In 2014, the search for love is more interesting than ever before. Gone are the days of meeting dates through a mutual friend. Today we have speed dating, Match.com, and of course, the newest of the futuristic dating expenditures: pheromone parties. This is pretty much what you might gather: an event where singletons are invited to find love based on how much they like each other's scent.
“It’s like sweat and a tiny bit of perfume, or just, like clean,” explained 23-year-old Steven Lucas while attending the latest pheromone party in London. Pheromone parties have been around since 2010, with the first taking place in Brooklyn N.Y., but now can be found throughout the world. The most recent location in the English capital surprisingly had more than 140 guests, with plenty more on the waiting list, the NY Daily News reported.
With its hip Camden market, home of all things underground and shocking, London is not new to new-age trends, which is good because pheromone parties are certainly new-age. Before the event, attendees are asked to wear a t-shirt for three days without deodorant or perfumes. This results in ab end-product of completely unadulterated natural scent, hopefully chock-full of pheromones. The shirts are then placed into numbered bags and strangers are invited to take a sniff and see what they think.
The concept is based on the widely known but not exactly scientifically accepted ideas of human pheromones. In the animal world, airborne molecules called pheromones elicit a sexual reaction in members of the opposite sex, Smithsonian reported. Researchers have yet to find a human version of the sex scent, but “that doesn’t mean a human pheromone doesn’t exist. It just means we haven’t found one yet,” George Preti of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia told Smithsonian. Creator Judith Prays thought this idea of human chemical attraction would be a great way to sniff out a potential mate, and thus the pheromone party was born.
According to the parties’ website, the get-together “is primarily successful in that it opens up interesting, intimate conversations, and breaks down barriers to make strangers comfortable chatting.” Whether or not you can truly sniff your way to true love doesn’t seem to be of all that much importance at these parties. Couples simply enjoy the alternative dating method for meeting other young singles. "It is such a weird concept. It's a huge ice-breaker because you are smelling a stranger's T-shirt — you can't be cool or pretentious,” said organizer of the most recent London event, Judy Nadel.
Not all participants were as open to sniff the three-day worn shirts of strangers. “Funnily enough, I was scared that someone would smell my shirt and throw it down," Bob, 48, told the Daily News. Anticipating the hesitation partygoers might experience, Nadel went on to order an aroma therapeutic masseuse to help singles relax a bit. "I've got a mixture of geranium rose with black pepper, so I'm using that to give massages to aid a bit of relaxation," said masseuse Laurie Nouchka. Interested to see if your nose knows the way to true love? Check out the pheromone parties’ website to see when an event is coming to a city near you.