Smell dating: sniffing out potential fans( and their sweaty T-shirts)

The first mail odor dating service matches people based on a three-day old T-shirt sample. If both your nostrils agree the other reeks great, its a match

My date, Hannes, had just been swimming in the East River and I could reek him over the cafe table. This attained sense, as it had been his fragrance that first attracted me several weeks earlier.

Id choice him as one of my Smell Dating matches, an online matchmaking project that blends the internets ability to judge multiple people at once with a physical object( a smelly T-shirt) packed full of pheromones.

Billed as the first mail odor dating service, Smell Dating hopes to connect people based on what body odor they find attractive. For $25, youre sent a T-shirt to wear for three days no incense or deodorant let. You then send it off and receive samples to sniff in exchange. You choice which scent you like the best, and if both your nostrils agree the other reeks great, youll be matched via email. No information about age, gender or sex orientation is known beforehand.

Generally the people who reek better to you are genetically different to you, explained Tega Brain, a 33 -year-old artist from Brooklyn who created the project with New York University researcher Sam Lavigne.

Research on pheromones is still ongoing, but Brain explains that our interest in someone elses reek is based on the compatibility of your immune systems( sexy !).

We sort of joke, maybe high contemporary divorce rates are due to deodorant and not being in tune to reek, she added.

For three days I wore the same white V-neck T-shirt both day and night in an effort to embrace the musky potentials, as Smell Dating encourages. Luckily it was a comparatively cool weekend and I deliberately avoided exercising, but I was working on a big tale and anxiously sweated over it( and then worried how that would affect my scent ).

By the end of the weekend, my T-shirt had a definite pong to it. I wrapped it up in its bag and shipped it off. A week later, I received 10 different bits of T-shirt to sniff. The samples all come from the armpit region. Brain called it the most data-rich area.

Some smelled so strongly of rancid body odor that I gagged. Another smelled like bubblegum. One had the fragrance of laundry mixed with sweat; another like theyd just gone on a hike outdoors.

One of the things about smelling, it was so clear to me who I liked and didnt it releases you from having to do that[ normal internet dating] analysis, said Brain.

After my fragrance experience, I filled out the on-line form with my top picks and awaited my results.

I got four matches: with a German artist, a sex columnist, an artist who once did an exhibit with human breast milk cheese and an origami artist. Two humen, two women. Interestingly, I found that I matched with those Id ranked as maybe rather than a definite yes.

Amber Jamieson meets her smelling date, German artist Hannes. Photograph: Amber Jamieson

The German artist, Hannes, and I met for a Friday afternoon coffee, engaging in interesting chats about how he lives on a boat in New York City and runs swimming in the East River, which is so notoriously filthy that theres a skit in Seinfeld about it. He showed me a virtual reality meditation app hed created. He wasnt a match for me personally although I did think he was handsome and smelled good, so the initial physical reaction was accurate but Ive just done an email introduction with another friend of mine who I think hed get on great with.

Smell dating is fully supportive of secondary matchmaking, giggled Brain, when I told her about my date. Theyre planning to run another New York and North America round of Smell Dating soon, and another for a museum exhibition in Shanghai, China.

Brain herself is participating in, going on a date just last week with one of her matches. It was very strange get an email saying you smelling nice, she admitted. She doesnt think shell assure him again.

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