What is the science behind perfumes designed to evoke feelings of romantic or sexual attraction?

Our sense of smell is directly connected to the animalic part of our brain, our intuitive sense. A part of our brain whose primal function is to help us detect danger, to smell the smoke before we see the fire… Following this exact principle, smell is integral in finding your life partner, including for both romantic and sexual attractions.

In fact, it has been proven that we are attracted to the people with a different smell to us, allowing for a perfect mix of DNA with ‘your chosen one’. This opens a platform for perfume marketers, who sought this opportunity, and continue to expand in perfumery, to help us enhance our natural smell of attraction!

Although the motivation for both men and women to wear perfume may seem rather simple and obvious, to ‘smell nice’; yet there is more depth in why perfume is worn, with a different agenda attached to each gender and perfume!

For a woman, a perfume is commonly one of her main accessories, helping her to stand out, turn heads, especially of the desired sex, luring their attention and sense of attraction to her, and only her. During my interviews, in the process of composing the fragrances, women often tell me, “I want a perfume that will make me feel sexy, attractive and elegant!” Whereas, for a man, I often get told, “I want a perfume that will make me smell fresh and clean!” For men, perfume shows that they are well ‘groomed’, in good shape, and thus in good health, and therefore a suitable bachelor!

So, to dissect the science behind perfumes stimulating romantic or sexual attraction, we need to focus on the genders individually. For women, we must define what kind and how strong of a signal they want to send out.

If, for example, you want to portray the image that you are open to meet someone, to connect with a potential new love, then we propose a floral fragrance, with nuances of fruity notes, and even a light touch of oriental notes to spice up the sensuality of your perfume. The floral notes will enhance your feminity, your charisma, yet won’t be overpowering in boosting your sex appeal. As the hours of the day tick by, and the afternoon progresses into your evening dinner date, you may want to feel sexier, boosting your splendour and appeal. For this, it is simple. You just add oriental notes, such as vanilla, amber, and spices. With these fragrance accords, you will become sweeter and sweeter, bringing a louder message of your sexiness.

Of course, the more oriental-infused fragrances are equally suitable to be worn during the day, however, with such a palatable and tempting aroma on your skin, it isn’t guaranteed that you will survive the day without craved individuals following your scent, and you…

Similarly, for men, if you prefer to send out a romantic message, I advise you to wear beautiful aromatic notes like lavender or sage, with hints of woody nuances, such as vetiver, cedar, or sandalwood; signalling your cleanliness, your sprucing attitude, whilst also enhancing your masculinity and macho facet. With aromatic woody notes, you firmly and truly are a real man, ready to serve and share your romance.

However, even with a simple addition to the aromatic notes, such as the integration of oriental notes, including tobacco, incense or even tonka, the tone of your message will change in seconds! From there onwards, you will be a new man, further elevated with confidence, and demonstrating your carnality, your drive for attraction, and more…

With these simple, potential ingredient compositions, you can see that it is very important to be in control, and be cautious of your scent, and the power of the message you are sending out, targeting the right person… or else you could easily be in trouble!

Is there a difference between fragrances for singles and for couples?

In simple terms, yes, there is! In more elaborative detail, when you are single, you commonly have a stronger scent identity. You are more motivated to stand out as an individual, whilst you are on the ‘market’, distinguishing yourself amongst a mass of other women or men. On the contrary, when you are in a couple, spending your time, or living side by side through your daily life with someone, you shouldn’t be too loud with your perfume, as it could otherwise become invasive for your partner.

For the everyday wears, we suggest something fresh, appealing, and not overpowering; yet, of course, keep your oriental spicy perfumes as your must-have potion for the perfect night of love with your partner….

It is also very important to check for the fragrance to be attractive and favoured by your loved one. A simple error that often arises. Yet it is just like food, you won’t cook something that you partner doesn't like, so why wear a perfume that may not appeal to your partner! Precisely for this reason, at Maison 21G, we have the opportunity of attending a ‘Love Atelier, where each individual within the couple, is able to discover and learn, what ingredients their other half really likes, integrating that into your personalised perfume creation. This way, you can be assured that your partner will be coming home every night, craving your scent, that they love so much.

Usually, perfumes are a very personal product designed for an individual. How do you make a scent for two people in a relationship?

It is super simple! Stepping through the basics, of course we have different DNA and different taste preferences, however there are always some points that we have in common! For instance, it is very usual for a couple to have different friends, different favourite dishes, different hobbies, and yet there will always be a passion that you share. That is exactly how it is with perfume ingredients, with at least a handful of ingredients that would please both of your noses. With just the requirement of time and patience to go through the process of smelling the different fragrances together, I can assure you that you will find at least one, that you will mutually enjoy. This is one of the main purposes of our Love Atelier, where you can detect together what your shared tastes may be!

How do scents that attract men and women differ in composition and smell?

For me ingredients are transgender, and it is simply down to how you mix them. Through the studies we have composed at Maison 21G, and our knowledge, we have found that women tend to prefer rose on a man, and thus my suggestion for the gentleman would be to use rose in his perfume composition. A top recommendation that truly creates a bomb of attraction for women, would be the fragrance mix of tobacco and rose. Sensual, warm, charming, and irresistible for women.

For men, we are aware that they usually like fragrances with woody notes, or more velvety accords, such as vetiver. So, my suggestion for you ladies, is to twist a wood with a feminine note, for a magnet-of-attraction fragrance. I personally find the fragrance Terre D’Hermes by Hermes, to be super sexy on a woman, and from this could suggest that for the best blend to enchant your loved one, it has to be tuberose with vetiver!

Do you have any advice for what perfume to wear on a first date?

For a first date, you don’t want to over perfume yourself. A few quick sprays on your neck, then chest, hair for a woman and finally wrists, so that as you talk, with the motion of your hands, you will leave an aromatic trail of your personality. For a woman wearing a dress or skirt, I would also suggest putting a bit of perfume on the back of your knees, so that when you walk, your scent will follow. Finally, for both men and women, I recommend to gently perfume your underwear. A light spray that will go a long way, so that even amidst the stress of the date, you will be kept feeling fresh and sexy. Lastly, I would specifically recommend an oriental, gourmand note, so that if your date, evening, night goes well, it would be a pleasant surprise for your other half at your moment of intimacy.


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