The sniff test. It’s how we decide if something’s just not quite right; not up to… snuff (heh?). Is a deal too good to be true? The sniff tests tells us that the wheels are going to fall off this jalopy as soon as it rolls off of the lot. The sniff test is where our reptilian brain and BS detector get together for brunch and talk about the scary, windowless vans they keep you out of.
Well, Houston-area singles are letting their sniffers do the partner-picking for them. PerKHou.com, a singles event in the south Texas city involved laundry-bound t-shirts, deep wafting and more than a little faith. The prospective daters were instructed to bring a slightly used undershirt to the event and pass it to members of the opposite sex for a whiff. If you dig a person’s stank, then some part of your caveman (or cave marm) brain may call it a match. I may be in the minority but there’’ something creepier about a guy smelling a lady’s underthings (or hair, the second she looks away) than women doing likewise but I’ll reserve judgment.
The so-called t-shirt test has been used by researchers for a couple decades. So, pheromones (genetic odors) allegedly alert various olfactory sensors in a prospective partner that we could be a decent match. Some part of the match involves a mild amount of diversity to prevent us from kissing our sisters. While sweaty shirts are well and good, you’d guess our smell wouldn’t do a great job of conveying facial symmetry, income or genital ergonomics but who really cares about that? In the traditional t-shirt test, it’s women smelling men’s shirts but whose to say it couldn’t be somewhat effective in reverse?
And now to the controversy, our ability to smell and our smell are affected by hormonal balance. It’s been surmised that birth control pills have impeded our ability to effectively use smell what should be a good genetic match and may contribute to the ballooning divorce rate of the 60s through 90s. It could be hogwash. But who knows if our revulsion of body hair, and it’s inherit ability to hold our swampy patois (to borrow a malapropism from comedian Joey Diaz), is keeping us from finding good, true genetic matches today.