Dr Feelgood: Can perfume trigger love?
Your weekly health and beauty check-up
Sunday 07 December 2008
Under the microscope: Pheromone-effect perfume: Molecule 01 by Escentric (£59 for 100ml) www.escentric.com
In theory: Pheromone perfumes (those containing chemicals that trigger sexual attraction in others) have been around for some time, but they have, somewhat ironically, represented one of the least sexy fragrance options. That was until the cool Escentric range hit the beauty halls, selling out in the US. Based on an aroma-chemical called Iso E Super, unisex formulation Molecule 01 is described as an "effect" rather than a "perfume" and claims to lend radiance to the wearer.
In practice: Like many great perfumes, this doesn't smell like much when you sniff it in the bottle – but apply it to skin, and it really warms up to become a unique, musky scent that's hard to identify as anything in particular but which all of Dr F's able assistants – male and female – pronounced absolutely delicious.
Observations: Lots of compliments on the scent, so it was a sensory success. OK, OK, so what you all want to know is whether Dr F was flooded with proposals of marriage... Well, during the two-week trial, Dr F did receive two date invitations (tragically above her average tally), but who can say whether this was down to her sparkling pheromones or sparkling wit?
Analysis: There is definitely something about this perfume. It's hard to put your finger on, but then that may be the point. It somehow manages to smell familiar and comforting, while being totally unlike any other scent Dr F can recall, and it may well be that cocktail of reassurance and intrigue that makes it the perfect fragrance for fostering romance.
Prescription: Pheromones, schmeromones – simply smelling nice is attractive and if you are after a distinctive signature scent that's a break from the old floral/citrus/ oriental norms, this is the one.
Further experiments: For more fragrances likely to make an impression on potential paramours, the Memo range is sensual and evocative – Dr F's favourite is Lalibela (from £75, www.harveynichols.com).
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