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Pheromone Parties – sniff out your life partner

“Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it,” is what Vladimir Nabokov had to say about our sense of smell. He is talking about associated memories, and how just a whiff of something – a perfume, an old t-shirt, a specialty bakery, or even the aroma from a dish – can catch you off guard and transport you back to that particular memory. And by just this simple statement, he has expressed how powerful a person’s sense of smell can be.

Now imagine giving your nose the full freedom to pick out your potential life partner. Sound crazy?

pheromone parties

One of the participants with his t-shirt

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Not too far off the mark, if the rapidly spreading Pheromone Parties are any indication. The tagline for the site reads, a matchmaking experiment based on scent. Here’s how it works:

  1. Guests sleep in a t-shirt for 3 nights – au naturel – to capture their odor print and bring it in a zip-lock bag to the party.
  2. Bags are labeled pink for girl, blue for boy. Each bag is assigned a number. Only the guest knows what their shirt’s number is.
  3. Bags are places on a table. Guests smell the bags at their leisure, throughout the party.
  4. If a guest finds the smell attractive, they take a picture with the bag at a photographer station. These pictures are projected as a slide show on the wall at the party.
  5. If you see a picture of a guest you find attractive holding your number, this is a green light to talk to them.
  6. 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 them.

Although scientists are divided on whether humans actually release pheromones or not, the founder of, artist Judith Prays, begs to differ. According to the FAQs on the site, pheromones are the chemical triggers of sexual attraction in mammals, and they also determine fecundity. While not confirmed, it is suspected that males smell availability and females smell genetic quality. Hmmm. If only we could sniff out the commitment-phobic people or the ones who’re just attending the parties for kicks.

pheromone parties - an attendee sniffing another's t shirt

Pheromone Parties – an attendee sniffing another’s t shirt

Image source 

Anyway, Judith Prays first had the idea of hosting a Pheromone Party in the summer of 2009, and the first event was held in Mr UX studio in Brooklyn in November of 2010. The second event was hosted in LA after an article about the first event went viral. It was launched in the UK last month, and New Zealand is the next destination for this unique party.

These unique and … uh … smelly parties are by invitation only. You can like their facebook page to get regular updates or sign up for their mailing list to keep your nose sharp for when you get a whiff of these parties in your very own city.

Stay Smelly, Stave off Singlehood!

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Chaitra Ramalingegowda

Chaitra Ramalingegowda

I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew what it was. Love well written stories, writing with passion, baking lip-smacking-finger-licking chocolate cakes, engaging movies, and home-cooked food. A true work-in-progress and a believer in the idiom 'all those who wander are not lost'. Twitter: @ChaitraRlg