How Baking Cookies Really Can Lead to Romance

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Sensation-207x300There really is truth to the idea of baking your way into a man (or woman’s!) heart. Scent and attraction is a really interesting area to explore — a lot of what we are into is so primal and subconscious. Professor of Psychology Thalma Lobel sent over her latest blog on this very subject — hope you enjoy — and then get baking tonight! It’s the perfect time of year to make some delish pumpkin bread. Just sayin’!

Written by Thalma Lobel

We all want to be loved and enjoy a satisfying relationship with a significant other. People go to great lengths to succeed in the dating world and find the right person. Websites and workshops offer important tips for first dates, some based on scientific studies and others on common sense. However, there are numerous other factors that affect our behaviors, feelings and judgments of others that we aren’t aware of. And knowledge of such factors can tip the scales in your favor.

In my previous articles and in my book Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence , I discussed the powerful influence of the color red on sexual attraction. Today I want to talk about scents.

Scents are known to play a role in social interactions and in sexual attraction. Both men and women often wear perfumes in order to feel good about themselves and to be perceived as attractive. A recent study has shown that pleasant smells—not only perfumes—have an effect on our interactions.

One of the most well-liked aromas is that of freshly baked cookies or pastries and a fresh cup of coffee. Imagine yourself in a small café in Paris or near your home. You are seated there, enjoying a freshly baked croissant with a fresh cup of coffee. You might like this smell yourself, but did you know that it can actually enhance your interactions with others?

A recent study found that the smell of fresh-baked pastries enhances romantic interactions. In a study conducted by Nicolas Guéguen in a shopping mall, five young men were instructed to approach young women and ask for their telephone numbers. In all, four hundred women were approached. The potential suitors approached the women in two areas of the mall: areas with pleasant ambient scents, such as pastry shops, bakeries and cafes, or areas near stores with no particular scent (such as clothing stores). The results were amazing. A significantly higher number of women gave out their phone numbers to men when approached in areas with the pleasant smells.

So what does this mean for you? If you’re looking to attract the attention of another person, try to do so in a nicely scented environment. If you happen to be in a mall, look for the nearest bakery or fresh-brewed coffee establishment and take action there!

If you are already on a date, try going to a place that has a nice ambient scent such as a bakery or a café. And if you are dining in a nice restaurant, suggest hopping over to a place that has the seductive scents of fresh pastries.

About the Author:

Thalma Lobel’s book is titled Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence. Lobel is a professor of psychology at Tel Aviv University at the school of Psychological sciences and the director of the Adler Center for Research in Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology. Her research focuses on gender differences and gender roles and on embodied cognition. Her work has been published in prestigious journals including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Evolution and Human Behavior.

Lobel received her B.A, M.A in clinical Psychology and a Ph.D in psychology from Tel Aviv University. She did her post doctorate studies at Harvard University. Lobel was the chair of the psychology department, the Dean of students and a member of the executive board of Tel Aviv University.


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