Desire’s In The Air

Oct 17, 2009 • News, Research

Anyone with an e-mail account has heard about pheromones, those magical chemicals that trigger behaviors in organisms.

Today, hundreds of companies are trying to capitalize on the idea of human pheromones to attract the opposite sex, never mind that no study has ever really identified them. What we do know is that scent matters. Scent, after all, can trigger memory like nothing else. And, of course, it plays a deciding role in attraction.

In the late 1990s, Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, director of Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, conducted a study that found a lot of food smells were incredibly arousing for men. Among these: the combination of pumpkin pie and lavender; cinnamon buns, doughnuts and licorice; pumpkin pie and doughnuts; orange; and lavender and doughnuts; buttered popcorn and cheese pizza.

(Wow, so the stench of most of my ex-boyfriends’ rooms in my early 20s wasn’t only not disgusting, it was actually arousing to them. Scary.)

True to our capitalistic spirit, someone has made a scent to cash in on the supposed aphrodisiac qualities of one of these combinations. Eau Flirt is a blend of black currant, plum, raspberry, apple, and black licorice and lavender, jasmine, ylang, nutmeg and cinnamon (the classic aromas of pumpkin pie), musk and woods.

At $98 a bottle, this baby costs more than most designer scents. Is it worth it? Only one way to find out, right?

I’ll tell you one thing–I’m glad it doesn’t involve notes of buttered popcorn and pizza.

Thumbnail image by Zsuzsanna.