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The company claims that it will send you a t-shirt that you wear for three days straight before returning it, and in exchange you’ll receive assorted swatches of t-shirts worn by other Smell Daters just like you.
If your nose and someone else’s nose agree that you’re a match, Smell Dating will facilitate an introduction.
He said he hoped Smell Dating could help where other popular matchmaking services had failed.
“I‘m like so many other people in New York City, using Tinder, using OK Cupid,” Donaldson said, “and my main issue with these things is you feel like you’re shopping for somebody as opposed to making a genuine connection with another human being.” Brain said she and Lavigne consulted “a lot of smell researchers” about their art project, which explores whether a person’s body odor can trigger Cupid’s arrow. ” said a worker, wincing as he sniffed a swatch before putting it into a plastic bag marked #34.
Sometimes researchers find that the smell test works, other times they find no effect, according to a review of these studies.
The review looked at several studies analyzing married couples.
It’s not clear whether Smell Dating is a legitimate dating service or more of an artistic experiment.
Artist Tega Brain and editor and researcher Sam Lavigne produced the project with Useless Press, which describes itself as “a publishing collective that creates eclectic Internet things.” But according to the Smell Dating website and some enthusiastic reviewers, it looks like the romantic t-shirt exchange has already completed its first round of matchmaking.
Making a relationship work takes more than sexual compatibility and attraction and in that sense, Smell Dating’s premise is about as scientifically sound as Ok Cupid’s famous dating algorithm.
“We wanted to see if people would be interested in meeting other people just based on this one bit of information rather than this avalanche of information that you usually get,” said Lavigne as he watched volunteers wearing hooded white jumpsuits and blue rubber gloves cut up the worn T-shirts at the Sweat Shop. In Brooklyn, Donaldson tore into the first plastic bag, removed the swatch and sniffed.
You may have heard the idea that scent can tell you a lot about a potential partner's compatibility.
Smell Dating ("the first mail order dating service") relies on a famous 1995 study where men wore the same shirt three days in a row, and then women rated how much they enjoyed their smell.
The women didn't have any other cues than the stinky shirts.
As anyone who’s done online dating knows, sometimes your 96 percent best match is really your 100 percent worst nightmare: It doesn’t always work.