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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The smell of love is in the air.
A recent dating project put body odor to the test to see if there could be a couple-connection based solely on scent.
Turns out, it appears there is solid science to back up the attraction of “smell dating.”
It might not be the most conventional way to find a mate, but a person’s smell – their body odor – can be a powerful tool when it comes to the chemistry of love and attraction.
“When I get to know someone, I actually smell their neck and it was a source of comfort to me,” said participant Nicki Gallaher.
Participant Verna Sulpizio said, “I definitely know that scent can trigger feelings and emotion and memory.”
This smelly undertaking had men and women sniffing unwashed T-shirts to see if there was an olfactory attraction.
“People can pick out who they are attracted to at least partially based on smell,” said Dr. Paul Zak.
The experiment was based on a New York art project called “Smell Dating.”
Sam Lavigne and Tega Brain were the creators.
“The truth is that we’re smelling other people all the time, but we just, it’s not part of our vocabulary to talk about it,” Lavigne said.
The connections that were made from participants smelling only a small swatch of a smelly T-shirt were almost intuitive. They had no other knowledge about who they were smelling.
“We had lots of people go on dates,” Lavigne said. “We also had a lot of people sort of emailing back and forth… where they are kind of relating to other people just on this one sense.”
And there’s a reason connections were made. It’s called the science of pheromones.
“Pheromones are unconscious smells that we process,” said Dr. Zak.
Pheromones were put to the test with three men and three women to see if the science of love could be mastered by the nose.
“If you’re going to be around someone for a long time, you have to tolerate them and evolution has given a little guidance based on smell,” Dr. Zak explained.
Participants physical reactions were charted and a potential match was in the wind.
“It’s very intimate, very intimate, you have to put yourself out there to do it,” Lavigne said.
The folks from Smell Dating say some couples are still together since their experiment this spring.
They also say there is currently a wait list for the next round.