As per a study published in Frontiers in Psychology journal, researchers observed the brain activity of 30 women, 15 of whom had recently delivered and remaining 15 who had never given birth. They were made to smell shirts worn by infants, as small as 2-day-old. Both women had elevated activity in the part of the brain, which often gets stimulated when one is rewarded with something or when they have tasty food (and even drugs). In short, infants smell intoxicating!Now coming to the reason why they smell so good, scientists could not give a definite answer to the query. However, they have some theories – one, that their smell comes from the chemicals released by a baby’s sweat. However, their smell don’t last for more than six weeks as their metabolism start to change when they start eating and drinking, instead of getting nourishment through umbilical cord.
The second theory says that the smell originates from their vernix caseosa, which covers the skin of a newborn. While it is washed after birth, the scent may continue to stay on the baby’s body.
The reason scent plays such an important role is because it directly stimulates our brain. It triggers good and bad memories, alerts us about harmful toxins and attaches us to people and things we love. No wonder then, babies love clothes worn by their mothers and feel really comforting with the fragrance of their mother’s milk.