Tuesday, June 28, 2022
People with similar body odours are more likely to “click” and become instant friends, according to several experiments.
When we first meet other people, we sometimes experience an “immediate strong click that makes us feel as if we have already been good friends for years”, says Inbal Ravreby at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
She wondered if this may have something to do with body odour, because previous research has found that we subconsciously sniff each other on meeting – for example, by lifting our hand to our nose after shaking someone’s hand.
Ravreby and her colleagues recruited 20 pairs of same-sex, non-romantic friends – half female and half male – who said they clicked straight away on first meeting.
An electronic nose – a device that senses the chemical components of odours – was used to sniff T-shirts that had been worn by each of the participants. The nose found that body odour was more similar between the friend pairs than between random pairs that were formed by shuffling the participants.
A group of 25 independent adults who sniffed the participants’ T-shirts also reported that the friend pairs smelled more alike than random pairs did.
Maybe this could be incorporated into dating websites.