me, I find it so obtrusive. In my mind, I think that this invasion to my nose mimics what it would be like to be with that guy. No thanks.

And what about the taxi cab driver or city slicker that wears entirely too much cologne, and not the good kind either, if there is such a thing? It’s so thick that you have to move it to the side just to reach the person that it shields. Isn’t there someone close that can give him advice?

No judgment here-if guys want to wear their bottles of cologne or use too many dryer sheets in their laundry, that is fine with me, but when I’m around these types of scents, the distraction is so overwhelming that my semi-intact social skills malfunction. It bothers me that I wouldn’t want to get to know someone based solely on their scent, but this has happened more than once. I’m a terrible person in those moments.

It reminds me of this one time when a guy puked on my bare feet in college and for days and weeks afterward, he apologized profusely, but it never left me; the stench of his puke on my feet would slam into me whenever he came around. I never got over it.

In the end, our sense of smell has a lot of power, more than I ever knew, and just as dangerous as going down a double black diamond slope. Oh, and my impatience for the dryer sheet guy now makes total sense.


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