While you may have one special, confidence-boosting perfume you save for first dates, there are compelling reasons to take the au natural course. According to a psychologist, fragrances mask the real you — and might ruin your chances of scoring a second date.
"Historically, humans used to rely on smell to give them information about a person," said Dr. Belisa Vranich, psychologist and author of The Breathing Class. "Now, people mask smell with things like perfume, so we're missing out on scents that we might be otherwise attracted to."
Studies have shown that our olfactory sense plays a part in how people choose partners, which is probably not news to anyone who steals an SO's t-shirt to wear when they're not around. "One reason smell consciously — or unconsciously — dictates how you feel about a partner is because the part of your brain that senses smell is located near your memory," Dr. Vranich said.
While there is nothing wrong with making yourself smell sweeter when your natural musk just isn't cutting it, Dr. Vranich warned that such perfumes or colognes can hinder chemistry on dates. "It's really important to see if you like someone's scent on their own, without perfume," she said. If you want to try going sans fragrance for your next Tinder meetup, don't worry if you smell a little too ripe for comfort. One famous 1995 study showed that we're naturally attracted to people who have opposite odors from us, which means there is someone out there who could actually like the smell of your sweaty gym bag.