Scent and Sex

A collection of writings and resources on the relationship between odour and sexuality – and the way that the perfume industry uses these in chemistry and marketing.

Sex / Pheromones


Freud had huge issues with the way humans react to smell.

Olfactory substances — as you yourself believe, and as we know from flowers — are breakdown products of the sexual metabolism… During menstruation and other sexual processes the body produces an increased Q[uantity] of these substances and therefore of these stimuli…Thus the nose would, as it were, receive information about internal olfactory stimuli by means of the corpora cavernosa….one would come to grief from one’s own body.

Freud’s letter of January 1st 1896 to Fliess, where Freud is in search of
a theory of migraine: (Masson 1985a, 161)
Jeffrey Masson (1985a)The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess (London,

Interrogating the human/animal relation in Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents byNicholas Ray

Freud’s Nose by Nick Totton

Psychology dictionary: Smell (and Freud)

Olfaction and Sexuality by Michael Buxbaum, MD

Six gross things you might find in perfume by Abbey Hull

The Truth About Pheromones By Sarah Everts

The New Speed Dating Craze Is Smelling Your Suitors’ Armpits by VICE

The Chemistry of Death and Desire by Nuri

Scent Triggers / Proust Effect

The Proust Phenomenon and psychoanalysis by Dr Virginia Barry M.D.

Your Brain Remembers Strangers by Their Smell By Cari Romm

Proustian Products are Preferred: The Relationship Between Odor-Evoked Memory and Product Evaluation
Haruko Sugiyama, Akiko Oshida, Paula Thueneman, Susan Littell, Atsushi Katayama, Mitsuyoshi Kashiwagi, Satoshi Hikichi & Rachel S. Herz


Old Spice and Kantar China Release “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, Body Odor Report”

The Nine Most Romantic Scents That Inspire Attraction by Alpha Aromatics

The Smell of Love Why do some people smell better to you? A look at how human body odor influences sexual attraction By F. Bryant Furlow