So you thought you were an armpit expert—an authority in “axillary studies” (as they say in Latin). Well, today we’re here to tell you that everything you thought you knew about armpits is wrong.
Most studies on perception of human social odors in axillary sweat do not distinguish between samples from the right and left axillae.
Shame on you, science, for that glaring oversight. Luckily, this latest study covers that omission. Odor samples on cotton pads from male participants’ right and left armpits were tested by female raters for attractiveness, intensity, and masculinity. The stated goal of the study was to determine if there was a noticeable difference.
The odor from the axilla corresponding to the dominant side (left) was rated more masculine and more intense than the other side (right). This effect was limited to the ratings of a restricted group of females, that is, those who did not take hormone-based contraception and were estimated to be in the fertile phase of their menstrual cycle.
So the left armpits of south paws have the edge. (Sorry right handers but both your pits are equally attractive. Or unattractive.)