Apparently, our nose and people’s body odour is mainly linked to our partner choice. Subconsciously, we seem to get attracted to the individual smell of certain people. But why?
About 20 years ago, Swiss zoologist Claus Wedekind executed an experiment named “Smelly T-Shirt” (The Guardian, 2016). Several men wore a natural fibre shirt over two nights. In this time, they were not allowed to drink alcohol or use any kind of body sprays or perfumes that could influence their personal odour. Those shirts were then boxed and given to a number of women who. They in turn were instructed to choose the carton that contained the most appealing, most sexy and most enjoyable smell.
The experiment resulted in an interesting insight: women chose the boxes that belonged to men who had a different immune system to their own. But what makes a partner with a different immune system so appealing?
It seems, that subconsciously we are always looking for an other half that we would conceive the most “perfect” children with. This might be some instinctively inherence that ensures that our descendants will survive. Each immune system has some strengths but also some kind of weaknesses. Bringing to very different structures together helps to “produce” strong and healthy babies that have an effective and strong immune system on their own (Nature, 2016).
So our immune system is more or less smellable and attracts some people, while it repellents others. It helps to find “the rare sensation of perfect chemistry” (The Guardian, 2016).
By now, even partner finding companies are aware of this fact and offer this as a business. Medically, it is possible to test your and your partners immune system by saliva samples. Doctors are than able to analyze and compare the two immune systems – if they are very different it is rated to be “the perfect match” (The Guardian, 2016).
Please find the video below that describes the process and idea of SMELL DATING briefly.
This topic was highly interesting and perfectly matching for my topic as we are even choosing our partners via our nose. This is mainly linked to our basic instinct to conceiving perfectly healthy children which is in turn linked to family.
Also interestingly and related to my research are is, that we can be identified by our individual body odour which is as unique as our finger print (->Identification)
The Guardian (2016) Can you smell the perfect partner? Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/08/can-you-smell-perfect-partner (Accessed: 20 April 2016).
Nature (2016) Sweet smell of the immune system. Available at: http://www.nature.com/news/2001/010307/full/news010308-10.html (Accessed: 20 April 2016).
Fig. 1: Metro (2016) There’s now a dating website that allows you to pick a partner based on their body odour. Available at: http://metro.co.uk/2016/02/18/theres-now-a-dating-website-that-allows-you-to-pick-a-partner-based-on-their-body-odour-5703807/ (Accessed: 20 April 2016).
Fig. 2: AJ+ (2016) Smell Dating Service Finds Matches Through Dirty T-Shirts. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0Sxklpx-WE (Accessed: 20 April 2016).
Psychology Today (2016) The Smell of Love. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/the-smell-love (Accessed: 20 April 2016).
Medical Daily (2016) Perfect Match: People Attracted To Body Odor Of Those With Shared Political Views, Not Opposing Views. Available at: http://www.medicaldaily.com/perfect-match-people-attracted-body-odor-those-shared-political-views-not-opposing-views-303388 (Accessed: 20 April 2016).
Metro (2016) There’s now a dating website that allows you to pick a partner based on their body odour. Available at: http://metro.co.uk/2016/02/18/theres-now-a-dating-website-that-allows-you-to-pick-a-partner-based-on-their-body-odour-5703807/ (Accessed: 20 April 2016).