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Breathe in deeply through your nose.

Let the aroma play with your olfactory sense like a kitten with yarn.

Like it? Good.

That’s the smell of your date on Friday night.

Fred Armisen wafts his B.O.

It’s true that the bulk of dating apps and services are centered around a photo, a profile, maybe a video and not much else. But an artist/engineer/designer has an idea that’s so old it’s new again.

She thinks you should choose your dates based on their smell

It’s primal, baby.

Bleu d' Chance perfume

Mic reports that Tega Brain, the brains behind the breakthrough, has created Smell Dating. The self-proclaimed “world’s first mail odor dating service,” Smell Dating gives users a different way to experience a potential partner.

Through the nose.

Here’s Tega Brain, on Mic:

“I wondered, ‘What if dating wasn’t based on visual information?'” she told Mic. She believes Smell Dating could be a more intuitive, natural alternative to other dating apps that are purely image driven. 

“The Internet has replaced fleshy experience with flat apparitions, avatars and painstakingly curated profile pics,” her site’s FAQ says. “Smell Dating closes digital distance by restoring your molecular intuition. Our members make connections via deeply intuitive cues, perfected in the ancient laboratory of human evolution. Surrender yourself to a poignant experience of body odor.”

Similar to pheromone parties, but a more private, one-on-one experience.

For some, this might bring to mind lurid scenes of nose-related sexuality.

scene from Teen Titans

Is this just a lark, a one-off dash of novelty in the dating world?

Or could this be the most authentic, deep way to connect with someone new?

Further, what does Smell Dating tell us about how smells affect us? About how we choose mates? About being a human?

10 ft spray bottle sprays man

I don’t know the answers.

But I know the questions.

I think we can agree this gives a new perspective on dating and, for that alone, it’s terrific. I’m sure it works for some people. Right on.

It changes the paradigm of how we seek a mate

What’s fascinating is how it does so by focusing on a particular sense.

We’ve explored how futzing with your senses can be eye-opening. Let’s expand Ms. Brain’s idea to include some of that.

What if we trade out the sensory fulcrum in the dating scene?

What if we start a dating event based on touch. You sit across from others with a black curtain between you. You put your hands through a flap that allows you to hold the other’s hands, touch their wrists, etc. It’ll give you a very tactile, kinesthetic interpretation of the person. Lots can be learned.

hands touching hands thru curtain

And it’s not so far-fetched, actually. The Science Explorer reports that “researchers predict dating websites will offer “full-sensory” experiences in the next 25 years, enabling customers to hear, feel, and smell potential partners via virtual reality.”

What if we start a start a dating app based on sounds? There are already several that make matches based on your taste in music. But I’m looking a little more personal, a little more everyday, a little more true you.

You enter audio clips of yourself throughout the day – singing in the shower, growling when the car doesn’t start up, just breathing, whatever – and share them with prospective dates, who choose based on what they hear.

Lastly, taste. I know what you’re thinking. And yes, the idea that you could choose a date based on what they taste like has a few too many unwelcome scenarios.

Camel licking face of girl

Instead, what if we start a dating service that’s predicated on tastes? You detail how you like to eat (do you prefer eating-with-your-hands picnic-style or are you more more refined?), when you like to eat, if you have any hang-ups with food/dining, etc. Maybe you even share a video of yourself eating, like Mukbang in Korea, to give others a better idea of your gustatory guile.

Breaking bread has always been a way to connect with others. This would effectively get you to the table with someone, fully vetted, before you actually share a meal.

In the end, we can think differently about dating by limiting information to one of the senses.

It might be all you need for a budding romance.

dog and lamb love each other


Photo credit: photo credit: Don Hankins/flickr (CC by SA 2.0)

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