The onset of fall brings with it many delights - cooler temperature, colorful foliage and the oft-mocked diffuse proliferation of all things pumpkin-spiced. Men may be surprised to learn that the latter can actually be beneficial to sexual health.

The connection between the olfactory system and emotional and psychological states is fairly well established. The area of the brain in which people process smells is the same area in which sexual thoughts and desires occur. This is why some scents have aphrodisiacal powers. Some of the scents in question are rather intuitive - lavender and musk, for example. But the smell of pumpkin pie holds a lesser-known, and fairly high, spot on the list of enticing scents.

The study

In a recent study, 31 male volunteers wore odorized masks while their penile blood flow levels were tested. The study involved 30 scents - 24 individual fragrances and 6 combinations of 2 scents. All participants were first given a non-odorized mask to provide a baseline penile blood flow reading.

All aromas tested produced at least some increase in penile blood flow, but two out of the top three blood flow boosters involved pumpkin pie scent: the combination of pumpkin pie and lavender, resulting in a 40% increase, and the combination of pumpkin pie and doughnut smells, yielding a 20% increase. The combination of doughnut and black licorice scents came in second, with a 31.5% increase. Pumpkin pie scent by itself yielded an 8.5% increase in blood flow.

Incorporate the smell of fall

Men who want a boost in sexual desire and erectile function may, therefore, benefit from incorporating the smell of fall into their sex lives. This can be done in a number of ways:

- Bake a pie! Whether homemade or store-bought, throwing a pumpkin pie in the oven can fill the house with a sexy scent.

- Get some fresh pumpkin doughnuts. Make use of the combined effects of these powerful aromas.

- Candle up. Light a pumpkin spice candle to fill the room with deliciousness. Consider lighting a lavender candle as well, since these two scents showed to be the most powerful tag-team in the study.

- Spike the coffee. Go for a fancy pumpkin-spiced latte to bring some excitement to the morning.

- Lavender lotion/soap: Use lavender-scented body products, and ask one’s partner to as well. This will keep the sweet scent with a man and partner while they enjoy their pumpkin treats.

Choose candles wisely

Not all candles are created equally when it comes to the ability to boost sex drive. A South Carolina State University study from 2009 found that petroleum-derived candles, which are often cheap and artificially scented, emit toxins in the air that can lower sex drive. Don’t counteract the sexiness of pumpkin spice with pollutants; look for candles made of other materials, such as beeswax. Same goes for lavender and other scents.

Attention to smell all around

Along with boosting pleasant, stimulating odors, it is of course a good idea to cut down on offending odors that may interfere with one’s sexual arousal. Take out the garbage; wash the dirty socks; take a shower.

Another common area of unpleasant odor for men is the penis. While washing with warm water, and maybe a mild cleanser, is generally enough to keep strong manhood odor at bay, some men benefit from extra protection. Using a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) with vitamin A can be of assistance here. Vitamin A is a natural bacteria-fighter, and many instances of strong and unpleasant penis odor are caused by a buildup of bacteria. While regular washing is the main step to take, adding in a health crème is a wise supplementary approach for keeping the manhood’s natural, appealing musk front and center.