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Are flowers a man's best friend?

Don't say it with flowers – just make sure there are some blooms nearby. New research suggests one of the best places for a man to woo a woman is outside a florist.

One in four lone female shoppers gave their telephone number to an attractive stranger when they were courted in front of a flower shop, more than twice the number who succumbed to the same proposition near a shoe shop.

In the study, a panel of women picked five young men who stood out as exceptionally good-looking. The men were then sent to shopping areas to approach 120 young women near flower, shoe and cake shops.

The researchers, from the University of Southern Brittany in France, say the presence of flowers, associated as they are with romance, may trigger positive feelings in women, making them more likely to agree.