London: Women are far more likely to find a man attractive and accept a date with a stranger if they are in the presence of colourful flowers, a new study has shown.

The associations between flowers and romance are so strong that the man doesn't even have to buy a bunch of flowers himself.

Nicolas Gueguen, a psychologist at the University of South Brittany, also found that just a pot of daffodils on a nearby table or a splash of colour from the garden will soften the female heart.

In one study, Gueguen asked 46 female student volunteers to sit in a room on their own and watch a video of a man talking about himself.

Half the students watched the video in a room brightened up with three vases of flowers - a mix of roses, daisies and marigolds. The rest sat in an identical room without flowers.

When they had watched the video in the room decorated with pots of flowers, they rated the man as more attractive and were more willing to go on a date with him.

In a second study, the same experiment was repeated with 122 single women aged from 18 top 20.

This time after they had watched the video, they were led into a room and told to sit down where a man was waiting.

The women were told he was a fellow student taking part in the experiment, but in reality he was an actor, recruited by the scientists.

When the pair were left alone the man was instructed to talk for five minutes about the experiment and then ask the woman on a date.

Each time he used the exact same words.

"My name is Antoine, you seem very nice," the Daily mail quoted him as saying.

"I wonder would you give me your phone number? I could call you later and we could get together for a drink somewhere next week," he said.

If the woman said yes, he wrote down her phone number. If she rejected him, he was told to say "oh never mind, it's not a problem" and smile.

After a few seconds, the researcher entered the room and explained to the woman what had really being going on.

Again, the presence of flowers made women more receptive to the attentions of a suitor.

Half the women who had watched the video in the room without flowers accepted the man's proposition. But that figure rose to 81 percent for women who had recently been in contact with blooms.

"These results confirm the popular conception that flowers are able to activate romance and act as a facilitator in dating," Gueguen said.

However, the researchers are unsure exactly why flowers soften women's hearts.

"Flowers are associated with romance so it is possible that they are priming the women," Richard Wiseman, a University of Hertfordshire psychologist who has researched the science of attraction, said.

"In the same way it has been shown that people see words to do with old age then walk in a slower way, or when an interviewer holds a warm cup of coffee they are more likely to give someone a job.

"The idea is that without realising it, certain associations are brought up in your mind which influences how you later behave.”

"But I think there is another explanation. Because flowers look and smell nice, it puts someone in a good mood. And if you are in a good mood you are more likely to be creative, friendly, generous and to find someone attractive," he added.

The study has been published in the journal Psychology Press.

Courtesy: Mid-day.com