Smell and Attraction: We’re Here To Tell You That Smell Matters!

smell and attraction

By Amy Lee Kite, Divorced Girl Smiling Contributor, M.A., author, blogger, poet and editor

Smell and attraction is an interesting topic. What if you are dating this great person, who looks attractive to you, whose personality you are loving, and for who you have great respect, but there’s one thing off: his smell. In other words, what do you do when there’s a smell and attraction problem? When you’re just not attracted to his smell? Here’s what one reader writes:

A great guy asked me out again. We had three dates before the stay at home order, lost touch, but now hes asked me to spend a day with him out on his boat. He appears to be educated, intelligent, kind, etc. However, Im not attracted to the way he smells.

Hes not unhygienic by any means. Hes clean and neat. Weve kissed, but I wasn’t really into it. I didn’t think much about it since we havent talked in over a month. But now he’s invited me to spend hours with him.

I hate comparing, but I was so attracted to my exs smell. The ex is average looking, but his smell- we referred to it as each others “smell match.” This new guy is attractive, but Im not feeling that giddy feeling about going on a date. Am I making too much of this?

My smell and attraction advice:

You obviously know from your past experience with your ex that, for you, smell does matter. Don’t deny what you know to be true. Even if others think you’re foolish to feel that way, you know what you have experienced in the past. It is something that has been powerful for you, and you should honor that with great confidence.



Regarding this newer guy: If you had just had one date, I would advise you to give him another shot. Maybe his scent was off during that first encounter. But, you have already gone out a few times and that feeling just isn’t there, so I would accept that as your reality and not judge yourself for it one bit!

Scent is actually a very powerful thing. There are many people who are completely motivated to get closer to someone (or further away for that matter!) because of their innate smell. Sure, we can all enhance our scents with different soaps, lotions, perfumes and colognes. But, when you cut down to the realness — to that natural body odor — it is simply what it is.


On the other hand, I do have a dear friend who met a guy years ago who wore too much cologne. Her nickname for him became “Axe” — she could not get over that fact that he sprayed so much of it on him every time they went out on a date. But, he was so nice, and she was attracted to him overall.

I advised her to tell him to lay off of the Axe. As they got more comfortable with one another, she was open about his cologne overuse; he lost the Axe; and now they are married. So, there are situations in which smell and attraction can be fixable.


Either way, you clearly are questioning why scent matters to you. Well, on a scientific level, it is of course proven that pheromones play an important part in the lives of many animals. However, with humans, the topic has been debated amongst scientists.

Even while the topic continues to be studied, there is evidence that pheromones play a role in reproductive and behavioral patterns with humans. There have been many studies indicating that a human’s olfactory sense can actually affect sexual behavior.

Regardless of what the scientists conclude, I believe that smell and attraction is a real thing, and that someone’s smell is so important!

Plus, YOU believe that to be the case, and that’s all that really matters. We rarely give ourselves a hard time if we don’t like the way someone looks or the way someone sounds. If someone has an intolerable voice, for example, we simply accept that we don’t want to spend time chatting with that individual. Why do we try to deny one sense and not the others?

Our olfactory sense is powerful and should not be ignored.


Katz and Stefani Family Law Attorneys.


So, don’t feel bad for giving up on that nice guy: You’re not drawn to him for whatever reason. Honor that and don’t give yourself a hard time for that truth. More importantly, know that you will find someone again whose scent excites you. Stay on your path; stay true to yourself; and keep that nose on alert … even when you have a mask on during this pandemic. Our noses know!


smell and attraction

Amy Lee Kite is an author, blogger, poet and editor. She received her master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism and has had numerous articles published over the years. Amy has always turned to writing to work through anything that is happening in her life, including her parents’ divorce and her own divorce. She has published three children’s books on tough topics, including “Divorce: What About Me?” Her most recent book, “Goodbye, Gus” is about the loss of a pet. Her books are available on her website and on Amazon. To learn more about Amy, visit her website:; follow her poetry and writing on her Instagram account: @amyleewrites and follow her on Facebook.

Like this article? Check out “Dating After Divorce at 40: 13 Ways To Know He’s Loyal and Loving You”


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