Could the way a person smells be more important than the way they look? Could the way a person smells be more important than the way they look? Could the way a person smells be more important than the way they look? (Photo: Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock)

New dating app may use scent to help you find a mate

Technology based on years of science showing certain people's pheromones match better with others.

There's Tindr, there's Bumble, there's all sorts of dating apps in the modern era. (There's even dating apps for dogs.) But they all basically utilize the same concept. You create a profile – post a picture of yourself, list your likes and dislikes – and hope beyond hope that somebody wants to go on a date with you. The last thing you want is another night home alone, binging TV and eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

But what if there was another, more scientific, way to find a mate?

An Israeli startup called Nanoscent thinks they might have a solution for you. The company is working on a technology that would match people according to their scent profiles. That's nothing to sneeze at.

Consider this: Numerous studies have shown that biochemistry between couples often involves the role of pheromones. Certain people are attracted to certain scents. For example, a Swiss study asked 50 women to smell T-shirts worn by a variety of men and asked them if they thought the scent was pleasant or not. Overall, the women were more likely to prefer the scent of men with dissimilar MHC, genes coding for pheromone scent. In fact, that scent tended to remind them of their boyfriends, both past and present. The study was possible proof of the old adage that opposites attract.

Nanoscent – based in the coastal Mediterranean city of Haifa – is gathering scent profiles from dozens of couples. They're putting this information into a database to best determine which scent profiles work well together. Put simply, they might discover that women with a scent profile of XYZ will stay happily married to men with scent profiles of ABC.

The brainchild behind this technology is Hossam Haick. He previously did research at the Weizmann Institute of Science and Ben-Gurion University, both in Israel, as well as at the California Institute of Technology. For more than a decade now, he has been a professor at Israel's Technion Institute.

He has spent his entire career on the invention of a robotic nose. He has already discovered a way for his artificial nose to sniff out lung cancer, stomach cancer and 17 other diseases. For that, he was named by MIT as one of its top innovators under 35 and received the Discovery Award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Nanoscent's nose matchmaker is not on the market yet. So, for now, open Tindr and keep swiping right. But hopefully soon, you'll be able to sniff right instead.


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