Still, while most people might find Smell Dating some combination of disgusting and ridiculous, I was intrigued; maybe primal attraction could be discerned with simply a sniff, after all.
If it were a choice between smelling stinky t-shirts or listing six things I couldn’t live without, I’d take the t-shirts. I received my t-shirt — cotton v-neck, size medium — and I dutifully lived in it for three days, showering only twice.
I was finally living the dystopian rom-com I’d always dreamed of.
And meanwhile, something strange had occurred: The mere act of signing up for Smell Dating resulted in my romantic life taking off — in the real world, that is — as though entering the experiment had been the equivalent of shooting my pheromones into the universe.
Here’s how it all promised to work: The “mail odor” dating service offered to mail me a t-shirt to be worn for three days and nights.
My lived-in shirt would be sent back, cut into scent swatches, and then mailed to participants.
I had desired, at the very least, some sort of experience when I signed up for Smell Dating.
Here was a self-selected pool of New Yorkers who were adventurous and had to possess a sense of humor.
Instead of illicit substances, they contained swatches cut from the underarms of t-shirts.At this point, even though I hadn’t met any of my matches, the experiment already felt like a success.I was having tremendous fun writing inappropriate emails to strangers, conversations about smell dating fueled no end of laughter, and I found myself discreetly sniffing everyone with whom I came into contact.Overall sample 20 exuded glory, nobility, and power.I finally received a response: 20 kindly thanked me for the funny note, but claimed not to be dating — smell or otherwise.
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But now, returning to the single world as a divorced mother over 40 was to inhabit an alien landscape in which I felt entirely alien myself.