Scent of attraction

Bonnie Wu

Vanilla, musk and apple pie ... the right fragrance will wrap you in an aura of sensuality

Ah, summer, the season of smelly feet and pungent body odours. In this heat you'll be hard-pressed to find a woman who gets off on the au naturel man. Trust me, you are far better off with a dash of Calvin.

According to the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) in Oxford, Britain, the scent of attraction consists of biological, psychological and social phenomena. And before the rumblings and murmurs of 'pheromones in a bottle' begin - yes, it's true. The initial scent of fresh male sweat does produce arousal in the fairer sex. But in a few minutes the seductive scent mixes with oxygen and goes pungently stale.

So unless you are planning your day around a three-shower, three-shirt routine, you are going to need a little help to stay sweet-smelling.

Mixing the right fragrance with your natural scent scores high with women. But since every man's scent is unique, it's important to figure out which fragrances work with you.

Certain scents have been proven to trigger positive emotions in the brain which, in turn, increase the scent's appeal. Vanilla, for example, has therapeutic effects. Its naturally warm, smooth aroma has been medically linked to lower stress and anxiety levels. It is commonly used in male fragrances to add softness and just the right amount of sweetness to the mixture.

Musk, on the other hand, has long been associated with sexual arousal. A woman's sensitivity to this particular scent is around a thousand times stronger than a man's. Musk is often used as a base note to assert a masculine presence in fresh, daytime scents.

Perfumeries are adopting ever more sophisticated technologies to synthesise just about any smell, including those that are elusive and nostalgic - the smell of clean laundry, the freshness of spring rain or even that spiced apple pie mum used to make.

According to the SIRC, one manufacturer claims to have reproduced the scent of newspapers - a guaranteed hit with finance-savvy bankers.

But what scents do men find arousing? Studies have shown that licorice, pumpkin pie, cinnamon buns and doughnuts are among the few that men find attractive - perhaps a topic of conversation the next time your girlfriend offers to bake ...

When shopping for fragrances, always try them as scents smell different on your skin.

Repeated use of an anti-bacterial soap will help eliminate unwanted odours that may dampen the alluring and unique mixture of your natural scent and fragrance.

For the sophisticated professional

Armani Black Code

A spicy, oriental fragrance that is sensual in a understated way. The sophisticated blend includes lemon, bergamot, aniseed and tonka bean.

For the refined sportsman

Davidoff Cool Water Sea, Scents and Sun

Similar to the brand's legendary fragrance Deep, but a lighter composition for summer to emphasise its fresh, luminous elements. They include pear, mandarin, myrtle and crystal musk.

For the metrosexual

Armani Acqua Di Gio

Fresh, sparkling and radiant, this has become an instant favourite among today's modern men. A daring combination of aromas including bergamot, lime, mandarin, coriander, cedar wood and musk.

L'Artisan Mure de Musc

A musky unisex fragrance for those who prefer something unique. This blackberry classic blends key notes of grapefruit, bergamot, berries and oak moss.

For the free-spirited

Bulgari Aqua

This vibrant, energetic and masculine fragrance boasts an aromatic blend of mandarin, petit grain, posidonia, santolina and mineral amber.

Dior Higher Energy

A fragrance with refreshing top notes of juniper and grapefruit, mixed with nutmeg, pepper, vetiver and sandalwood for a spicy, masculine finish.

For the man who wants to seduce

Kenneth Cole Black

Sexy and sophisticated, Black reflects the elegance and style of the city. A blend of herbs, masculine spices and wood, including key notes of mandarin, ginger, lotus flower, nutmeg, musk and ambergris.

Hotel Costes Parfum

Capture the essence of the luxurious, seductive Hotel Costes in Paris. An intoxicating blend of lavender, rose, incense, musk, coriander seeds, pepper and laurel.


MODELS: Fernando Rodovalho and Ornusa Cadness from Starz People