April Fools! We might have just (not) revolutionized the world of online dating. Meeting people online has become second nature to most people now, especially after the last few years (thanks, COVID). You can learn a lot about someone before ever meeting them in person. What used to be just one-on-one messaging and swiping has now totally transformed. Video chatting, voice calls, and in-depth profiles can give a really good sense of someone’s personality and whether or not you click. But, there’s always been one thing missing from the equation. Smell.
If you’re beyond confused, just bear with me. Out of our five senses, smell is sometimes thought of as one of the least important, but it’s so much more valuable than people think. We’ve been using our sense of smell to keep ourselves alive and to enjoy the lives we live since pretty much forever. Smells warn us about danger, but they also unlock memories, change our moods, and influence emotion. Sounds pretty necessary if you ask me.
Smells in the Dating World
So, what does this all have to do with dating? Everything, really. How someone smells can heavily affect how you feel about them. I know we’ve all smelled someone and thought, “damn…” but it goes beyond just physical attraction. Smell information gets sent to all different parts of our brains and gets all wrapped up in our instinctual cues. Wtf does that mean? That the way someone smells can give our brains a little PSA about where someone ranks on traits we care about.
Despite all that very important-sounding info, smell hasn’t been translated into digital form with much success. We’re forced to rely on seeing and hearing the people we’re chatting with, and how they smell is totally left out. The team here at POF decided to change that. Get ready to have your mind blown.
The Future of Scent Technology
While all of you have been out there in the world not smelling your dates before you meet them, the POF team has been sneakily working behind the scenes to bring you the feature you never knew you needed. This isn’t some Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-Factory-style technology or a digital scratch and sniff. That’s impossible… for now. This is our data scientists doing what they do best. Analyzing data to predict patterns, cause science is cool.
Introducing – Scent Compatibility. When someone’s opted-in to this new feature, you’ll be able to see how their scent ranks on top attributes by looking at their extended scent profile. If you’re both opted-in to the feature, you’ll even see your very own personalized smell match rating. If you’re wondering how on earth we made this happen, we’ll give you the TLDR. A sample group of online daters were mailed a scent collection kit to swab themselves and send back in. Volunteers “evaluated” (AKA smelled) those swabs and ranked them on a scale of 1-10 for important smell-related attributes like trustworthiness, attraction, and repulsion (yes, we’re serious). Then, our data team used the findings to create our scent compatibility system.
So, How Does it Work?
If you’re itching to opt-in to this new feature and share your sweet scent with the world, here’s how it works. Once you’ve opted-in, you too will be mailed a scent collection kit to swab yourself and send back to our team. Thanks to COVID, swabbing is normal so it’s not weird, okay? Our team will add your scent into the system, and our algorithms will translate your scent into attribute rankings. Since we know you’re curious, these are the ten attributes you’ll be ranked on and a sneak peek at the feature:
If you’re worried about how you’ll rank on certain traits, that’s between you and your smell. Maybe your scent will expose you. Or, maybe it’ll end up being sure-fire proof you are who you describe yourself as.
Online dating should feel as much like real life as possible. That’s why we’re so excited about this new feature. Now, you can finally sniff out someone’s vibes (literally) before meeting up. You’re welcome.