On Romantic Matchmaking By Smell

1924-smell-test-smPossibly superior to online dating? Via Paleofuture, on when the new romance rage was organizing marriage by odor:

Dating sites claim they can find you the perfect match by using algorithms. This idea–wanting to make the frustrating world of romantic love into something quantifiable–is nothing new. The April 1924 issue of Science and Invention magazine ran an article by Hugo Gernsback, the magazine’s publisher, which examined the “scientific” ways to determine if a marriage will succeed or fail.

Gernsback claims that more marriages are probably wrecked by body odors than any other cause. During the body odor test, the couple is made to smell each other (“not a pleasant experience,” Gernsback opines) by one person being placed inside a large capsule with a hose coming out the top. The hose is led to the nose of the other person and if the smells aren’t found too objectionable (again, measured by devices strapped to the chest and wrist) then the romantic pairing is deemed safe.

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  • http://twitter.com/alizardx A.Lizard

    this has been revived. Parties are being organized in which people bring recently worn clothing in plastic bags, put bags on table, sniff. The Gernsback original approach updated with more modern bio-instrumentation might actually make more sense.

  • Spinonthis

    Interesting.  I can relate to this because I have a distractingly acute sense of smell.  I can smell semen on people, I can smell fear because some smells are also like tastes – if a feces smell is bad enough I can smell/taste it hours after and miles away from the source, even after a shower and toothbrushing/mouthwash.  Fear is a taste/smell like copper pennies and fetid body odor – there is an electric bite.

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