Natural Cologne

04.20.1311:04 AM ET

Women Love Scent Of Alpha Males

Study says that ovulating females are drawn to the smell of high-testosterone men.

Who knew the smell of a sweaty T-shirt could be such a turn-on? The latest news from the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior is that women seem to be drawn to the smell of men with higher testosterone levels—particularly at the height of their fertility. Researchers tested male volunteers for levels of testosterone and cortisol, which is linked to a more robust immune system, then gave them a T-shirt to wear for two nights and banned them from eating strong foods (garlic, stinky cheese) and using scented soap or detergent. Women—in various stages of their menstral cycle—sniffed the shirts and marked down which ones smelled the most appealing. The result: ladies who were ovulating preferred guys with the highest testosterone levels. (They showed no preference for higher cortisol levels.) The researchers note that more study is needed, since previous findings have been equivocal about the link.