A recent study revealed that male sweat actually contains a compound called androstadienone that sexually arouses women and gives a boost to their moods.
According to Claire Wyart, PhD, who headed up Berkley Olfactory Research Project at the University of California, this compound causes hormonal, psychological, and physiological changes to women. This research is expected to actually help researchers develop new treatments for people experiencing hormone problems.
In order to conduct the study, the researchers found 21 healthy and heterosexual of the average age of 22. The women then watched a nature video that was considered to be soothing in order to get them in a relaxed mood. Then, they smelled either a jar containing androstadienone or baker’s yeast as the researchers monitored their heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, breathing, and fidgeting.
After sniffing the contents of the jar, the women watched a five minute video that was either sad, funny, or erotic. Then, they watched a ten minute video that was emotionally neutral. The women then rated their moods as well as the pleasantness of the odor in the vial and their level of sexual arousal. The effects of androstadienone were found to more pronounced when in these various emotional settings.
In regard to the pleasantness of the smells, both the androstadienone and baker’s yeast were rated the same. The intensity of both smells were rated the same as well. Yet, the androstadienone caused a difference in mood. Of course, there are more compounds in sweat than androstadienone, but it is promising that this chemical can be used to help induce hormonal changes in those needing them for medical purposes.