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Strange Courtship Rituals Around The World

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Sweat-Scented Hankies

If the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then for women it must be the nose—according to some very innovative lotharios. In some anecdotal accounts, European men (and a few others in different parts of the world) would wear handkerchiefs underneath their armpits before attending a dance. Afterward, the man would use his sweet-scented hankie to wipe the perspiration off his love interest’s face. Presumably, the girl would find the scent irresistible and fall madly in love with the man.

If you think that’s gross, during the 19th century some women in the rural parts of Austria would feed their men an apple slice they had lodged in their armpits during a dance. Even the royal folks could not resist the allure of the other sex’s scent, as exemplified by one noble who fell in love with the owner of a sweaty chemise that he had mistakenly used as a towel. Clearly there’s something to this olfactory business.

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