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Friends share a lot with each other, even their body odor |  Sciences

Friends share a lot with each other, even their body odor | Sciences

Many factors come into play when choosing our friends: personality, shared interests, social class, and/or the circumstances in which we get to know each other. Now researchers have found another component that appears to play a (significant) role: those who share the same body odor are more likely to become friends.

In a small study published in the professional journal science progressScientists have investigated whether our sense of smell plays a role in choosing our friends. Body odor already has an influence on our partner’s choice, wouldn’t it also be possible to determine – in a subtle way – who we still want to spend time with?

To put it to the test, twenty duos were mobilized. They were sent home with a clean shirt and some envelopes. For example, the participants were not allowed to eat onions, garlic, or any other foods that affected body odor for a while. In addition, they were not allowed to use deodorant and perfume. Finally, the participants had to sleep with the shirt on all night so that they could smell like themselves. This shirt was then returned to the researchers and examined using an electronic nose. This electronic nose instantly found similar ingredients or “smells” in friends.

Friends often share the same lifestyle and eat the same type of food. This may also be an explanation for body odor, although the anonymous people clicking also share the same body odor with each other. © Getty Images / Mascot

mirror game

“People are very likely to wear perfume when they meet, but this perfume cannot mask the scent they share,” said lead researcher Inbal Raffrebi, who studies the sense of smell. Since friends usually share a similar lifestyle and also eat the same type of food, this may also explain why they have the same body odor.

That’s why the Israeli research team went one step further with a second experiment: the mirror game. 132 strangers were asked to participate. They also had to monitor their food for a while, they weren’t allowed to use deodorant or perfume and to sleep with the shirt they then brought into the experiment.

The electronic nose was once again able to predict who would cooperate well based on the T-shirts. After a mirror game in which strangers had to imitate each other’s movements at a distance of half a meter, they indicated who to click. These findings are consistent with electronic nose predictions, which tied people together based on common components of body odor.

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