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What does your scent say about you?


Fragrance
Pick your perfume, or pick your poison.
Pick your perfume, or pick your poison.
Creatas/Thinkstock

People have been chasing uniquely scented items across the planet for thousands of years. Cinnamon, ginger, saffron and cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, jasmine and orange blossom. Generally tending to be ubiquitous today, these sweet and spicy scents were all prized and extremely rare during certain times, as traders journeyed to the far reaches of the globe to secure a shipment. Wealthy citizens paid large sums of money to secure a satisfying scent.

And while today's perfumes and other aromatic products can have you smelling sweet in no time, there are natural smells to consider, too. For example, next time your husband is there to mow the lawn, breathe deep when he comes in the house for a water break. Trust us. That's because male pheromones may, to some extent, affect women's hormonal levels. A University of Berkeley study, for example, found that male sweat could help to perk up women's moods, reduce tension and stress, enhance their sexual arousal, and perhaps even help stimulate ovulation.

Perfume additives (likely included with the same intent) may also be able to change women's hormonal levels. Just like the work of those early chemists producing perfumes from rare spices, there's a lot of chemistry going on behind the scenes in the perfume industry -- it's one of the reasons perfume is plentiful and affordable. By mixing and matching different chemicals, they can imitate natural smells.

Perfumes are often designed to change in scent throughout the day, starting with the 15 minutes where top notes dominate, followed by about 3 to 4 hours of heart notes, and wrapped up with about 5 to 8 hours of base notes. That doesn't mean everyone who applies a scent will smell the same, however, because other factors affect your scent. Body temperature and skin moisture levels can also alter how a perfume smells when applied.


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