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Why saying it with flowers helps romance blossom

FLOWERS have traditionally been the way to a woman's heart, with Cupid turning one into a powerful love potion in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream when his arrow strikes it.

However the link between flowers and romance has more recently become the stuff of cliche, pushed by shops to boost sales on Valentine's Day.

But scientific research has now found that a bouquet of flowers can indeed have a powerful impact on romance.

Psychologists have discovered that flowers make women significantly more receptive to men's advances, even when the blooms are in the background rather than presented as a gift.

A team from the University of South Brittany in France asked five men to approach young women between the ages of 18 and 25 in the street to ask them out for a drink.

Of the 600 women approached, around a quarter -- or 144 -- agreed to give their number if they were asked for it outside a flower shop. This compares with just one in seven -- or 90 -- outside a bakery, and one in 10 outside a shoe shop.

Dr Tom Buchanan, an expert in psychology at the University of Westminster, said that because flowers are associated with romance, people often start thinking, speaking or behaving in a romantic way when they see them.