Olfactory Comfort and Attachment Within Relationships


Donald H. McBurney, Department of Psychology, 3137 Sennott Square, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. E-mail: mcburney@pitt.edu


We replicated a previous study that found that men and women often smell their sexual partners' clothing when they are apart (McBurney, Shoup, & Streeter, 2006). We found that women tend to perform this behavior across a broader range of relationships than do men. We asked 128 participants if they had ever intentionally smelled another person's clothing, slept with another person's clothing because of its smell, or given another person an article of their own clothing. The most common response was a romantic partner's clothing. However, women more often than men reported smelling the clothing of family members.