A woman's armpits reveal more about her than her brand of deodorant, research reveals. Female armpit odour provides a fertility signal to men, scientists have discovered.
At the most fertile time of their menstrual cycle, the smell is at its least intense and most attractive. This changes to a more intense and repellent odour when a woman is menstruating. The findings publish in the journal Ethnology, emerge from a study of 12 women not using hormonal contraceptives.
The women provided odour samples by wearing armpit pads for 24 hours, while being banned from using deodorants. Sweaty pads were collected during different phases of the menstrual cycle. The samples were sniffed by 42 men who assessed their attractiveness and intensity.
Drj. Jan Havlicek, from Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) who led the study, said:
"The results suggest that body odour can be used by men as a cue to the fertile period in current or prospective sexual partners."