Facts on speed dating

A person born to a couple in their 30s grows up to find older faces more attractive than does one with younger parents, finds a study from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland.That is, college-aged women with "older" parents were likelier to find wrinkled, weathered faces attractive for either a fling or a marriage.

The same was found for young men when considering a woman for a long-term relationship.

(Take note: Only a man's mother's age, not his father's, influenced his attraction to older women.)The eye's limbal ring goes in the category of overlooked but not unseen.

It's the dark circle around the iris that enhances the whiteness and brightness of the sclera (the whites of the eyes).

Researchers at the University of California at Irvine asked people to rate sets of faces that were identical except for the eyes—one had dark and distinct limbal rings and the other had none. Whether male or female, the faces with prominent limbal rings were considered more attractive.

Oral contraceptives may also lead women to reverse their usual preferences in male body odor.

Once a woman goes off the Pill, her other instincts complicate the relationship.

After about 15 minutes of exposure, the chemical makes a woman subtly more attentive, aroused—and even happier— with effects continuing for up to an hour, finds a study led by Claire Wyart at the University of California at Berkeley.

(In case you're wondering, men vary in their androstadienone levels—and, no, the chemical doesn't brainwash women into having sex or falling in love.

Here's another olfactory surprise: Garlic may make you smell more attractive.

Researchers in the Czech Republic asked people to eat garlic cream cheese (the equivalent of two to four cloves) every day for one week while wearing scent-trapping pads in their armpits.

The likely reason is that a dark, well-defined ring is a signal of youth and health—qualities that people seek in mates.