Aah, personal hygiene – one of my favorite topics and biggest pet peeve! When it comes to body odor and scent, you only need to know one thing – women have a better sense of smell than men do. This means we can smell if you decide to skip your morning shower or only brush your teeth once a day. At the same time, we truly appreciate it when you put an aftershave or wear a good cologne.

Body odor and female attraction

A quick rundown of what scientists found: it seems that humans can assess personality traits and subconsciously take in genetic information relevant to mate selection based on body odor.  It’s been shown that the human olfactory (sense of smell) system is different between sexes. Women, on average, have about 43% more cells in the olfactory bulb compared to men. Some studies suggest that women developed this ability to choose the ‘ultimate’ reproduction partner.  As if that would not be enough, female sensitivity to smell changes during their cycle. This means that we are 10,000 more sensitive to your pheromones (scented sex hormones) during ovulation than any other time. FYI, you guys are also biologically programmed to find women more attractive during ovulation. 

Now, it seems that the findings above correspond with my own and my friends’ experiences. It can be such a deal breaker if a really handsome guy smells bad, and I’m not talking about someone who just left the gym. Sometimes it’s clear that the guy does not care for his hygiene too much and it is simply off-putting. Personally, I can’t even think about having sex with someone with poor body and oral hygiene habits. So at the very minimum, I would advise to shower and brush your teeth twice a day as well as floss every night.

There are some essentials I think every man should have

  • Shampoo suitable for your hair type (!)
  • Deodorant
  • Aftershave
  • Cologne/perfume
  • Facial scrub/cleaner
  • Moisturising face cream
  • Moisturising body lotion

In my observation, some men tend not to care about toiletries and find it ‘girly’ to do so. That is like shooting yourself in the foot – well selected products visibly improve your looks and ensure you don’t look like a raisin twenty years from now. Good skin care routine is a must. Facial cleansers help get rid of all the nasty stuff that accumulates throughout the day which prevents breakouts. I hope moisturising face cream doesn’t need explaining? 🙂 Sorry, but in this day and age soap and water only just won’t do! 

Lifestyle habits and body odor

I feel it is also important to mention that body odor is affected by your eating and bad lifestyle choices (smoking and drinking). If you consume greasy/junk food, drink too much and/or smoke, it makes your body odor more pungent and acidic. A diet that includes too much read meat, spicy and/or junk food contributes to foul B.O. You can read more about this here.

Simply put, your body odor signals about your health status. This unconsciously helps women decide whether they want to mate with you (read: date you). So if you don’t fix your poor habits, a mint or extra deodorant won’t have a lasting effect.

Overall, an attractive male is someone who takes care of his personal hygiene through correct lifestyle and your outer routine (non-dietary such as fragrance). Since women rely more heavily on olfactory cues, it’s a very important aspect of attraction.


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