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woman turns down boyfriend because he doesn't smell good

How to Use Your Sense of Smell to Find the “Good Guys”

Last week’s cartoon, on having “the talk” about the facts of life with your son or daughter is here, and click Like on my Facebook page to get notified of new cartoons as they get published.

All rights reserved, and content including cartoon is © Donna Barstow 2013. Thanks!

Today’s cartoon is about a funny situation – do you trust your dog, cat, or bird to tell you who is a good person, someone you should get to know better?– but the idea of deciding whether someone “smells right” is really very practical. We all do it.

I’m especially interested in birds, and they have long been described as being unlike other animals in that they don’t have much of a sense of smell or taste. (ie, that’s why they eat bugs!)  Last week an interesting study came out, however, that begs to differ:

In a first-of-its-kind study, however, a Michigan State University researcher has demonstrated that birds do indeed communicate via scents, and that odor reliably predicts their reproductive success. ..

The study also revealed that females were making multiple decisions based on how their potential mates smelled.
To get back to people, studies about pheromones have been going on for years.

Researchers at the University of Bern in Switzerland conducted a study concerning this phenomenon, discovering that females actually choose their genetically preferred mate based upon their scent.

Most women don’t need a study to tell them this… The nose knows!

How has your sense of smell helped you decide who to trust? Or do you look to your dog to tell you who is truly a “good” person?

How to Use Your Sense of Smell to Find the “Good Guys”

Donna Barstow

Cartoonist for LA Times, Parade, WSJ, Glamour, PsychCentral, Barron's, Weight Watchers, and textbooks & Chicken Soup books. Author and editor of 2 cartoon books and a Barnes & Noble calendar.

I both write and draw all my cartoons. You are warmly invited to share the link to this cartoon. The full-size cartoons are all copyrighted, so please email me at pen.drawing AT g mail (squish it) for rates for use in textbooks, prints, presentations, publications, or websites. Email me AT pen.drawing @ gmail. com. (Squish the address.)

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APA Reference
, . (2013). How to Use Your Sense of Smell to Find the “Good Guys”. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 9 Oct 2013
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