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Researchers believe that our unique bodily scent plays a larger role in our social lives than we know.

Now, social media entrepreneurs are putting that science to the test. Everyone knows that to find true love, you have to be yourself.

The human version of the MHC, called the human leukocyte antigen, or HLA, is also linked to a large number of olfactory receptors and appears to be particularly important for how we smell other people.

Like the MHC, the HLA has genes that influence how one’s immune system recognizes cells as belonging to oneself or an invader; HLA fit is one test used to determine whether or not an organ donor and recipient will be compatible.

Researchers agree that our sense of smell is important to human relationships, and that we are hard-wired to be drawn to people whose scent we like—be it from a bottle or their armpits.

But the idea that humans emit invisible chemicals that could drive us to a partner is hardly the consensus today. My first boyfriend had a smell I haven’t been able to shake years later, like dirt and earth and just-wet soil.

I’d get stinky T-shirt samples, other people would get stinky T-shirt samples, and if by chance any two of us chooses each other’s odor, the NYU team will introduce us.

Those receptors rocket the smell directly to the brain, a much quicker route than other senses take.

As a result, smell can trigger thoughts and behaviors very quickly.

Simply by using their sense of smell, mice end up choosing mates with MHC types that are not too similar, yet not too different, from their own, as a way to avoid inbreeding and to make their offspring evolutionarily as strong as possible.

Whether or not these odors play the same behavior-influencing role in human mate choice, however, is still up for some debate.

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