Pumpkin May Be the Ultimate Aphrodisiac
According to Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, the neurologist and psychiatrist who founded Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, nearly 20 percent of people who suffer from a diminished sense of smell also suffer from sexual dysfunction. “We’re certainly not the first to acknowledge this,” he told the medical journal Alternative & Complementary Therapies. “More than a hundred years ago Freud said that, in order for society to remain civilized, it was necessary to repress our olfactory instincts.” The most effective smell for arousing men, his team discovered, is that of pumpkin—specifically, pumpkin mixed with the scent of lavender. In a study conducted by Hirsch’s foundation, 40 percent of participants—who were each connected to a plethysmograph, a device that measures blood flow caused by sexual arousal—were turned on the most by the distinct autumn aroma, which was delivered via a scented mask along with 23 other fragrances.