The dating platform Smell Dating sends you other people's clothes to sniff, with no additional information on gender, sexual orientation, physical description or...anything. Just an old shirt that has been worn for three days straight, and apparently that is all you need to find your one true love.
The mail order dating service is based on the concept of pheromones, a chemical substance or smell typically released by mammals that can affect the behaviors of others within its species.
While we don't yet have proof that humans use or release sex attractant or releaser pheromones, we do have proof that humans have what's called primer pheromones, which are odors emitted from one human that can affect the reproductive status or the hormonal status of the recipient.
Out of all of our senses, smell is the closest linked to memory and emotion, as a lot of social cues travel through our olfactory channel to our brain. Anosmia, the loss of smell, can make people miss out on certain social cues only detectable by the nose, which can cause someone to feel awkward and less confident when it comes to pursuing potential partners.
With a service like Smell Dating, the future of relationships could rely on our ability to smell and our smell signature. The company requires members to wear a shirt for 3 days straight, showers encouraged, deodorant not so much, and after the 3 days a member mails it back and then, the armpit area is cut up and distributed to potential suitors.
Since Smell Dating's compatibility test is based solely on your smell signature, the company doesn't ask you any questions other than the size of your shirt. Nothing about your gender or sexual orientation.
According to a study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, gay men prefer the scent of other gay men, and heterosexual men prefer the scent of women when exposed to anonymous samples of pheromones.
And there is good evidence that your own personal aura might be very important to your potential significant other.