Pheromone Parties: Should you choose a mate by odour alone?

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Many people say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however there is a new dating venture which suggests that you should instead trust your sense of smell in order to find true love.

In order to research this possibility, a new type of party has been promoted in the United States. These ‘pheromone parties’ are singles events which allow those who attend to sniff out a prospective date.

In a test conducted in the UK, the participants were asked to make use of a white cotton T-shirt as their sleeping outfit for a period of three nights before the event. This T-shirt was then placed into a zip-lock bag in an attempt to seal in the scent. Approximately 100 people attended the event in London.

The founder of these parties, Judith Prays, started her company four years ago after she realised that online dating only led to short-term relationships. She was determined to combine science with the search for love.

She modelled her parties on a study called ‘sweaty T-shirt’ which was undertaken by a Swiss biological researcher, Claus Wedekind, during 1995. During this study women were asked to sniff shirts that a group of men had worn for a period of two days. The result of the study indicated that females were more sexually attracted to men whose genes were most different to theirs. This means that the women were more attracted to men who smelt different to them.

Judith Prays has stated that the parties are not used on the basis that smell alone is the answer to successful dating. The parties are used as a means of opening up new views of the dating world and considering the information required when one person makes a decision about another.

At the event, the T-shirts are allocated numbers and placed on tables in the room. The participants smell the item and if they like the scent, they have a photograph taken with the item. This photo is projected on to a wall of the bar. If you are the owner of the shirt and you like the appearance of the person photographed with your T-shirt, you have the choice to start a discussion with them.

One of the sniffers stated that he was drawn to a particular T-shirt because he would be quite happy to have the smell around him. The results of these parties have been varied as it depends on your preferred smell.

Image credit: Luke Price

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