Smells Like Love: Pheromone Parties

Jamie Reidy shares the story of the latest rage in matchmaking: pheromone parties where attendees smell each other’s clothes.

USA Today reports:

The get-togethers — which have been held in New York and Los Angeles and are planned for other cities — ask guests to submit a slept-in T-shirt that will be smelled by other participants. Then, voila! You can pick your partner based on scent, or so the theory goes.

I once stopped seeing a woman because she had a weird scent. But I dunno if I’ve ever found a person more attractive once I’d smelled her; meaning she went from, say, a 7 to a 9 after I’d caught a whiff.

Certain scents still drive me insane. Salon Selectives hairspray, for one. Two women I’ve been in love with used that brand; it’s seared into my brain. Fortunately, it fell out of favor at least ten years ago, so it’s not like I’m bombarded with memories throughout the day or anything.

Research studies using similar T-shirt experiments have shown that whose smell a person prefers is dictated by a set of genes that influence our immune response — which researchers say is nature’s way of preventing inbreeding and preserving genetic adaptations developed over time.

“Humans can pick up this incredibly small chemical difference with their noses,” said Martha McClintock, founder of the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago. “It is like an initial screen.”

Would you attend a pheromone party?

Photo by: bazusa

About Jamie Reidy

Jamie Reidy is a former U.S. Army officer turned little blue pill pusher turned author. His first book "Hard Sell: The Evolution of A Viagra Salesman"
served as the basis for the movie "Love and Other Drugs" starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Jamie is currently writing his new book, "Game On: One Fanatic's Fantastic, Foolish and Futile Attempt to Attend 365 Sporting Events in 365 Days." He discovered his latest story featured on Good Men Project - "Hope Shoots and Scores" - on Day 39 of his crazy journey.


  1. Jamie Reidy says:

    Coworkers should not be smelling each other’s skin, let alone discussing when they are fertile.

  2. No, I would not attend a pheromone party. I live in a valley full of dirty hippies. I can go to the grocery store and be at a pheromone party.

    That said, I love the smells of my loved ones. I do. I want to sniff their heads, starting with babes in arms and most def including my lovers. It’s their smell in the least funky way, and how I like to remember them. Scents are very strongly attached to memories, and smelling my sweetheart’s head (or a baby’s) makes me feel good.

    I think I just made myself sound weirder than the T-shirt sniffers.

    • GirlGlad4TheGMP says:

      Lol Justin, I don’t think it sounds weird at all.

      I think in certain circles I’d try it (I, luckily, don’t live in a valley of dirty hippies)…I’m curious to know if it works, and what is says about us.
      I do believe there is something to it though. The first and only proposal I’ve ever accepted came from a man whose sweaty smell I found not only inoffensive, but kind of comforting.
      I also had a co-worker who used to be able to tell when I was fertile by smelling my skin (and he was scary-accurate).

      • I also had a co-worker who used to be able to tell when I was fertile by smelling my skin (and he was scary-accurate).

        I believe it! Some people have very acute senses of smell. My husband can tell by my scent if I’m fighting an infection.

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