Special Report: Love at first Scent

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –  We hear the phrase all the time… Love at first sight. But what is it REALLY?

Why do we feel an immediate spark with some and not with others? Psychologists say our natural scent or pheromones... ARE factors in the mysterious equation.

Many animals use their noses to find their mates...sorting through the choices based on odors. So, what about us? For many couples it was love at first sight. But does that really exist? Some psychologists say it does, but we should be saying love at first scent.

Does he smell good? "Well yes, always. He always smells good," said Carol Emerson

Psychologist Dr. Sean Massie says people, more so women, subconsciously sniff out their partners. But it's not really a SCENT we release. It's pheromones--  chemical signals we give off that trigger attraction.

"In our DNA we have a Major Histocompatibility complex. That determines if one person's immune system is similar to another's," said Massie.

And even though we don't know it, we are naturally attracted to people with opposite genes. Literally, opposites attract and for good reason.

"If you have somebody resistant to Disease A and someone resistant to Disease B. Then together that child is more likely to be resistant to both. So it's better for survival," said Massie.

Dr. Massie says pheromones are very weak in humans. But they may explain that "spark" we feel with some and not others.

"Sometimes I think you know when the pheromones are working…again it's weak…but you know if there's that attraction there and you go for that kiss and it can become very intoxicating--   natural high."

Luther and Carol Emerson experienced that instant connection. They call it love at first sight.

"We just celebrated our 22nd anniversary in December," said Luther.

They dated for two weeks before they were married. They just clicked.

"It's kinda like there is a special chemical you give off when you're not looking. When it's the last thing in the world you're looking for," said Luther.

You can't control your pheromones or natural scent. But let's not discredit what you can control.

"No woman wants a man that's going to stink up the place," said Jurry Dailey.

"I would prefer a guy wear cologne, you know a nice, masculine smell," said Jessica Stewart.

"Smelling good or more importantly not having an offensive smell signals healthiness. So people are going to be more attracted to somebody that doesn't smell bad," said the doctor.

(And certain smells can even spark arousal. According to a study conducted by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, lavender and pumpkin pie odors increase male arousal by 40 %.

Doughnuts, black licorice, and orange smells ranked high on the arousal scale, too.

But remember perfumes and colognes smell different on different people. And people have different opinions on what smells good. So don't depend on that to land a relationship. When all else fails, soap doesn't.

"I just got to know that they do what it takes to take care of themselves," said Dailey.

" A male doesn't have to wear cologne just as long as they smell good, and look good too. said Stewart.

So what's the lesson here? Follow your nose and your instincts. And Love just may smell it's way into your life, unexpectedly.

Most of the couples we talked to said they believe there is such thing as "love at first sight" or scent, rather.

But of course without the other factors like common interests, personality, and trust, love or a relationship won't last.

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