You Can Sniff Out Single Guys

Medscape Staff

February 17, 2023

Single men are smellier than guys who are in relationships, and it may have to do with testosterone, according to researchers at the Food, Flavor and Fragrance Lab in the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

What to Know

  • In a study in which sweaty men's t-shirts were sniffed, single men's body order was rated as being stronger than the body odor of men who had partners.

  • Single men tend to have higher testosterone levels than partnered men, owing to the sexual competition associated with bachelordom, and the testosterone may be a factor in how strong the body order is, depending on whether a man is single or spoken for.

  • From an evolutionary perspective, strong smell may play a role in the mating game by helping unattached men signal their availability to women.

  • A man's odor allows women to detect the chemosignals that connote coupledom and ultimately avoid courting partnered men (especially with offspring) because of the relatively reduced resources they can offer.

  • Strong body odor doesn't necessarily increase a man's chances of finding love, as single guys' fragrances were not rated as sexier or more attractive than those of partnered men.

This is a summary of the article, "Do Single Men Smell and Look Different to Partnered Men?," published in Frontiers in Psychology on December 27, 2022. The full article can be found on

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