There’s no doubt that smell plays an important part in physical attraction with a general understanding that smelling bad will do you no favours when it comes to dating. However, there is growing belief from researchers that our unique bodily scents play a bigger part in our lives than we realise.
One TIME writer asked the poignant question, “can you sniff your way to love” by joining a matchmaking service called Smell Dating, with some interesting results. “For three days and nights I wore the same cotton t-shirt, through sweaty workouts and while I slept. Showers were allowed. Deodorant was not. After 72 hours, the cotton was pickled in my essence,” she writes. Just lovely.
The folks at Smell Dating took her sweat stained t-shirt and mailed it to 10 people who had also signed up to the service. “I’d get stinky t-shirt samples, other people would get stinky t-shirt samples, and if by chance any two of us chooses each other’s odour, the team will introduce us.”
Apparently, the concept behind Smell Dating is that by sniffing other people’s body odour instead of swiping right on their photos we rely on primal bodily intuition. With 15% of all Americans frequently using Tinder, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to find love, Smell Dating is a bit of a throwback, “a way to connect us, at long last, with out most basic, biological mating cues.”
Smell Dating’s website says “…We understand the metrics of compatibility are chemical; connection is a matter of intercourse not interface. The Internet has replaced fleshy experience with flat apparitions, avatars and painstakingly curated profile pics. Smell Dating closes digital distance by restoring your molecular intuition. Our members make connections via deeply intuitive cues, perfected in the ancient laboratory of human evolution. Surrender yourself to a poignant experience of body odour.” And all for the low cost of $25.
Still not convinced? Check out the video below.