The smell of pastries and coffee made women more likely to give out their phone number. (Hat tip: Jon Sutton)Studies have shown that pleasant scents favour positive social relationships. However, the effect of pleasant ambient odor on romantic relationships has never been tested.
In a field experiment, 18–25 year old women walking alone in a shopping mall were approached by an attractive 20 year old male-confederate who solicited them for their phone number.
The women were solicited as they were walking in areas with pleasant ambient odours (e.g., pastries) or with no odor. It was found that women agreed more often to the confederate’s courtship solicitation in the pleasant smelling areas. Positive mood induced by ambient odours may explain such results.
Source: “The sweet smell of… courtship: Effects of pleasant ambient fragrance on women’s receptivity to a man’s courtship request” from Journal of Environmental Psychology, Volume 32, Issue 2, June 2012, Pages 123–125
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