A dating firm has been inspired by studies showing that women judge a man's attractiveness by his personal (biological, not aftershave) odour. The theory is that evolution has made us (both men and women but arguably more so for women) sensitive to the genetic make up of our partner's immune system, for two reasons; 1) to avoid mating with relatives (the immune system can be a reliable indicator of overall genetic similarity) and 2) to optimise the immune system of our offspring.
Like the studies, the dating company lets people sniff a t-shirt that somebody has been wearing for 3 days, this way they can judge their odour without being distracted by their looks! But interestingly, rather than pairing up people that found each other's smell attractive, the individuals get to see a photo of who liked their t-shirt smell, and then go and chat to those they find good-looking.
Of course the whole idea of finding your perfect match resembles the paradox of choice, where we are overwhelmed by far more options that our ancestors faced in the past and thus find it harder to find true love than someone living in a small village with just a few options!
They are using pheromones - a scent we all give off and which some believe plays a big role in attraction - and are encouraging us to smell our way to true love. The idea is that would-be daters first sleep in the same t-shirt for three nights, and then on their arrival they put these shirts into numbered plastic bags. If someone then likes the smell of a shirt, they can have their photo taken holding the numbered bag. These are then projected onto a wall, and the shirt's owner is then free to find the person holding up their number.