Who knew your perfume could be as good as that awful insect stuff?
An interesting new study conducted by New Mexico State University has seen Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume perform reduced to the same standards as commercial insect repellents. Published in the Journal of Insect Science, the researchers tested 10 different off-the-shelf products against two types of insects, yellow fever and the Asian tiger mosquito, and discovered some interesting results.
Three out of the ten products chosen for the study contained DEET as an active ingredient. DEET is an insect repellent, so it is not surprising that these three commodities worked well against fighting the blood-sucking insects. However it was in fact two of the DEET-free products, Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume and Avon’s Skin So Soft Bath Oil, that produced the remarkable results.
Despite the lack of DEET, both worked wonders at deflecting mosquitos. However while Avon’s bath oil warded off one type of mosquito, VS’s perfume repelled both the yellow fever and Asian tiger varieties.
From the interesting results, researchers claim, “…not all commercially available mosquito repellents are effective in repelling mosquitoes, and that efficacy is also dependent on the species of mosquito that is repelled.”
While that’s all great to know, what we are really excited about is that these conclusions actually bust the floral perfume myth.
“Our results challenge the notion that floral, perfume-scented sprays in general, attract mosquitoes. Floral fragrances may actually provide a masking odor resulting in low mosquito attraction rates.”
For all of you perfume lovers out there, this is fantastic news. We now have free reign on wearing as much perfume as we like to Summer barbecues and not getting abused by our friends when they choke on the smell of our chosen scent.
However, don’t get too excited. Many perfumes and other beauty products similar to Victoria’s Secret Bombshell contain endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with our bodies by blocking or mimicking your hormone system when delivered at certain doses. When high levels of these chemicals are in your system, they can cause birth defects in children, both mental and physical development disorders as well as certain cancers.
Seemingly harmless household and beauty products that often contain traces of endocrine disruptors include shaving gel, lotions, makeup, food additives and toothpaste, with the worst culprits being perfumes, pesticides and deodorants. Chemicals that are endocrine disruptors to humans are diethylstilbesterol (DES), dioxin, certain pesticides, PCBs and DDT.
The DES drug caused an incredible amount of damage in the 1950s and 60s when doctors recommended it to women to prevent miscarriages. Not only did the drug not work as it was prescribed, but children born from women who had used it often had health problems, highlighted when doctors started seeing an abnormally high rate of teenage girls with defects of the ovaries and uterus as well as vaginal cancers.
So before you start bathing yourself in perfume to avoid nasty insects like mosquitos, take a second to think about the potential risks you may be exposing yourself to. The insects may be onto something…
Our fave natural perfumes
Left to right: Vered Blue Violet, Tsi-La Organics Fleur Savage, Acorelle Divine Orchidee and Organic Glam By The Organic Pharmacy In Jasmine.
Isabelle is a writer who has a hundred-and-one side-splittingly funny stories about growing up at an all-girls boarding school, with a chocolate habit that requires constant monitoring. Follow Isabelle on Twitter.