Turns out it’s not just your looks that make you attractive to others. According to a paper published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, your voice and body odor are also important in determining attractiveness.

The authors reviewed 73 studies on attractiveness that were published between 1977 and 2017 “to examine the relative importance of visual, auditory and olfactory cues.”1 Agata Groyecka, lead researcher from the University of Wroclaw in Poland, said they were able to determine that the perception of attractiveness is multimodal; it depends on more than just one factor.

She said,
“Some odors are not only rated as more pleasant but also sexier, and therefore, they are likely to make people eager to flirt or date. Similarly, unpleasant odors can be discouraging to engaging in a relationship.
Although the literature about human’s voice and olfaction has grown rapidly in past decades, we were not surprised to find that the biggest share of papers regarding attractiveness focuses on physical appearance. Olfaction and audition are largely neglected in reviews about attractiveness.” 2
Researchers found that:3

There is also research to suggest that odor might also hold clues to your molecular makeup. Researchers had 49 female college students smell the T-shirts of 44 male students after they had worn the shirt for two consecutive nights (in order for the fabric to collect their natural body odors)

The women were asked to rank the odors based on intensity, pleasantness, and sexiness. What they found was that for women who were NOT taking birth control and thereby carrying dissimilar genes than that of the man, his body odor was ranked higher (more pleasant). However, since that study, few others have conducted similar experiments. More research is needed.
And previous studies done about voice suggested that the attractiveness of a woman’s voice can vary based on her menstrual cycle or their body configuration:
“For the study about body configuration, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior in 2004, Gallup and his colleagues recorded the voices of 149 undergraduate students. The students counted from one to 10 in the recordings. Then they were asked to rate the attractiveness of the voices in others’ recordings.
The researchers found that the higher rating of voice attractiveness for women correlated with having a smaller waist-to-hip ratio, a body type that is commonly found to be more attractive in women.
For men, the researchers found that the higher rating of voice attractiveness correlated with having a larger shoulder-to-hip ratio, or broad shoulders, which are commonly found to be more attractive in men.” 4
Apparently, the more “attractive” a voice, the higher in pitch it was for women and the lower it was for men.
Laura Germine, a social neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School who was not involved in the new review paper, says that all our senses- combined- work together to help us gauge someone’s attractiveness.
As you read this story and think back, does this make sense to you? What about your current partner or spouse? Can you remember thinking how much you liked their voice or smell?

Sources and References

  1. CNN, May 18, 2017.
  2.  CNN, May 18, 2017.
  3.  CNN, May 18, 2017.
  4.  CNN, May 18, 2017.