Does Love Affect Your Sense of Smell?

SmellAs writer of erotica and romance, I work hard to include all the senses in the act of making love throughout my novels. Lying in bed this morning, snuggling with my husband, I pondered if loving someone amplifies the pleasure that comes from smelling their natural fragrance. I love my husband’s smell and prefer it over colognes, soaps and the over use of laundry soap fragrance. Go unscented! I could rant a whole blog on the over use of fake fragrances, but let’s not. :)

It could just be me, because I’m very olfactory sensitive, but I do think love changes how someone smells to you. Back in my twenties I remember how my ex-boyfriend’s smell altered as soon as we broke up. And in all honesty, I’ve wondered over the years how some of the people put up with their spouse’s breath and body odor.

There have been a few colognes that I’ve been fond of, but never more than my lover’s natural aroma. Most perfume (which I do not wear) and aftershaves make me sneeze so I tend to stay away from the stuff.

I do believe that as we’ve evolved, us humans, we have learned to rely less on our sense of smell. I think that’s a huge mistake. I can tell if my husband, or our cat for the matter, is stressed out based on their scent. Maybe we would make better love matches for ourselves if we didn’t douse ourselves with so many different fragrances. I’m not above it but I do keep it to a minimum. I use scented shampoo and condition and a mild smelling soap, but my deodorant and detergent are scent free.

I have known people who practically bath in perfume and their smell wafts toward you ten feet before they approach. To me it’s more like a shield than offering allure.

I, for one, could not have a lover whose aroma I didn’t enjoy. Sex for me definitely includes my olfactory system. My husband may say this is TMI, but I love the smell of sex. Such a turn on!

So back to the art of writing which is how I started this blog. When crafting a sex scene it’s important to make it very visual and easy for the reader to follow. For me it’s also important to include sound, touch, and smell which gives the setting dimension. At least for me as a reader, I have to get lost in the scene to get turned on and the more realism we can write in, the more easily accomplished.

So I’m very curious who else might have this experience with smell. Do you love your partner’s natural scent? Has that changed over the years? Do you like making love straight out of the shower or more like me, prefer it after the smell of soap has worn away?

I smell a story coming on. 😉 Please share your thoughts.

Warm hugs,


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8 thoughts on “Does Love Affect Your Sense of Smell?

  1. I have to say my comment may sound a bit contrived, however, here are my thoughts.
    In all honesty, I had not given scents of a man much thought when being intimate. Now that the subject has been brought to my attention, I can definitely see that it does play a roll. I do love the smell of a well groomed man. Not that I want him to bathe in cologne or anything, but a freshly showered man who wears a scent that compliments his natural scent and not over powers it, is a big turn on for me.
    When my husband gets dressed for work, his clean shaven face, neatly pressed clothes, and lightly sprayed fragrance makes our parting embraces last sensually longer.
    As for our intimacy, that’s where the showers have to come into effect. I am severly OCD and a germaphobe. With the things we like to do to each other during those times, I must be assured that every inch of his body is clean. However, these things do not matter to him. I can come in from the gym, sweaty, musty, and looking a hot mess and he will take me as is and enjoy tasting my natural funkiness. But, admittedly, I will not be able to peak or climax unless my body is clean. Subconsciously, I can not enjoy intimacy with not so fresh odors lingering in the air.
    Hope my response helps your research on the matter.
    Good luck!

    • Thanks Tamala for sharing your thoughts. It just shows that we all have our preference when it comes to smell and cleanliness.

      Warm regards,

  2. The smell of sex; To me its like the smell of fall in the air… the smell of both death and birth; the cycle of life when nature works together. I know it might be an odd way to describe a smell, but it is the scent of ‘collective accomplishment’. The unique sweet/masculine smell of both bodies as individuals in the beginning of the act, and then the touching, the sharing, the melding, the joining, creates an entirely new scent that combines both parties. It’s like killing the individual and giving birth to a new ‘wholeness’ between the two people. The smell of sweat with a ‘hint’ of cologne, combined with the smell of sex, is as much a part of the act of sex as dessert with ice cream after a home cooked meal. Its just yummy!

  3. This is so true! I love my husbands natural scent, especially in the morning. He also feels the same about me, he’s even gone as far to say to me, he loves my morning breath, TMI, I know, but when you love someone so deeply, everything about them you just absolutely love.

  4. On an interesting related note: recent science has revealed that women have the ability to “smell” a good mate, in terms of genetic compatibility. So when you’re dating someone, and you intend to have children one day, its very important to pay attention his smell – does he smell “right”?
    However, women on birth control pills get their sense of smell knocked out of whack, and it screws up this sniffing superpower. So what do you do? If you are considering a long-term commitment with someone (and intend to have children), maybe it would be a good idea to go off the Pill for a few weeks (and have SAFER sex!), and pay attention to your sense of smell before committing.

    More here:

    • Hi Lee,

      Thanks so much for sharing the article link. I actually read that study too. I guess I’m glad the “pill” never worked well for me.

      Love your comment,

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