Smells you want on a first date include distinctive (yet not overpowering) perfume or aftershave, and perhaps some tasty food to share.
Smells you don’t want? BO.
But, apparently, it’s a person’s natural scent that attracts you to someone in the first place, and dating service Match is trying to prove it.
They’re running a pop-up today and tomorrow called Eau Mon Garcon at Exmouth market, where you can sample the ‘olfactory portraits’ of male Match members and decide if you want to date them.
Olfactory portraits are essentially the pheromones and odours someone has, and our brains pick up on whether someone would be a good mate based on their genetic profiles.
When visiting the pop up, singles will be able to sample a man’s scent, read his basic profile information, then get in touch if they like what they smell.
It seems crazy, but according to Dr. Caroline Allen it’s completely plausible.
Caroline’s a Research Associate at Newcastle University, and studies the way we smell our way to finding a partner.
She told Metro.co.uk:
Some individuals’ odours are rated as more pleasant and, in some instances, sexier, which might make you more likely to approach or engage with or even date them.
Your body odour can influence how attractive you are to someone as it holds information about you.
In fact, it’s so unique that researchers have termed them odour fingerprints. These fingerprints contain a wealth of information such as health, emotions, diet and fertility.
This serves an evolutionary function, as we look for someone who – when our genes are coupled with theirs – will make some gorgeous and healthy babies.
Apparently, we can even subconsciously smell when someone is sick, or when women are ovulating and at their most fertile.
Dr. Caroline says we can even determine someone’s personality without ever seeing or meeting them.
Studies have asked individuals to provide an odour sample and complete personality questionnaires, while others were then asked to rate the odour sample using the same questionnaire and the results were surprisingly accurate.
Traits we supposedly naturally look for in a partner include extraversion, neuroticism, and dominance. In studies, people couldn’t say how they knew, but they could say whether someone possessed these traits or not.
Obviously looks and personality play a huge role, but there’s clearly more than meets the eye when it comes to who we fancy.
You might think that wearing perfume or deodorant might mask our ability to sniff out a match, but our bodies merge with whatever we put on and smell different on us than anyone else.
If you pick out a scent yourself, studies show you’ll smell more pleasant than if one was randomly selected for you, so Caroline suggests trusting your intuition when you’re off on a date.
If you’re planning on whacking out the power of your personal scent to attract someone, we don’t recommend avoiding the shower. Instead, choose fragrances that you know dry down well on you or simply dab on a mild essential oil to your pulse points.
And please don’t start sniffing your date’s armpits on the first meeting. Save that for at least date three, you savages.