Love stinks — and this dating service is out to prove it!
A pair of Brooklynites are running a low-fi alternative to Tinder that matches up prospective lovebirds based entirely on their body odor — a measure of compatibility they say is far more reliable than convoluted algorithms or online dating profiles.
“Data can lie. Smell doesn’t lie,” said Greenpoint artist Tega Brain, who created the Smell Dating service with Williamsburg writer Sam Lavigne.
The pair have sent T-shirts to 100 participants around New York — mostly Brooklynites — who will stink them up by wearing them for three days straight without deodorant or cologne. Brain and Lavigne will then cut up the soiled shirts into strips and distribute them back among the dating pool.
Participants won’t know the gender or sexual orientation of the people behind each sample — they will simply take a whiff and note which fragrances, if any, they find most pleasing. Brain and Lavigne will then match up any mutual attractions.
The whole thing is partially a tongue-in-cheek art project, the pair admit, but they say they are also serious about seeing whether it works. They interviewed several scientists beforehand, and say they are eager to find out if any of the odor-based couples form real relationships.
“This is an exploration of what happens when the only piece of information you have about a person is intimate, very mundane data,” says Lavigne, who is an editor at a website called Useless Press, where he will publish the results.