It seems the so-called ‘Axe effect’ is real! Or, for that matter, the Old Spice’s ‘Smell Mantastic’ campaign isn’t all gas! A research conducted by the University of Stirling offers some solid proof that men who are perceived low in masculinity can significantly increase this by applying deodorant.

Led by Dr Caroline, the study investigated what effect wearing deodorant has on assessing masculinity and femininity. As many as 130 female and male participants rated facial masculinity and femininity using photographs and a further 239 men and women rated odour samples of 40 opposite sex individuals. It confirmed that females appear to be, in some way, more sensitive or attentive to odour cues than males.


All women who were wearing deodorant were rated as more feminine-smelling by men compared to when they had no deodorant on.

Dr Caroline also revealed that when women apply a deodorant it does increase their rated body odour femininity, as would be expected. But, it seems as though something else is at play, when it comes to male body odour and male deodorants. Only those men who were rated low in masculinity to start with showed a significant increase after applying their deodorants, and the men who were highly masculine initially showed no increase after deodorant application.

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