02/11/2011 04:28 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

For Men Only: Why Roses Work

Warning: This information must not be disclosed to females.

Every guy knows the secret power of the rose,
As they thrust fists-full expectantly under a lovely girl's nose.
Hummingbirds swoop and turkeys fan tails,
By comparison the vegetable offering of men pales.

She sniffs, as he waits with his guilty sly grin,
For her love to blossom and shower on him.
The magic is mysterious, but ancient and true,
Pretty plants, a man's ally in love -- who knew?

Woe to the male who in haste or frugality,
Shows up on her doorstep without appropriate flowery.
The treacherous campaign the beaux hopefully plots,
Starts cold by the omission, withers, and rots.

Then there's the magic of the thorny red flower,
To extract men from doom in his darkest hour.
An argument or misstep later comes at great cost,
But the rosy red petals will rekindle love lost.

Guys know it works, but they don't know quite how,
So some scientists experimented -- there's an answer now.
To learn how a rose puts that twinkle in her eye,
They stuck her head in a machine and gave her a cranial MRI.

They scanned women's brains as they inhaled different scents.
Quaffing components of male sweat did nothing for gents,
But the feminine brain lit up like a flame!
Dumbfounded they found another smell did the same.

Not a pheromone, but the scent of a rose inflamed those loving spots in her brain,
Sharing chemicals with pheromones the rose ensures that love will not wane.
Grateful are men that these flowers so tickle her mind,
As we consider Nature's alternative -- a feathery behind.

Happy Valentine's Day!


V. Treyer et al., (2006) Male subjects who could not perceive the pheromone 5a-Androst-16-en-3-one, produced similar orbitofrontal changes on PET compared with perceptible phenylethyl alcohol (rose). Rhinology 44 278-282.

Fields, R.D. (2009) Sex and the secret nerve. Scientific American, Special Issue on Your Sexual Brain, July 7, p. 32-39.