We've long had an inkling that women have a better sense of smell than men, but now a study seems to have found scientific proof that it's true.
Many previous theories that investigated the subject suggested that women might seem to have a greater sense of smell because they have stronger emotional reactions to environmental triggers and cues. But, a report published in the journal, Plos One, reported that scientists from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro measured the number of cells in the olfactory bulb of men and women, which is the first part of the brain that processes odour information from our nostrils. They found that women had 43% more cells than men, indicating that women not only pick up smells more effectively, but also process the information with greater effectiveness and accuracy.
Author of the study, Prof. Lent, commented that, "Generally speaking, larger brains with larger numbers of neurons correlate with the functional complexity provided by these brains. Thus, it makes sense to think that more neurons in the female olfactory bulbs would provide women with higher olfactory sensitivity."
This doesn't explain why women might have evolved with this greater ability, but one theory is that a superior sense of smell helps mother and child to bond after birth; another is it also influences females' selection of potential mates. You can read more about the study in this report.
So, next time your new perfume goes unnoticed, go easier on him...!