How your BO can help you find a match

  • Women are able to smell who will make a good father from their body odour
  • Men have no idea whether their DNA is compatible with someone else
  • They can smell if someone is fertile, researchers believe 
  • Women seem to be more attuned to working out the health of potential offspring 

Phoebe Weston For Mailonline

You may think that your sweaty T-shirt would put off a potential match, but a new study suggests that the opposite may be true. 

Scientists have found that your smell can help you find love – although for very different reasons for men and women.

Results suggest that women are drawn to the smell of men whose DNA is compatible with their own, while men like the whiff of fertile females. 

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You may think that your sweaty T-shirt would put off a potential match, but a new study suggests that the opposite may be true (stock image) 

You may think that your sweaty T-shirt would put off a potential match, but a new study suggests that the opposite may be true (stock image) 

You may think that your sweaty T-shirt would put off a potential match, but a new study suggests that the opposite may be true (stock image) 

WHAT DID THEY DO?

Researchers asked 42 women to collect body odour from their armpits every night.

They did not shower or share a bed with anyone before taking these samples using pads of cotton.

Researchers got 94 men to smell the pad and rank each sample in terms of how muchy they liked it.

The team also took blood samples so they could catalogue the HLA for each of the participants.

The men liked certain smells more than others but this was not related to levels of HLA. 

There is some evidence the men preferred the smells of women who were most fertile.

A protein called leukocyte antigen, or HLA, detects when the immune system is under threat and also has a distinctive smell.

Potential partners must smell different to us – an evolutionary safeguard to avoid in-breeding as those who are related to us tend to smell similar.

Researchers from the University of Bern asked 42 women to collect body odour from their armpits every night.

They did not shower or share a bed with anyone before taking these samples, writes Newsweek.

The team recruited 94 men to smell the pad and rank each sample in terms of how much they liked it.

Using blood samples they calculated the HLA for each of the participants.

Researchers found men liked certain smells more than others but this was not related to levels of HLA.

Instead the smells they reported to like were those of women who were most fertile.

‘Importantly, and in contrast to previous studies, these odours were gathered at peak fertility (i.e. just before ovulation) when any HLA-associated odour preferences should be strongest’, the researchers, led by Dr Fabian Probst, wrote in the study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

‘We found that men could readily differentiate between odours they found attractive and odours they found less attractive, but that these preferences were not associated with HLA.’

The men liked certain smells more than others but this was not related to levels of HLA but instead preferred the smells of women who were most fertile (stock image)

The men liked certain smells more than others but this was not related to levels of HLA but instead preferred the smells of women who were most fertile (stock image)

The men liked certain smells more than others but this was not related to levels of HLA but instead preferred the smells of women who were most fertile (stock image)

Researchers believe women may be more attuned to working out the health of potential offspring because they are generally in charge of rearing them.

Earlier this year research also found smell is the key to falling in love. 

The report, by Polish and British scientists, suggests we form our first impressions on others based on sound and smell, even from some distance.

How someone smells can give hints about their personality, age and how healthy or fertile they are.

Women appear to care more about how someone smells than men, according to the review, which was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.