When dogs encounter another dog, they sniff each other, typically each other’s backsides, to get a feel for what that other dog is like, where they’ve been, and whether they’re a friend or foe.
A lot of mammals do a variation of this, even humans. And we’re not just talking about pheromones.
A new study found that people are more likely to have friends with a similar body odour. In an experiment, they had people stay on their own, away from their partners and pets and had them wear white t-shirts that were provided to them. Then, they used computer and human analysis to compare the smells on the shirts.
The “odour signatures” of friends were statistically more closely matched than odours between non-friends, and it was also predictive.
There was another experiment where they had people mingle with a series of strangers nearby for a few minutes, then they asked who they felt like they “clicked” with. And the smell analysis predicted 77% of the people who “clicked,” and 68% of cases where both sides said they did not click.