New research says women attract better partners when they are the ones initiating contact.

London - It’s terrible news for florists, but a dream come true for cheapskate Romeos.

There’s no need to actually shell out for a bouquet, as merely being in the presence of flowers makes women receptive to romantic advances from men, a study has shown.

Researchers in France found that women were far more likely to give a young man their phone number if approached outside a florist as opposed to a patisserie or shoe shop.

Five dashing chaps were recruited by the University of South Brittany to approach women aged between 18 and 25 in the street and try to obtain their numbers.

So as not to involve variations in chat-up techniques, the men were instructed to simply say their name, tell the woman she was very pretty and ask for her phone number so they could go for a drink later.

Of the 600 women asked, 144 – just under a quarter – gave their numbers if asked outside a florist.

However, just one in seven women agreed to a date when asked outside a bakery, and when asked outside a shoe shop the number fell to one in 10.

Publishing their findings in the Journal Of Social Psychology, the researchers wrote: “Flowers reflect our emotions and moods. They often convey feelings of compassion, regret, merriment or even romance.

“The results confirm the effect of exposure to flowers on receptivity to romantic request.”

The study backs up findings from a similar experiment by researchers at the same university earlier this year.

This involved 46 female student volunteers who were asked 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 women 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.

The same experiment was repeated with 122 single women aged from 18 to 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.

“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.”

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. - Daily Mail