If you think online dating is not intimate enough; if you miss the good old days of straight up tangy humanity, and if you long for an earthy, nitty-gritty alternative to mate-finding in today’s over-digitized world—behold (or rather take a whiff): Pheromone Parties. Think of them as speed-dating—except they’re really more like nose-dating.
The concept for these olfactory gatherings began in New York, where creator Judith Prays evolved the classic speed-dating scenario by adding the sensual variable of odor as a first-barrier litmus test for chemical compatibility. The Pheromone Parties team even includes a scientific advisor, Charles J. Wysocki, Ph.D., who is a biologist and psychologist known for his work with the genetics of olfaction in mice and humans. The concept of these experimental scent-mingling parties is based on the scientific premise that everyone creates their own blend of distinctive pheromones, the bouquet of smells that help us to attract mates.
Call it pop science, pseudoscience, post-modern dating or just plain dank, pheromone parties at the very least invite us to revitalize our primal instincts, which—gross or not—in this day and age is somewhat refreshing (maybe wrong choice of word).
Party attendance costs an average of $30 and here’s how it works, according the Pheromone Parties website.
- Participants are instructed to sleep in a clean, white, cotton t-shirt for three nights in a row to capture what they refer to as an odor print. You bring the t-shirt in a zip-lock bag to the party.
- Bags are labeled pink for women, blue for men. Each bag is assigned a number. Only you know your shirt’s number.
- Bags are placed on a table. Guests are invited to smell the bags at their leisure throughout the party.
- If a guest fancies your funk, he takes a picture with your bag at a photography station. These pictures are projected as a slide show on the wall at the party.
- If you see a picture of a guest you find attractive holding your number, this is your green-light to talk to him—which is essentially a Pheromone Party score.
- At the end of the party, a Facebook album is created and all of the pictures are tagged. So if you missed your match at the party, you can still contact him on Facebook.
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The website even offers tips when creating your odor print, such as:
- Minimize consumption of spices, garlic, and onions during the collection phase.
- Engage in hygiene but minimize use of fragrant products.
- Don’t shave your armpits.
- Don’t engage in intimate contact while wearing the shirt.
- Use a plain, white, cotton t-shirt.
- Sleep in the shirt for at least three nights before the part.
- Put your shirt in the freezer when you wake up each morning. Let it warm up before you put it back on before bed. Then store it in the freezer until the party.
- It’s been proven that a woman’s ability to smell pheromones is reduced when she is using oral contraceptives, so that’s something to take into account.
The parties are too new to test their true efficacy in terms of finding long-term love. But we can say for sure is that they are great ice-breaking ideas that invite people to get loose, get human and get close. Kind of like what foam parties were in the early nineties.