London - They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But it seems finding the perfect mate has less to do with how they look, and more to do with whether they get up your nose.

Researchers have found that a good sense of smell is key to successful, lasting relationships.

They analysed data from men and women born with no sense of smell, known as anosmiacs, and compared the results with healthy individuals.

They discovered that a faulty sense of smell led to insecurity and problems socialising and finding love for both sexes, although men were particularly affected.

On average men born without a sense of smell had two sexual partners, compared to ten for a normal male.

Although it didn’t affect the number of relationships for women – both types averaged four lovers – those without a sense of smell were 20 percent more insecure about their partnerships, according to the research, published in the journal Biological Psychology.

Thomas Hummel, of Dresden University’s Smell and Taste Clinic, said: “In general, those with anosmia... don’t know whether they have bad breath, stinky armpits, are drinking rotten milk or living in fishy-smelling apartments.

“Constantly wondering whether you smell bad makes a person insecure, and that could spill over into the person’s love life.” - Daily Mail