Perfumes often come in all shape and sizes. They aren’t capable of just masking your body’s odor, but they are also capable of delivering that extra something, which is sure to make some heads turn. Flowery and fresh, sweet and protruding, silent and subtle, a perfume is just the kind of thing you need to start your day. Ever wondered about what your daily perfume can do for you? Well, according to a study performed on Avon products, it seems that a fancy perfume can be used as bug spray.
Before barging into your local perfume shop and buying a tons of them to use instead of ordinary repellant, let’s talk a little bit about the facts surrounding this rather unorthodox discovery.
How did it all start? A couple of scientists from the University of Mexico were eager to test the repellent abilities of about 10 widely-known brands of perfumes. In their tests they used popular fragrances like Victoria Secret’s Bombshell and soft bath oil from Avon. All of this produces contain a compound that has the ability to repel flying pests like mosquitos. Also known as DEET or deithyltoluamide, it looks like a yellowish oil.
DEET can be used to fashion different types of repellants that can be applied directly on the skin and even on your clothes. Fun fact: the compound was developed in 1944 by the American Army in order to help soldiers in jungle warfare.
Jungle warfare, DEET and a fancy perfume used as bug spray: how to make heads or tails about any of these? In order to test out their rather quaint theory, the scientists have set up a lab experiment involving a couple of perfumes, some scientific gear that looks like kitchenware and, of course, a couple of pesky mosquitos.
Researchers got together two different species of mosquitos and threw them in a fish tank. The first specie is the Asian tiger mosquito, which is capable of transmitting the West Nile virus. The second one is the yellow fever mosquito.
So, with the help of a tube, a tank and a couple of forks, the researchers went ahead and tested the mosquito’s reaction to each perfume. One part of the tube was attached to the fish tank, while the other end was attached to a fork. Basically, one of the forks was scented, while the other one was left opened.
During a 2-minute experiment, the forks were scented with each perfume and the mosquito’s reaction was measured. Results have shown that when the hand was left unsprayed, the yellow fever critter would take a swing at it approximately 65% percent of the time. When sprayed with Victoria’s Bombshell, their reaction dropped to 17 percent.
No one knows why the perfume has such a high rate of success in repelling those nasty critters. Scientists tend to speculate that the perfume has the capacity of masking our body odors from the mosquito.