Love at First Sniff.
Ah, the sweet smell of love.
For many of us, our sense of smell is something we rely on day by day to help us determine what food to eat, where to sit on public transportation, and whether or not we can get away with wearing that shirt just one more time before washing it.
While we might take it for granted, those in touch with their sense of smell use it to take in the wonderful aromas of the world around them: From flowers and perfumes to foods and wines, smell is linked to taste, and also memory, allowing us to travel back in time when we come across a distinctive smell from our past. On a serious note, smell is often essential to our safety, providing warning when food is rotten or milk is sour, or if there is dangerous gas or smoke nearby.
Then again, city dwellers, who are all-too-familiar with the pervading stench of roasting garbage in the summertime, might easily give up their sense of smell for the ability to get through their commute without suffocating on the foul odors rising off the streets or emanating from their subway partner’s armpits.
Now, some scent-savvy entrepreneurs are making America smell great again with the introduction of their pseudo-scientifically-based matchmaking fad, Smell Dating. Think we’re joking? Keep reading!
You have to smell it to believe it!
The Nose Knows Best
According to SmellDating.com, “Smell is one of the most poignant and evocative experiences afforded by the human sensory apparatus [….] Unlike sight and sound, smell is interpreted first in terms of memory and emotion before being mapped to language. Although much remains unknown about smell perception, this cognitive process may be the reason that smell is so hard to describe in words, and often thought to be subjective.”
For that reason, and perhaps just for the heck of it, New York University researchers started Smell Dating, a pungent new way to meet your significant other. But is it really all that new? While the idea sounds fairly novel, the reasoning behind it is based on the primal belief that our sense of smell is one of the strongest biological determiners when looking for a partner.
Single and Ready to Mingle Some Pheromones
While more closely documented in animals and insects, pheromones are excreted chemicals that cause social or sexual responses in members of the same species. Sex pheromones specifically have been observed in various organisms as a means of attracting members of the opposite sex to encourage reproduction.
Incredibly difficult to isolate and study in humans, Smell Dating relies on the pseudo-scientific belief that sex pheromones are active in humans and cause sexual attraction between men and women. While the research has mixed results, one thing is for sure: The world of online matchmaking and dating apps is here to stay, and it’s always looking for a bold new way to bring people together.
Basing attraction on scent is nothing new, however, and “pheromone parties” have existed for some time, in which people get together and swap shirt samples at parties in order to meet potential mates based on how they smell.
Smell Dating, however, reduces some level of social anxiety (and disgust) by allowing you to begin your foray into the wide (?) world of aromatic dating in the comfort of your own home.