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Title: Evolutionary psychology and perfume design
Authors: Roberts, S Craig
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Editors: Roberts, SC
Citation: Roberts SC (2012) Evolutionary psychology and perfume design. In: Roberts SC (ed.). Applied Evolutionary Psychology, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 330-348.
Keywords: body odour
olfactory perception
fragrance industry
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract: We argue that the process of perfume design would be enhanced if it was developed with greater understanding of the communicative value of the underlying body odour of the individual who uses it? Evolutionary psychology has, and will continue to, produce insights into the informative capacity of body odour in human perception and its role in social interactions, in five main areas: individual recognition cueing and kin-related behaviour, cues of current state, mediation of female reproductive physiology, cues of underlying good-genes, and cues of complementary genes in partner choice. Since these cues have been shaped by selection over evolutionary time, and play a role in co-ordination of key social interactions, incorporation of this knowledge into perfume design could potentially provide a springboard for transforming the success of specific perfumes. We discuss several promising possible avenues to take this process forward, as well as possible problems with the approach. On balance, we see potential to harness insights from evolutionary psychology to increase both the potency of perfume function and the strategies employed in its marketing.
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Type: Part of book or chapter of book
Affiliation: Psychology

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