deadwinter: "What? Why, in Victorian times, it was a highly ritualized method of courtship. The ladies would line up and gracefully lift their arms, like this...and the young men would sniff deeply and choose potential mates based on this. They had classes at school especially to prepare them for this important skill, they'd be able to determine much of a lady's diet and grooming simply by a sniff. It was a mark of refinement back then.
"Of course, they had to stop sniffing when they got married, and so desperate men would end up at sniffatoriums--scourge of Victorian London--just to be have access to ladies who had...fallen on hard times...and be able to sniff their pits. Of course, these ladies weren't as refined, and didn't have very good diets--often filled with beans and garlic, you know--so it wasn't as delicate an odor, and it was often an activity looked on shamefully...but these men were very repressed, you see..."
QWP Context Here