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Sense of Smell Can Make or Break Relationships: Study

Update Date: Dec 03, 2012 06:20 AM EST

A strong sense of smell is apparently the secret behind a happy and lasting relationship, scientists claim. 

While it is believed that for two people to be drawn toward each other and stay together, they need to look pleasing to each other, a new research says that it is also important that people smell good to each other and to themselves.

According to the new study, the presence or absence of a good sense of smell can make or break relationships.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from men and women who had no sense of smell from birth (anosmiacs) and compared it with the results of healthy individuals.

The study revealed that both men and women who did not have a good sense of smell were more insecure, faced more socializing problems and found it difficult to find love. This effect was more pronounced in men.

The study found that on an average, men with an impaired sense of smell had two sexual partners, while those with a normal functioning sense of smell had 10.

This was, however, not the case with women. Women with and without proper functioning sense of smell had four lovers on an average. But then, those without a sense of smell seemed to be 20 percent more insecure about their relationships.

"In general, those with anosmia ... don't know whether they have bad breath, stinky armpits, are drinking rotten milk or living in fishy-smelling apartments. Constantly wondering whether you smell bad makes a person insecure, and that could spill over into the person's love life," Thomas Hummel, of Dresden University's Smell and Taste Clinic was quoted as saying by Mail Online.

The research was published in the journal Biological Psychology.

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