It’s probably not the best plan to get drunk on a first date but often, it’s inevitable. You’re nervous and they’re drinking at double the speed you are – and we all know what that heady cocktail can lead to.
But it turns out that there’s another reason you might unintentionally be getting laggo while out on the town with a man friend.
Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of South Florida have been exploring what effect a man’s scent can have on women’s drinking.
They previously found that scents emitted by women during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle prompted men to drink more booze.
And this time, they used 103 women aged between 21 and 31 to see if the opposite was true. Female participants believed they were taking part in a consumer survey for men’s cologne and drinks, and were presented with fragrance strips that had been sprayed either with manufactured androstenone – a pheromone found in boar’s saliva, or plain water.
They were then given two glasses of non-alcoholic beer each. Those who had been exposed to the pheromone drank more than those who hadn’t.
‘We inferred that detection of male sexual scents, even in the absence of awareness, may instigate drinking because of the longstanding cultural association between alcohol use and sex,’ the study concluded.
While researchers admit that the results aren’t necessarily realistic in a real-life context, the two studies do suggest that scent can influence both sexes’ alcohol consumption.