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A strong sense of smell: the secret to finding love?

Your sense of smell can determing whether you will find lasting love, a new study claims (ThinkStock photo)

Insecure in your relationship? You might be able to blame it on a poor sense of smell.

Once again, scientists are linking sense of smell with the ability to find (lasting) love.

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According to a study published in Biological Psychology, men and women with a malfunctioning sense of smell are more insecure in their relationships than their strong-smelling counterparts.

Researchers from Dresden University's Smell and Taste Clinic found that men born without a sense of smell, known as anosmia, had fewer sexual partners than men born with a good sense of smell and had problems socializing and finding love.

For women, a poor sense of smell didn't affect their number of sexual partners, but it did make them 20 per cent more insecure about their relationships than women who could smell well.

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"Men and women without a sense of smell reported enhanced social insecurity, but with different consequences — men who were born without a sense of smell exhibit a strongly reduced number of sexual relationships and women are affected such that they feel less secure about their partner," the authors write in the journal.

"The sense of smell provides social information about others," the researchers continue. "Its absence is related with reduced social security in men and women, and affects partnerships. Men exhibit much less explorative sexual behaviour and women are affected in a way that they feel less secure about their partner. Our results show the importance of the sense of smell for social behaviour."

Researchers also speculate that the insecurity may stem from the individual not knowing whether or not he/she smells bad.

"In general, those with anosmia...don't know whether they have bad breath, stinky armpits, are drinking rotten milk or living in fishy-smelling apartments," researcher Thomas Hummel tells the Daily Mail. "Constantly wondering whether you smell bad makes a person insecure, and that could spill over into the person's love life."

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An earlier study linked a poor sense of smell to depression, citing the above insecurities.

Other studies found that a good sense of smell might detect ovulation, can assist in "reading" a stranger's personality traits, and can help pick out a genetically compatible mating partner.

The Independent cites even more smell-is-important-for-love studies:

"According to one study, women are more concerned about the smell than about the look of a potential mate, while men are the opposite. One study found that 13 per cent of men and 52 per cent of women have slept dressed in the clothing of another person, usually their partner, because of the smell."

And, yes, pheromone parties exist. Because love stinks.

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