When it comes to matters of the heart, your nose knows. That's the theory, anyhow, behind Houston's newest dating game: the pheromone party.
Pheromones are chemical transmitters that are thought to signal sexual attraction in the animal kingdom.
"Chemistry is everything. It really matters," said matchmaker Amber Neal, who consulted on the party, which was held at Nouveau Antique Art Bar in Midtown.
Participants were instructed to sleep in one of their t-shirts for three consecutive nights.
"They put them in a Ziploc bag and they freeze them during the day," explained Jennifer Huthmacher, with party organizer Houston Social Source. "And when they get home they can put them in the dryer to warm them up and put them on before bed again."
At the party, the undergarments were all sampled – sniffed, really – by singles of the opposite sex.
Emily, one of the eligible bachelorettes, said one sample emitted "a nice comfortable smell. It's not overpowering. It just smells like something you can snuggle up with."
"This one really doesn't do for me," said Brian, after taking a deep whiff. "Something about that; I don't know if it's a turnoff but it doesn't smell, I'd say, sweet."
Pheromones do not emit a detectable scent. But they are believed to trigger a tingle, deep in the animal brain.
"To me, I think it's fantastic," said a woman named Liane. "Because this is what we've been doing for thousands upon thousands of years."
According to Houston Social Source pheromones assisted in four "love connections," plus four more matches that were unrelated to the undershirts.