Guys smell like vanilla

Hey, I'm not making this stuff up people. According to a research group (some of them at Duke University over in Durham NC--just a few miles from where I work) some people perceive male sweat as smelling like vanilla. Kinda makes me feel like a potential air fragrance factory. Not just stinky.

Here's the lead paragraphs from the Reuter's Newswire story:

When it comes to a man's body odor, the fragrance -- or stench -- is in the nose of the beholder, according to U.S. researchers who suggest a single gene may determine how people perceive body odor.

The study, published online on Sunday in the journal Nature, helps explain why the same sweaty man can smell like vanilla to some, like urine to others and for about a third of adults, have no smell at all.

So what do you think? You women out there--do men smell as good as fresh baked cookies?

Androstenone, a chemical which is created when the body breaks down the male sex hormone testosterone, is in the sweat of men and women, but it is more highly concentrated in men. How one perceives its smell appears to have a lot to do with variations in one odor receptor gene called OR7D4.

The Duke U research group, found the OR7D4 gene reacted strongly with the sex steroid androstenone. Next, they tested whether variations in this gene had an impact on how people perceived the smell of androstenone in male sweat.

They found that slight genetic variations determine whether androstenone has a pungent smell, a sweet, vanilla-like smell or no smell at all. The role of androstenone is not well understood in humans, but in pigs it sends a powerful sex signal that makes sows horny.

The Duke U group, headed up by Hiroaki Matsunami, will further study this aspect to understand how smelling these chemicals might affect human social and sexual behavior. If nothing else, it might be the answer to the prayers of many a science geek. Look in the back of science magazines soon for ads promoting this product. $19.95 for a gram or two, perhaps?


SassyAssy said…
Can't say that I have ever been with a sweaty man that smelled of vanilla....were they conducting this study in a Nabisco factory?
GA Girl said…
When my second husband worked outside he would sometimes smell like a combination of vanilla and dirt - sounds weird but it was very enjoyable.
Into the Light said…
Since I have a current aversion to the smell of vanilla these days -- best explained in private -- it's a good thing that I never considered the scent of man to be vanilla.

But if some women actually do smell vanilla on their man, it helps explain the mystery of why some women will jump a sweaty guy. The thought kind of makes me cringe though.
roselle said…
personally i enjoy the smell of a sweaty man who has generally good body odour. bad BO is not cool...but that musky scent after a workout (or other such activity) is quite sexy!
roselle said…
but no, never smelled vanilla.
Shephard said…
Vanilla, now that's a new one. If they could just figure out how to make us smell like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies...
kenju said…
I don't know about vanilla, but I wrote a post once about a guy I met in college who had the greatest natural smell I had ever come across. I spent the whole of a train trip with my nose pressed near his armpit. He swore he didn't use deodorant, and that it was his natural odor. I was entranced by it, and I have never met anyone else I could say that about.
MissMeliss said…
I like vanilla. Trust me, if Fuzzy smelled like vanilla he'd NEVER get to play computer games.

(Sorry, was that TMI?)
Deana said…
Well I do like vanilla. I always liked the smell of a guy's skin when he'd been drinking late night in a bar...and the alchohol was mixing through. I know I'm strange.
Cravey said…
I like vanilla on ME.
On Men?
You can't beat the smell of Ivory Soap.

take that science research!

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