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This is not a parody; this is serious. I didn’t make this up to win a bet or anything. This is just honest reporting.

Just when you think you’ve heard everything, someone comes up with something you would’ve regarded as too stupid (or gross) to consider. Smell Dating’s new approach suggests that New York singles have trouble meeting Mr. or Miss Right in that city of millions. It also suggests that techniques used by people in other locales for millennia for determining if they’re interested in meeting someone don’t work for New Yorkers. Here’s the scheme:

For a $25 fee, matchees receive a T-shirt to wear for three straight days. Bathing is not allowed. My immediate reactions are: 1) this is for use in the winter only, 2) only for sedentary people who don’t work physical jobs or exercise, and 3) have poor or bizarre senses of smell.

Here comes the hard part. When the T-shirts are properly marinated, wearers remove them by pulling them past their noses and off over their heads, the quicker the better. The more sensitive seal them into Ziploc bags to keep the aroma from permeating everything in the room. The T-shirts are mailed back to Smell Dating for processing.

Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne, teacher and researcher, respectively, at NYU receive the aromatic shirts and cut them into swatches labeled with the number of the client who wore the shirt. (Now we know why NYU charges the highest undergraduate tuition of any college in the country.) They send each client a set of ten swatches from other clients, without regard to sexual preference.

Clients then whiff each swatch to identify which, if any, smell like a person they’d like to date. No results of the outcome of the success rate for this matching have been posted.