A person's body odor may give off clues as to how outgoing, anxious, or dominant a person is, researchers say.
The study involved 60 "odor donors" -- men and women who wore white cotton t-shirts for three consecutive nights, while abstaining from the use of fragrant products (e.g., soap, deodorant, perfume), smoking or consuming odorous foods or drink. Each donor also took a personality test.
Later, 200 men and women were asked to smell the shirts and score each for five personality traits. The judge's personality ranking matched the donor's self-assessment for three of the traits: extroversion, neuroticism, and dominance. Smell-based rankings for the first two were as accurate as viewing the subject's behavior was in a separate study.
Identifying dominance by smell was found to be most accurate when the rater and donor were of the opposite sex -- suggesting that such judgments are important when choosing a mate, researchers said.
The study will be published in the European Journal of Personality.