The Real Reason Women Have A Stronger Sense Of Smell Than Men

Cohabitating with the opposite gender can be challenging for a multitude of reasons. Top complaints may be differences in opinion on cleanliness, decorating, and even hygiene. If that pesky stench that your partner can't seem to smell drives you nuts, there may be a reason behind it.

A team of researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro found in a 2014 study that women had more brain cells than men in their olfactory bulb — the center of the brain that controls your sense of smell (via Medical News Today). Researchers used an isotropic fractionator to measure the number of cells in the brains of men and women post-mortem. According to the study, women had 43 percent more cells and almost 50 percent more neurons than men.

Researchers say the difference in brain cells between women and men in the olfactory center could be why women are thought to have a better sense of smell than men.

Other reasons women may have better sense of smell than men

"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," Professor Roberto Lent from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro said in a news release.

The reports of women having a better sense of smell than men aren't new, but there has been a lack of data as to exactly why. Women have long outperformed men on scent identification tests. Some say a stellar sniffer could even be related to evolution, helping women choose mates for reproduction (via Health).

More research is needed to fully explore the connection between olfactory cells as it relates to sense of smell and genders. But it can help us understand why there may be a distinct difference between male and female experiences during a dirty laundry debacle or mystery smell debate.