Science: Unit of Measurement
Olfactory Dating Metric   (+6, -2)  [vote for, against]
Could you cuddle the curdled?

According to a recent survey, 48% of Brits surveyed find body odour and poor personal hygiene a turn-off.

That leaves 52% who don't mind it a bit.

I suggest an extra metric on dating websites, so that users are able to define their degree of tolerance towards those qualities. Having this metric as a standard option, along with height and age preferences and the like, would help people of poor personal hygiene. Rather than contact people who fall into the 48% mentioned above, they can instead focus their efforts on the 52% who are more likely to enjoy their close company when they meet in person. Everybody wins. The noisome needn't be lonesome!

Meanwhile, the whiffy romantics who do decide to contact people with low skank-tolerance will make more of an effort to make themselves olfactorially presentable; again, to the benefit of all concerned.

Admittedly, people aren't always likely to admit to their olidosity, but the same goes for attractiveness, so that's not a major objection.

Equally, some people might be shy to admit that they're willing to befriend the mephitically talented, but if they want to unnecessarily limit their pool of potential suitors, that's fine. It leaves all the more choice for those who are fine with the thought of a malodorous match, a lover who's yechy yet sexy.
-- imaginality, Dec 01 2006

(?) The survey I mentioned
Other findings: don't talk about your sauce collection [imaginality, Dec 01 2006]

Impressive use of language and vocabulary, but where is the invention? Although I appreciate the keen "scentiment" involved in the idea's creation, I doubt that the worst offenders are the best judges of their condition, and this proposal does nothing to improve that olfactory perception.
-- jurist, Dec 01 2006

'Scentiment' - very nice, I like it.

The invention, for what it's worth, is that this could be a new preference category for dating websites. (As a new metric of sorts, rather than a whole new type of dating website, this seemed the appropriate category.) I'm suggesting that, amidst the standard 'preferred age, preferred sex, preferred level of education' kind of options, this particular category has been sadly overlooked as a possibility, and that including it could have some benefits and/or interesting consequences.
-- imaginality, Dec 01 2006

//I doubt that the worst offenders are the best judges of their condition, and this proposal does nothing to improve that olfactory perception.//

What about those poor people who are all too aware of it, yet have not found an effective treatment? This would allow them to find others who are willing to overlook that tragic flaw, to judge them for their sense rather than their scents.
-- imaginality, Dec 01 2006

Every dating site that I've seen allows the poster to admit that their eye colors don't match, their teeth are uneven, they are a few pounds overweight, or even that they cannot escape the garlicky scent of DMSO. Most choose to accentuate the positive attributes of their personalities, spirits, achievements, and corporeal beings and de-emphasize the negative.

Olfactory judgment should probably be left to the raters on "Am I Hot Or Not".
-- jurist, Dec 01 2006

Just to be clear, this idea doesn't require *anyone* to pass judgment on their own aromas (or anyone else's). I agree that people are unlikely to emphasise their limitations. It's about saying how *tolerant* you are of adverse aromas - the inventive aspect being the creation of this as a 'normal' category to complete (optionally) as part of your profile.

So the question is, whether and why people are likely to overstate or understate their tolerance in that regard.

I imagine the main reason why people would claim to be *less* tolerant of body odours than they actually are would be that they're worried that it would be mostly smelly people who contact them. (Though then again, if it doesn't bother them, where's the problem?)

On the other hand, normal people might be more likely to contact someone who's revealed themselves to be tolerant in this respect, since it might be taken as a sign of a tolerant personality in general. That possibility could even sway some people to state they're *more* tolerant than they actually are, in the hope that non-smelly people will be impressed by their openness.
-- imaginality, Dec 01 2006

put this croissant under your arm +
-- xenzag, Dec 01 2006

But what is your metric? How strongly someone smells? How often they floss? It seems subjective. I find that some people smell quite nice while others are a little repulsive. Some smell very nice on top of their head, for instance.

Perhaps to ensure you find a pleasant smelling person the selection of a date could include mailed envelopes with:

- a piece of chewing gum that has been kept in overnight
- a sweater that has been worn for two or three days
- pants or jeans that have been worn for two days

If the smells give you butterflies in your stomach, it's a match!
-- jmvw, Dec 01 2006

random, halfbakery