“Ingredients in Victoria’s Secret Bombshell and Ivanka Trump eaux de parfums that repel mosquitoes” [research study]

Humanity’s war against mosquitoes still rages, after the failure of another new strategy. This study gives details of the failure: “Ingredients in Victoria’s Secret Bombshell and Ivanka Trump eaux de parfums that repel mosquitoes,” Fangfang Zeng, Pingxi Xu, Kaiming Tan, Paulo Zarbin, Walter Leal, BioRxiv, August 3, 2017, doi.org/10.1101/172304. The authors, at the University of California Davis and Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil, report: “We […]

The dismaying danger of buying perfume as a gift

Craig Roberts, at the University of Stirling, warns you, based on his research, that there are “more reason to choose fragrances carefully“: there is no one-scent-fits-all effect here. Different fragrances suit different people. In a study with my Czech colleague [Ig Nobel Prize winner] Jan Havlíček, we found that some people get this spectacularly wrong. While […]

Smelly people in the office [podcast #78]

Smelly people in the smelly workplace — that’s the dilemma and joy of this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams  — with dramatic readings by FYFD fluid dynamicist Nicole Sharp — tells about: Hugging and what it means, maybe — “Smell Organization: Bodies and Corporeal Porosity in Office Work,” Kathleen Riach […]

Human-Milk-Smell Perfume, for the Benefit of Babies

What might be done to encourage babies to accept products which don’t naturally smell of human milk? “[…] babies prefer the odor attributes of human milk compared to those of artificial infant formula or milk products based on milk compositions of animal origin such as cow’s milk etc.” The Fraunhofer Society (owner, amongst much more, […]

Chemistry perfume PR innovation: In the future, “better” means “more”

Under a new interpretation — call it, perhaps, “The Belfast Interpretation” — more means better. To see how this works, read a publicity release issued by Queen’s University Belfast with the headline “Queen’s scientists develop first perfume which smells better the more you sweat“: Researchers in the Queen’s University Ionic Liquid Laboratories (QUILL) Research Centre have developed a […]

Soft Soft Research: affective responses to perfumed fabric softeners

This Week’s Press-Release-Trumpeted Study of the Week is: “Seeing, smelling, feeling! Is there an influence of color on subjective affective responses to perfumed fabric softeners?” Christelle Porcherot, Sylvain Delplanque, Nadine Gaudreau, Isabelle Cayeux, Food Quality and Preference,  epub 6 July 2012. The authors, at Firmenich, in Geneva, Switzerland and at the University of Geneva, explain: ” […]

Two more returning Ig winners: Sperm & Scented Suit

Two more returning Ig Nobel Prize winners have joined the lineup for the 21st First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony on Thursday night: Deborah Anderson [pictured here, delivering her acceptance speech] (2009 chemistry prize for testing whether Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide) Hyuk Ho Kwon (1999 environmental protection prize, for inventing the self-perfuming business suit). At least two other people […]

The scented business suit, demonstrated for chemists

Yesterday, at the American Chemical Society’s meeting in Denver, I demonstrated the Ig Nobel Prize-winning (prize in environmental protection, 1999) self-perfuming business suit. Chemical & Engineering News filmed this moment of fashion history: I also showed a bottle of DNA Cologne. It comes in a triple-helix-shaped bottle, and the packaging says “Product does not contain deoxyribonucleic […]