Sali Oguri, who blogs on perfume and music at Pink Manhattan, has a new piece on Examiner.com about perfumes that make the wearer seem thinner.
Every now and then, we hear about some new “scientific”Oguri puts the word scientific in scare quotes, but in fact there is evidence that a woman can make men think she weighs less by wearing a certain type of fragrance. The work was done by Alan Hirsch, a Chicago M.D. who runs a smell and taste clinic, holds several patents, and has written six books about smell.
discovery that a scent or formula was proven to make us
more attractive to the opposite sex.
Right now, the talk of perfumistaville is the Spicy Floral
perfume, often reported (even on AOL yesterday) that it
makes men think women are up to 12 lbs. lighter than they
Hirsch used a 5’9”, 245 pound woman as a model. On different days she wore one of three test scents as 50 men estimated her weight. Here’s how he describes the results:
Among the men tested, neither odor 1 (citrus floral) norHirsch has filed for a patent based on the concept. In “Method of altering weight perception” (United States Patent Application 20040137086, July 15, 2004) his main claim is:
odor 2 (sweet pea & lily of the valley) seemed to affect the
perception of weight. However, odor 3 (floral and spice)
significantly reduced the perception of the woman’s weight
by an average of 4.1 pounds. More remarkably, those men
who found the floral and spice odor to be pleasant perceived
the woman to be a full 12 pounds less than her actual weight.
A method of modifying perception of body weight, comprisingWhat kinds of odors qualify as floral and spice?
the step of: administering to a person for inhalation an effective
amount of a composition comprising a hedonically positive
mixture of a floral odorant and a spice odorant, wherein the
person perceives the body weight to be about 5-10% less than
actual body weight.
Examples of floral odorants include jasmine, lilac, lily of theSo how does a smell alter a guy’s perception of a woman’s weight? Orguri speculates about the multisensory impressions produced by smell:
valley, magnolia, rose, lavender, geranium, hyacinth, orange
blossom, apple blossom, carnation, and mixtures thereof.
Examples of spice odorants include cinnamon, ginger, cloves,
nutmeg, oriental spice, and mixtures thereof. In a preferred
embodiment, a mixed floral odorant and a mixed spice odorant
Perhaps the trick here is to keep the fragrance high-pitched,I think she’s on the right track. Smell is linked to the other senses. For example, I’ve shown that people naturally relate smells to auditory pitch: some smells are matched to high notes, others to low notes. (You can download a copy here.) We casually speak about some smells being “light” and others “heavy.” It wouldn’t surprise me if the “weight” of a scent altered our estimate of another person’s body weight.
just as light and airy instrumentation in music with harps
and flutes can make an audience visualize sprites.