Sniffing Your Partner's Stinky Shoes Could Help You De-Stress, Says Study
It might seem a bit on the nose but a new study has found that women who get a whiff of their partner's scent -- whether that's on their used clothes, bedding or even shoes -- feel calmer, happier and less stressed.
The research, conducted by the University of British Columbia, Canada, involved 96 women, who were asked to randomly smell one of three scents: a male partner’s, a stranger’s and a neutral scent. They weren't told which was which.
Why ladies-only? According to the researchers, women “smellers” were recruited because they tend to have a better sense of smell than men. Go figure.
But back to the stinky experiment.
Those women who copped a big sniff of their partner after participating in a stress test -- a mock job interview and a mental math task -- were shown to experience a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol.
Smelling a stranger's scent had the opposite effect, increasing cortisol levels.
This led the team to conclude that the scent of a romantic partner can make women feel calmer and happier.
According to Marlise Hofer, the study’s lead author and a graduate student in the UBC department of psychology, the findings might suddenly shed some light on -- or finally justify -- the habits of girlfriends and wives around the globe.
“Many people wear their partner’s shirt or sleep on their partner’s side of the bed when their partner is away, but may not realise why they engage in these behaviours,” she said.
Our findings suggest that a partner’s scent alone, even without their physical presence, can be a powerful tool to help reduce stress.
So next time you snag your significant other's t-shirt or muscle in on their side of the bed, you have a fully verified scientific excuse.
Sniff, sniff away!
Feature Image: Getty