Is love in the air? Smell dating offers scent-based matches

Does the nose know what the heart wants? An internet project has asked people to welcome “the musky possibilities” of dating solely via a sense of smell, an idea that may hold an appeal for people who think that tradition dating stinks.

The service asks users to pay $25, and in exchange, he or she receives a T-shirt that they are asked to wear for three days, sans deodorant. The user then sends the shirt in with the promise that they’ll then receive back samples from other people’s odor-infused clothing, from which they can choose a potential dating partner. The project says that if two people both pick each other’s scents, contact information will be exchanged.

ABC News reported after the service launched in February that 52 people had signed up for it. Currently, the website says that the first round of smell dating has closed.

"We've received a lot of interest in this sort of idea because there's a bit of exhaustion with online dating and the analytical burden of going through profile pics," Tega Brain, an artist and the site’s co-creator, told ABC News. "So our service, you have to completely rely on your intuition. You can't rely on the preconceived notions of what you want. That's a big relief for someone."

The project doesn’t even want to know what the gender or sexual orientation of the participants are. “Even in blinded experiments, subjects' smell preferences align broadly with their sexual desires,” the website explains.

Users interested in such an olfactory dating experience can sign up to be notified when the next round begins, although singles eager to meet dating partners soon may be wise not to put too much stock in the idea and instead opt for well-established options like Tinder, Bumble, or Sam Levigne, the site's co-creator, told ABC News that it is an “Internet experiment” and “art piece.” The website refers to it as a “pilot program.”

Brain, who the website says came up with the concept, and who is also an assistant professor of new media at SUNY Purchase College, did not reply to an email from with questions about the project.