Dating by smell

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I don’t wake up and smell like burning forests and dryads and gold — I pay my way into that illusion. I wore jasmine scented all natural deodorant and sprayed my favorite perfume in the air of my room and walked around the scent plume — I wasn’t it, so to speak, but if a few molecules dropped on the cotton then IT WAS MERELY A COINCIDENCE, YOUR HONOR.

I made scones for breakfast, leaned against the counter to get close to the herbs as they baked.

Before I started, I thought having my control over scent taken away from me would be fun, but now I realized that it was actually terrifying and vulnerable in ways I hadn’t bargained for. What if this experiment just proved my deepest fear: that I am utterly unremarkable?

Without perfume to guide my invisible persona, whoever smelled my shirt might actually see how fucking my life is from day to day. On my first day wearing the shirt, I bucked the rules entirely.

Made in collaboration with Sam Lavigne, it is a participatory project that invites people to find new connections using only their noses.

After a few big sniffs, you choose your favorite t-shirt smells on the Smell Dating website and if there’s a match, the service connects you over email.

The rest — a date, marriage, lifelong love — is up to you.

I tried to coordinate my schedule for the day into one of sensory pleasures that would rub off on the shirt.

I fantasized about hanging around my favorite bakery when they were making fresh bread and cannolis, I planned to stand outside a laundromat for two minutes to try to absorb the smell of fresh laundry.

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