Can I smell my girlfriend's armpits

■ Smelling is pleasure: A cultural scientist from Bremen is researching the connection between fragrance and sex / armpit, sweat and intimate odor are the components that draw people together

Some steal a t-shirt from the cuties to sniff at it every now and then, others are still looking for a partner who smells like the ex after years. It beckons, it intoxicates, puts people in ecstasy. But smelling ranks in the senses only under distant. This is what the Bremen cultural scientist Ingelore Ebberfeld thinks: “Smelling is pleasure. The sense of smell is the one that is closest to our feelings. ”She has just published her new book about eroticism and smells:“ Body Scents ”, a study for which 100 people gave information about their erotic memories with their nose.

The nose is an underdog. Everyone prefers to rely on their eyes. The Stasi took odor samples from opponents of the regime and preserved them on small cloths in jars. Our smell is the mirror of the ego: it changes with every mood. It is of course possible: after all, the human body odor is made up of 100,000 individual odors. Every person, even every race, smells different: the Japanese believe that we Europeans stink of butter, Koreans do not smell of sweat to us. And if you ask a perfumer to create a vaginal odor, he asks whether it should be European or Asian. Ms. Ebberfeld has already done that.

Sweat, armpit and intimate odor - for the nose researcher, these are above all the components that determine love. Science has shown that women primarily sit on chairs that a man had previously been sitting on. Animal-like, but that's how man is knitted. Ebberfeld: "The pheromones, the sex hormones of animals, have also been detected in traces in our armpits." There is almost no one in the world who does research in this field. When the woman from Bremen read in a study of Russian peasant women in the mid-1990s that doctors complained that the women didn't smell good, she was startled. Could it be that in different regions of Europe people have a different relationship to the intimate odor of the opposite sex?

When her colleagues laughed at her, Ms. Ebberfeld plunged into the new research area even more. With interesting insights into the messenger substances of love: women are more on smells above, men more on fragrances below the belt. However, the majority of both sexes prefer a mixture of body odor and perfume in order to get closer to each other. So: It should not be too washed, but also not too much Odeur original.

Field research in the olfactory field is difficult. Ebberfeld: “It is almost impossible to scientifically interview people about scents and eroticism: With their olfactory preferences they reveal how they wash themselves, what tendencies they have and what sexual practices they prefer. Who likes to be asked: 'What if your husband goes underground?' "

That is why she asked 100 people to describe her olfactory experiences from the horizontal in a letter. And of course: the nose plays a decisive role in hobbles, birds, coitus, meat against meat.

Impressions from the erotic world of the nose. The story of a 25-year-old who was given a perfumed stuffed mouse by his girlfriend when he was puberty. “I imagined that the smell of the mouse was its love juice, which should be withheld from me.” A 22-year-old writes transfigured: “Your sex smelled sweet and numb, like cloves and ambrosia. Your armpits served as a place of rest where I wanted to stay. ”Another test person says:“ I poured honey over my partner's breasts, which I then licked up with relish. That's why the smell of honey often reminds me of it. ”A 28-year-old woman loves each other best in the dunes of Ameland because the smell of seawater stimulates her. Brutally obvious: Men get hot like howitzers and like to masturbate, even if they smell the smell of their partner on their hands hours or days after the sex. But women probably too.

Ms. Ebberfeld, 49 years old, has had enough of the odor terror of our perfumed society. Body odors are often perceived as unpleasant by strangers. The idea that someone could perceive our armpit sweat makes you shudder. Ingelore Ebberfeld doesn't care: she completely dispenses with perfume and deodorant. “I became a victim of my research.” And one more thing: Ebberfeld has already written a new book - everything, hopefully really everything, about kissing. ksc

Ingelore Ebberfeld: Body fragrances, erotic memories, Ulrike Helmer Verlag, 29.80 Marks.