Changes in the intensity and pleasantness of human vaginal odors during the menstrual cycle

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Science  26 Dec 1975:
Vol. 190, Issue 4221, pp. 1316-1318
DOI: 10.1126/science.1239080


Men and women estimated (by the method of magnitude estimation) the pleasantness and intensity of the odors of vaginal secretions sampled from consecutive phases of 15 ovulatory menstrual cycles of four women. On the average, secretions from preovulatory and ovulatory phases were slightly weaker and less unpleasant in odor than those from menstrual, early luteal, and late luteal phases. However, considerable variation in odor patterns was present across cycles from the same donor, as well as across cycles from different donors. These results indicate that human vaginal odors change slightly in both pleasantness and intensity during the menstrual cycle, but do not support the notion that such odors are particularly attractive to humans in an in vitro test situation.