Body odour the key to sexiness

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GOOD-LOOKING men and women have the most attractive body odours, according to a study of students who were asked to rate the smell of T- shirts worn by the opposite sex.

The research provides new evidence that pheromones - hormone-like chemicals - are used as subliminal "sexual attractants" in humans.

Scientists at the University of Vienna asked 16 male students and 19 females to sleep in the same T-shirt for three nights to collect any pheromones they might emit. The researchers, Anja Rikowski and Karl Grammer, asked each student to sniff the T-shirts of the opposite sex and rate them on a seven-point scale. The scientists also measured wrists, hands, ankles and feet to calculate the students' symmetry; previous studies have shown that asymmetrical people tend to be less attractive to the opposite sex.

The researchers report, in the current issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, that a strong correlation existed between the assessment of the sexiness of each T-shirt and the symmetry of its wearer, indicating that attractive people appear to smell more alluring.