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Perfumes That Work As Aphrodisiacs, According To Science

Anyone who comes close to you will fall in love with you, obviously.

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Perfume Bottle In Studio.
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Got a hot date? Need every bit of help you can get? We don’t judge here — but we do provide an easy way to snag some extra attention. We found perfumes that are scientifically proven to be aphrodisiacs, according to studies. Translation: Anyone who comes close to you will fall in love with you, obviously.

THE SCENT: lavender

Lavender Bouquet still life against white backround
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The science: Best known for helping you fall asleep, relax and to treat infections (though those uses probably won’t be helpful in your case), lavender also has been found to enhance arousal. Want to take it a step further? Another study combined the scent of lavender with pumpkin pie, and this lovely combo increases arousal in men by 40 percent

The perfumes:

  • Tom Ford Lavender Extreme Eau de Parfum 

This lavender-based perfume combines three types of lavender to really pack a punch to your senses. It’s woody and sweet. ($368,

  • Trish McEvoy No. 10 Lavender Spice Eau de Cologne

Lavender blended with rosemary and florals. It’s earthy and sensual. ($150,

THE SCENT: black licorice

Black licorice in a white bowl
Black licorice candies in a white bowl
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The science: You don’t have to like the taste of black licorice to appreciate its aphrodisiac effects. Black licorice — or more specifically, the scent of anise — increases arousal by 13 percent. Combine that scent with doughnuts (because … of course), and the subject of your desire’s arousal will jump by 32 percent. 

The perfume:

  • Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise Cologne

This is the only perfume we located with a strong anise scent. The perfume performs double duty (see below for the aphrodisiac powers of vanilla). It’s light, fresh and warm without being overpoweringly sweet. ($144,

THE SCENT: ginger

Fresh ginger root, close-up
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The science: Some of you may recall stuffing your faces with ginger because it helped with morning sickness. This wonderful vegetable root also can help men: A study of Chinese medicine published in Translational Andrology and Urology found that ginger’s ability to act as a circulatory stimulant means it can also help with erectile dysfunction. It gets everything moving, in other words. 

The perfumes:

  • Ginger Essence Sensuous Skin Scent 

This is ginger blended with bergamot, lemon and lime. A little cool, a little spicy, a lot of sexy. ($53,

  • Aqua Allegoria Ginger Piccante Eau de Toilette

This smells like vacation. It was inspired by a Thailand paradise island, and has notes of candied ginger and roses. ($140,

THE SCENT: vanilla

vanilla flowered
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The science: A study found that sniffing vanilla offered aphrodisiac properties to rats. Not that we’re comparing our romantic interests to a rat or anything, but . . . it didn’t seem to have the same effect for women. Another interesting twist: Another study that actually examined humans found that vanilla increased men’s arousal by 9 percent.

The perfumes:

  • Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee

They spiked this vanilla scent with lime and jasmine, and we totally approve. It takes the sweetness down a tab, making it less like a teen fave and more like an adult-only perfume. It’s elegant, light and lasts all day. $140 at

  • Black Opium Eau De Parfum

If you like your vanilla with a hint of coffee and the sweet taste of a mellow floral spice, this is everything and more. (Starts at $30,

THE SCENT: doughnuts

Jelly donuts in a stack
Jelly donuts in a stack
Getty Images

The science: You may have noticed that there appears to be a dessert theme. While women tend to slather themselves with lilies, roses and other delightful scents - men are attracted to sugary dessert smells. A study found that sniffing doughnuts increases blood flow down there by 7 percent. Add black licorice to the doughnut smell, and blood flow increases by 31 percent. 

The perfumes:

  • Replica Coffee Break 

You’ll smell like your fave coffee shop, complete with doughnuts, vanilla, sugar and poetry. It’s love in a bottle. It’s sex under a warm, cozy duvet. Starts at $30 at

  • Brown Sugar Eau de Parfum

Want to smell like a doughnut wrapped up in sexy lingerie? This Brown Sugar perfume — which replaces their previous very popular “Sugar” perfume, is nuanced and complicated (like you!). It’s got a little caramel, some sugar with a little lemon for added freshness. $90 at