First impressions are key when going on a date with someone new, as people often make an initial assessment within the first few hours of meeting someone. While these reactionary feelings don’t always last in the long-run, it’s definitely worth noting their importance.
While it’s important to be courteous, listen intently and exhibit positive body language on a first date, other superficial indicators of compatibility are present as well. To dig a little deeper into exactly what factors would end a date prematurely, we asked 4,000 ladies to get real about their turn-offs and potential date-killers.
This is what we found:
- 4 out of 5 women won’t date a person who had body odor on the first date.
- 73% of women say bad breath would ruin a date.
- 59% of women would judge a date who wears too much cologne.
Ultimately, we found that a majority of women consider personal hygiene a very important aspect when going on a date with someone new. While this might seem harsh, a study of online daters found that perceived personal hygiene was the most important issue for 96 percent of women and 91 percent of men — more important than low confidence, bad teeth and poor grammar.
The Majority of Women Would Judge a Date with Body Odor or Bad Breath
How Women Use Their Nose to Determine Compatibility
Our findings suggest that the scent of a potential partner is incredibly important to most women. While body odor was seen as more offensive than bad breath, a solid majority of women were turned off by both.
To explain why scent is such an important first impression, we looked at a number of studies that examine the relationship between smell and romance. We found that women evaluate their partner based on perceived compatibility as a mate — and one of the largest factors in this evaluation is scent.
Smelling good can indicate to a potential partner that a person takes care of themselves. One study found that perceived intelligence, sociability, success and attractiveness were influenced by the participants’ scent.
The Majority of Women Say Too Much Cologne Is a Turn-Off
While we found that women are put-off by unpleasant bodily smells, they were also picky about anyone wearing too much of a pleasant scent. Too much cologne was offputting to the majority of women.
Why Do Women Prefer Modest Cologne Usage?
If women preferred their dates be well-groomed, why is spraying too much cologne also offensive? Not only can overapplication of cologne be overwhelming, but women have also reported perceiving a large amount of cologne as an excuse to mask unpleasant body odors.
Another observation is that too much fragrance can mask a potential mate’s natural pheromones, which help women determine compatibility. In fact, one study found that women could detect a man’s level of physical fitness and healthy genetic makeup using scent.
Appropriately Used Fragrance Is a Turn-On
The way a fragrance interacts with one’s natural body composition creates an odor mixture that is specific to that person. The positive effects of perfume on the perception of others have been found in many studies, one of which shows that the unique mixture of certain perfumes is perceived as attractive.
Additionally, a pleasant scent can unconsciously affect social preferences — studies show that those who smell good are more likable. Taking it a step further, cologne has been shown to increase arousal in women.
A modest amount of cologne that complements natural body odors is best.
We found that personal hygiene is one of the most important factors in dating compatibility. Women are quick to judge a potential mate if they have issues like bad breath or body odor. On the flip side, they will also judge a date for wearing too much cologne.
So where is the happy medium? Showing up to a date clean, fresh and with a modest amount of fragrance will help you make the best first impression possible.