Most interestingly, the study revealed that men with facial features that were perceived by women to be at the lower end of the masculinity spectrum can significantly increase that masculinity rating by applying deodorant.
But in an intriguing twist, the results also showed that for men who already had a higher perceived masculinity rating, applying deodorant made no impact on how women rated their masculinity.
Likewise, when it came to men’s perception of a female’s femininity, all men perceived women to be more feminine once they wore a fragranced deodorant.
More targeted deodorants?
The results of the study could point deodorant makers towards the development of more targeted and even more personalised deodorants, particularly for different types of men.
"We're all aware that fragrances are often marketed as being feminine or masculine - take Old Spice for instance, who have recently parodied this with their hyper-masculine adverts, claiming that their product will allow you to smell like a super masculine guy,” said Dr Caroline Allen, Psychology researcher at the University of Stirling, who led the study.
"Our study found that when women apply a deodorant it does increase their rated body odour femininity, as would be expected. Though it seems as though something else is at play when it comes to male body odour and male deodorants.
Only those men who were rated low in masculinity to start with showed a significant increase after applying their deodorants, and the men who were highly masculine initially showed no increase after deodorant application.“
How the study was conducted
The purpose of the study was to determine the effect wearing deodorant had on both perceptions of masculinity and femininity.
To this end, the researchers say that 130 female and male participants were rated by facial masculinity and femininity using photographs and a further 239 men and women rated odour samples of 40 individual of the opposite sex.
As well as the findings about masculinity perception and deodorant, the results also pointed to the fact that females appear to be more sensitive or attentive to odour cues.
Ultimately Dr. Allen says that the study is interesting because it indicates that certain men can “raise their game” with the opposite sex, simply by applying deodorant.