New research suggests this may be so, that humans may be able to communicate positive emotions like happiness through the smell of sweat.
As published in the journal Psychological Science, investigators believe the findings show that we produce chemical compounds, or chemosignals, when we experience happiness. In turn, the compounds are detectable by others who smell our sweat.
While previous research has shown that negative emotions related to fear and disgust are communicated via detectable regularities in the chemical composition of sweat, few studies have examined whether the same communicative function holds for positive emotions.
“Our study shows that being exposed to sweat produced under happiness induces a simulacrum of happiness in receivers, and induces a contagion of the emotional state,” explains psychological scientist Gün Semin of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, senior researcher on the study.