Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Love Chemistry: Smell Will Tell

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The first part of the title, "Love Chemistry" is actually just a search-engine optimized grabber, and yes, I'll confess that it is misleading. I'm actually speaking of the inexplicable attraction between two individuals. Attraction might not be love, but it is a powerful force to contend with, nonetheless. Attraction, in certain circumstances, is an ingredient of the heady mix we like to call romantic love.

The most powerful attractant is, by far, chemistry. If your body's pheromones harmonize magnetically with someone else's  pheromones, you may not consciously "smell" anything, but your olfactory system, operating principally through your nose is receiving signals from these mystical biochemicals which are sending a message to your subconscious mind; and your subconscious mind, aroused in its most primitive manner, will send a tingle to the other parts of your body which would ordinarily be engaged in lovemaking.

While the olfactory processing of pheromones explains the largest part of "She's/He's not even my 'type' " attraction," a contributing factor may well be the scent of a perfume, cologne, deodorant or soap, which is consciously perceived through the olfactory sense, but which is processed a bit differently. And even here, the body's natural chemistry co-mingles with these products to the extent that they may still be pheromone-shaped.

The chemistry of attraction, while principally olfactory (whether subconscious and primitive, or conscious and more identifiable) is also influenced, although to a much lesser degree by microexpressions, suggestive body language, and other non-verbal cues. While these are not as powerful as hormonal biochemistry, these sensorial elements tend to bring us close enough (i.e., to lure us hither) to be able to be within sniffing distance of pheromones and fragrances, so that they may have their influence felt.

By rough measurement, some researchers have anecdotally estimated that chemical attraction may be as much as 80% attributable to the effect of the "nose knows" [who could resist] effect, given that the other individual falls reasonably within the guidelines of more subjective preferences in body type and more superficial standards.

Here's the crazy synesthesia: In order to truly "feel" chemistry, one must simply listen to one's nose. Attraction, like synesthesia, is a paradox.

Lastly, and sadly, scientists are now saying (at least as of the day of this writing) that due to the overwhelming combined swill of scents in our ordinary environment, it is becoming increasingly difficult to "sniff out" a wonderful prospective partner due to this ambient olfactory overload which is being referred to as "white smell."  Next,  in The Global Futurist Blog and in The Mad Marketing Tactics Blog, you'll be reading about trying to get a better pheromone to white smell ratio.

Yes, indeed. Love is strange.

Thank you for reading and re-tweeting me!

Douglas E. Castle for The Sending Signals Blog

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