News you can use, brought to you by Mary Roach, in Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Science and Sex.
Stop wearing cologne. Women don’t find it attractive. If you don’t believe me, here is a quote from a press release from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago: “Men’s cologne actually reduced vaginal blood flow.” Foundation director Al Hirsch hooked women up to a vaginal photoplethysmograph and had them wear surgical masks scented with ten different aromas or combinations of aromas. (To be sure the women weren’t just getting aroused by dressing up in surgical masks, Hirsch put unscented masks onto a control group.) In addition to the smell of cologne, the women were turned off by the smell of cherry and of “charcoal barbecue meat.” At the top of the women’s turn-on list was, mysteriously, a mixture of cucumber and Good & Plenty candy. It was said to increase vaginal blood flow by 13 per cent.