Robin grew up in Franklin County, Missouri, with four brothers and a family of pets named after the characters on the Andy Griffith show. She is mom to three children and grandma to three. She’s been married twice. The second is the better one.

When I was young, everybody knew how to win a man’s heart. My mother, like everybody else’s mother, told me that men loved a good meal. So I always asked my date to take me to a fancy restaurant. They had good food there. 

Our waitress paved the path to his heart with a gourmet menu and at least two refills of soda. Then, we wobbled to the car and drove to the drive-in, where our full tummies made cuddling an uncomfortable struggle.

But a book called “What Flavor is Your Personality; Discover Who You Are by What You Eat” has revealed that good-tasting meals have little effect on the libido of the opposite sex. Food was still a catalyst, but it wasn’t for their taste. It was the way certain foods smelled.

Turns out, men are very excited by the smell of black licorice. I’ve never offered black licorice to a man, and since I don’t eat it, I’ve never smelled like black licorice. 

I’ve read that black licorice can help ease the symptoms of PMS…that may be an enticing perk for both parties involved. But I had no idea I could’ve snagged a fella with licorice.

I HAD heard about the attraction of vanilla – my mom used to tell me that vanilla was a great substitute for perfume in a pinch. Though I never tried it, I know how John salivates when I make pour vanilla into cookie batter at Christmas. 

Dr. Hirsch confirmed the vanilla/excitement link; unfortunately, older men responded more strongly to vanilla than younger men. I have an older man now… Wait. This isn’t about me. Ahem.

Pumpkin is a turn-on for men, too, the book reports. I don’t agree with that. By the time the pumpkin pies roll out for eating on Thanksgiving, there is no thought of romance in a man’s mind. He just wants that pie. Cool Whip. A nap in the recliner. That’s all.

Researchers did some testing on the reactions of women to certain scents as well. We are supposed to like the smell of cucumbers, combined with Good & Plenty candies. Sounds horrible. 

If I had met a boy who smelled like that, I would have run.

When I was dating, musk was the odor that reeked from every pore of every girl looking for a sweetheart. We all smelled like animals back then; pheromones in musky-scented perfume were guaranteed to drive the opposite sex wild. 

Its most memorable attribute, however, was its ability to linger for at least a week on any surface it touched. The upholstery of every car driven by a teen reeked of musk.

Just think how much yummier our cars would have smelled if we’d only known the truth. 

We could have pigged out on pumpkin pie, cookies, cucumbers and Good and Plentys. Who needs kissin’ when there’s a cookie to be had?

I landed my man over three decades ago. I don’t know what snared him, but it wasn’t my cooking. Now that the romantic thrill is gone and the memory barely lingers on, I have entertained thoughts of developing a taste for black licorice.

Nah. Not worth the calories. I’ll just bake him some pumpkin bread and let him sleep.

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