Part 2 of 4

As I wrote about earlier, there's a new perfume out that claims to camouflage the smell of age (the smell of organs shutting down, amongst other things, as we learned) at $120 for 3.04 ounces: Ageless Anti-Aging Perfume.

Currently, I'm out and about doing some fieldwork over the holiday break and will be back soon to report my own clinical findings. Till then, I thought we could take a look at the fragrance's composition, its claims and some preliminary supporting evidence that I've dug up.

Here's just a teaser that I can't wait to give away: Really want to make the men turn their heads? Studies show that a fragrance of lavender and pumpkin pie works best to increase a male's sexual response. If all else fails, raise your arms above your head to expose your axillae (armpits), purportedly the most provocative of gestures.

A little bit absurd, no? But it all has to do with the study of scent, one of the more murkier regions of the science world. But for whatever is out there, I must say that bits and bobs of this perfume's formulation are rooted in "clinical" studies (yes, those quotes around clinical are on purpose) and have strong anecdotal support (although I'm not sure that it is enough to warrant the $120 price tag).

On the website, the makers of the Ageless perfume (harvey prince) make some bold claims:

"Did you know that aging really does have an association with smell and people can perceive an older person's smell on both a conscious and unconscious level. The so-called "odor of aging" can make a person seem older than their chronological age and actual appearance. As women and men age, the body produces a chemical know as "noneal", which occurs as a result of the chemical breakdown of a fatty acid know as palmitoleic in the skin. This process breaks down into a form of an unsatured aildehype which emits an unpleasant greasy odor that experts say is the natural "body odor" scent of aging. This type of body odor is rarely present in people in their 20's and 30's, but can become quiet prominent around the age of 40. In a study published in the Journal of investigative Dermatology researchers found that women over the age of 40 have more than twice the levels of 2 -Nonenal in their skin than younger women. The same study found women over 40 having higher levels of Omega 7 and certain other lipids which, when broken down in the skin may contribute to a kind of "odor" commonly associated with older women and men. Patent-pending Ageless Fantasy was engineered to make you smell younger. No other product available today offers this technology. Research has shown that Ageless Fantasy™ on an average tested in clinical trials to show that it made men perceive the women was younger by 8 years."

What science is revealing is that 1) the cheering effect of pleasant fragrances may also make women more attractive to potential partners, 2) odors can effect nostalgic recall, and 3) increased olfactory stimulation prompts an increase in sexual activity (or penile blood flow).

Some of the best known, if most controversial, studies on the science of scent were done by Alan Hirsch, a Chicago neurologist who is the founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, a clinic and research group partly financed by the flavor and fragrance industry. As hypothesized, research undertaken by the institute has shown that pleasant odors would likely increase penile blood flow since they tend to positively increase other behaviors.

In addition to affecting penile blood flow, other outside research corroborates the important psychophysical effects that scent may have on the person. According to the Social Issues Research Center, mood-improvements have been observed in studies of the effects of perfume use on middle-aged women. In the article, "The Smell Report," it's revealed that "regular use of pleasant fragrances [has] a significant beneficial effect on the emotional well-being of mid-life females," and that "women experience equally positive effects."

Related posts:

Will a fragrance fool men into thinking you're younger than you are?

An olfactious examination of Ageless’ anti-aging perfume

A perfume to aid in the art of seduction

Dept of Daft: Pheradore