Be sure to use a splash of cologne before your next date—the latest research suggests her nose may know more than you think.
It appears that people can make accurate judgments about another's personality based on the way that individual smells, reports a recent study published in the European Journal of Personality.
The study's researchers had 30 men and women wear T-shirts to bed for three nights. A group of judges smelled the stinky tees and ranked the wearers for five personality traits. The findings: The sniffers were strangely accurate when it came to predicting extroversion, neuroticism, and dominance.
So what exactly does this suggest? For starters, the next time you're out trying to woo a current love interest, keep in mind women can use more than their eyes and ears to size you up. Here are a few other factors that women pick up on:
Shaving and moisturizing may be a pain—but it's something the ladies notice. A new study found that, like women, men are judged as youthful and attractive based on having an even skin tone. The researchers collected photographs of 160 freshly shaven men and cropped out a small square of cheek skin. The images were then shown to 152 men and 156 women to be rated in attractiveness on a scale from 1 to 7. The results, which will be published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology, showed that people preferred evenness in men's skin, due to it's association with youth, health, and attractiveness.
The Way You Dress
She may not expect you to dress like a fashion model, but she definitely notices your attire. We surveyed more than 1,000 American women ages 21 to 54, then listed the tops traits and characteristics according to the percentage of women who ranked them within their top 10. When it came down to physical must-haves, style topped the list—beating out having a handsome face, your height, having a muscular build, and good fitness.
Your Sense of Humor
Another find from the MH poll: Being able to laugh at the stresses of this world is a must, according to the women on our panel. Obviously it's important to make her laugh, but being able to laugh at yourself shows a lot about your character; 77 percent of the women said having a good sense of humor is essential. And when it came to the five top personality traits, humor was ranked number one—beating out intelligence, passion, confidence, and generosity.
Your Before-Sex Routine
A study from New Albirght College found that women prefer some pillow talk before sex. When researchers surveyed women about their post-coital activities, women rated intimate talk as “significantly more important” before sex than after. “She may want to talk to you before sex to access your level of commitment,” says study author Susan Hughes, Ph.D. So before you get to the foreplay, leave a little room for the sweet nothings.
Your Reliability Factor
When looking for potential mates, women tend to gravitate towards men who come off as more reliable. The area of her brain that analyzes risk—the anterior singular cortex, is much larger than it is in men. “Her prefrontal cortex—essentially the brain's nanny, which tries to prevent herself from making a fool of herself—is bigger than a man's, too,” says neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, M.D., author of the books The Male Brain and The Female Brain. So as she's sizing you up, she's trying to determine whether she's comfortable with you, or if you're edgy lifestyle comes off as too risky.
So how can you show you're a keeper? Make a good impression on her, and keep in mind—kindness is key. If you have the opportunity to show your willingness to help someone in front of the woman of your interest, you'll automatically bring her guard down. In fact, unconditional selflessness may be an evolutionary signal of intelligence and resourcefulness, according to a study in the Journal of Research and Personality.