I recently viewed a TedTalk on the sense of smell from Vedat Ozan (will be linked below) I decided to dive deeper into how our sense of smell might affect an emotional attachment or attraction to others. The olfactory system or put more simply our sense of smell is an extraordinary thing. Vedat open discusses briefly how many years ago the only way people were attracted to mates was based on the body odor of their partners. He goes on to explain that this starts usually at puberty, stating, "Puberty when the body starts to produce specific odors, which are simply biological mating signals" . He also discusses how newborns and infants are comforted by the scent of their mothers or their caregivers. So how and why do our body odors determine our attraction?
Let's start with Pheromones, pheromones to put simply are chemicals that organisms produce unconsciously to cue and transmit information within their species. These pheromones are picked up by the nose and can illicit behavioral or physiological responses from the individual smelling the scent. Pheromones are released for a variety of reasons, including: territorial, aggression, alarm/fear, Primal, and sex/mating.
The term love at first sight doesn't necessarily have to do with the attractiveness of the person, but definitely aids in it, its more so the scent of the person that attracts you to them, invoking that love at first sight feeling. The most common pheromone that aids in attraction is called Androsterone. both men and women produce Androsterone, however this pheromone makes men more attractive to women. Women have an additional sex pheromone called Copulin that correlates to her menstrual cycle.