Ever doused yourself in your friend’s signature fragrance but felt that it didn’t smell the same on you? Although we invariably have different preferences, our noses for perfume might be a little more complex than the perception of scent itself. Not only does the composition of a fragrance change over the course of the time (hyperlink to accords article) you wear it, but our body chemistry also plays a role in determining how it unfolds on your skin.
Though there have been many studies done on the reason why perfume molecules react differently on various peoples’ skin, most are inconclusive. However, a 2001 study in “Behavior Ecology,” concludes that your personal choice in fragrance could be linked to your desire to mate. According to the study, people tend toward fragrances that react with their body chemistry to complement their immunogenetic profile. Animals (including humans) prefer strong immunogenetic profiles in their mates so that their offspring are born with healthy immune systems. All in all, our preference for fragrance might be linked to sex appeal in more ways than one.