One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Nose to Nose

You don't have to believe that every single human characteristic, particularly those that seem to be part of a chasm between men and women, is explained by evolutionary biology to find this interesting: a theory as to why women on the whole seem to have a better sense of smell than men. It's because they're sniffing out the best possible mate.

"Women have a larger interest in reproductive events because they have fewer opportunities for passing on their genes than men," said George Preti, a Monell Chemical Senses Center organic chemist...."Men produce thousands of gametes every day, women just one every month. Their investment in a reproductive event is higher than men's, so they're more biologically attuned to who they're mating with."

Which, of course, makes perfect sense. Men--males, really--will famously mate with just about anyone (or anything), because that's a sensible reproductive strategy: broadcast your seed and hope one of them lands somewhere fertile. Females have a good reason to be a bit pickier: they have a much smaller number of reproductive opportunities, each of which takes much more out of them than it does out of the man, and what's more, before modern times, maternal mortality rates were something like 1 in 100, pretty bad odds, and even worse in the nineteenth century in the Western world, when men started to take over the practice of obstetrics from midwives and doctors were known to go from a dissection or an appendectomy to a delivery without washing their hands, which led to a horrifying forty per cent mortality rate.

I have also read (and I don't have a source for it, and it may just be speculation and possibly even not true at all) that women have a more refined sense of smell and of taste, senses which are amplified during pregnancy, because the consequences for them are enormous if they should eat something which is dangerous for their health or that of the fetus: what an ordinarily healthy man might shrug off after a day or two of nausea and so forth might lead to disastrous miscarriage or birth defects for an otherwise healthy pregnant woman.

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I was doing the usual research and I came across an online fragrance retailer I didn't know anything about Parfum1.com. I've never ordered from them (obviously), but they have a great selection at good prices, and no, they are not paying me to say this. They're also having a promotion which gives you 25% off your order with the code SPRING25NPE, which means that you could get, say, a half-ounce of Caron's Bellodgia perfume for under $60 U.S., a 100-mL bottle of CSP's Vanille Abricot for about $26, 100 mL of Dalissime for $20, or 75 mL of Jacques Fath pour L'Homme for $18. If I had no self-control whatever I would be ordering a bunch of stuff from them (Kenzo Jungle Homme for $32!), and in fact I just saw Floris go by in the list of houses and thought, "Uh-oh," and if they had had Malmaison for a good price I would send off an order, but fortunately, they don't, so I'm safe. For now. If you should place an order with them, or have ordered from them in the past, let me know how that worked out.

5 Comments:

  • Hi there,
    I enjoy your blog! I looooove parfum1.com, and I just received my 25% off order: Guerlain Vetiver, Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant (squeee!), and Creed Jasmal. As always, I'm very happy with them, and everything in this order is perfect.

    By Blogger Aimée L'Ondée, at 6:28 PM  

  • I've ordered from them twice; no problems at all, except of course for the damage to my bank account!

    By Anonymous Aparatchick, at 7:28 PM  

  • I order from Parfum1 often and never had any complaints, the service is speedy and sometimes they even throw extras in!
    Nika

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:49 AM  

  • I've made an order from Parfum1 and had no problems (other than the aforementioned bank account damage). They even called to confirm my shipping address, since it didn't match the address on my card.

    By OpenID moon-grrl, at 11:50 AM  

  • The 25% discount is back for a summertime sale!

    By Blogger Joel, at 3:35 PM  

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