Fragrances: do not wear them… eat them!

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Did you know that some fragrances can be eaten? Well, this is not so new as already in the Ancient Egypt, some fragranced preparations could be used externally (on skin and hair) but also drunk (like a plant and spicy infusion). In Europe, in the 18th century and even before, the Vinaigre de Toilette, was also used in both ways. In a more contenporary context the Fragrance industry has been using Diéthylphtalate  in order to denaturate the alcohol so that people would not drink it.

juliette-has-a-gun-not-a-perfume

But since the 90’s 2 keywords were used and that generated new Fragrance trends: Well-being and Food-supplements. Both together created a new generation of food but also a new generation of fragrances… From the moisturizing anti-radicals yoghourt towards the Fragrance and the Deodorant you eat, a full range of new products started being launched. We call it alicaments, or alismetics, they are basic food, like water, milk or some cakes enriched with cosmetic properties. Not so long ago, we could spot out in some trendy shops in Europe the beverages Beauty and Go! Basically a pure water enriched with silicons. This would make your skin beautiful.

Beauty_to_go colette

photo: http://www.thedieline.com

But these trends have been developing for a while in Europe, what is more interesting, or let’s say more radical, would come from Asia. Fragrances that you eat and that would exhale from your skin or fragrance your time at the toilets!

As we know, nothing more unpleasant than emanate bad scents from your body, either perspiration or…. worse. Some companies are integrating in their R&D a new generation of fragrances that one would eat. The effect would be that the fragrance would exhale from your skin pores.

Perfume Candy – Skin Deodorant

Perfume_Candy

This is Perfume Candy. Basically you eat these candies and after a couple of hours, your skin start smelling Rose. According to the brand, Ecodeum, the effect can last for 6 hours. You even have a “sugar-free” version. One little bag containing between 2 to 4 candies, contain around 12mg of Geraniol, one of the main elements found in Rose essential oil. So the company says that they imported from Bulgaria, an important producer of Rose for perfumery.

 

Pillbox Japan – Find every pill you want.

Kaoru_pillbox_japan
In Japan, the king of pills is http://www.pillboxjapan.com. You can basically find any pill you need. And they sell the fragrance pills from Kaöru, also based on Geraniol and Rose Oil.

Lucy Mcrae and her Swallowable Fragrance pill

Australian artist Lucy Mcrae, has been exploring the human body and how to modify its appearance. One of her several projects was about the swallowable Fragrance pill. According to the artist: “Swallowable Parfum is a cosmetic capsule that enables human skin to emit a genetically unique scent about who we are and how we perform our identities. Once absorbed the skin becomes a platform, an atomizer; A biologically enhanced second skin synthesized directly from the natural processes of the body, redefining the role of skin“.

swallowable-parfum-lucy-mcrae_1

This is how Lucy Mcrae explains how it works. She teams up with acclaimed synthetic biologist Sheref Mansy and are currently in research phase to develop a capsule that consists of synthesized fragrant lipid molecules that mimic the structure of normal fat molecules naturally found in the body. The human body has enzymes that metabolize fat in a series of steps that free lipids and lipid-like molecules from their scaffolds. Swallowable Parfum takes advantage of these natural enzymes found in our bodies to release fragrant molecules from larger structures. Subsequently, the liberated fragrant molecules are excreted through the skin’s surface during perspiration.

Geraniol and why all these products have it.

One good question would be, why all these products contain Geraniol and Rose oil, rather than lavender, or cedar wood or something else than rose? Well, this is related to the natural properties of Rose oil and specifically Geraniol. In deed the natural metabolism process in the body tend to use lipids in a certain way as described by Sheref Mansy here above. Geraniol is an alcohol but still associated with the lipid family, Isoprene Units in Isoprenoids, like Farnesol or Squalene. So searchers identified the properties of Geraniol to be exhaled by the skin after a certain quantity ingested via the lipid digestion and elimination process. Or, Geraniol is today part of the black list of many Fragrance organizations. Geraniol as well as other Fragrance ingredients have been limited and sometimes banned by law because of the effects of it. As it penetrates quite well on the skin, it provides, under certain circumstances allergy problems. So according to IFRA, Geraniol should always be identify on the INCI formulas.

What we know about different studies ran by the BDIH, the powerful German organization, , is that Geraniol can produce allergies to certain people mainly in 2 cases:

  1. If It is present alone as a single compound. Indeed studies showed that Geraniol integrated naturally in a Rose oil produces less allergies probabilities than used alone. That’s why products from Dr. Hauschka represent a few percentage of the allergy cases because all ingredients are integrated fully inside the essential oils used.
  2. If the concentration of Geraniol is higher or equal to 5%. Normal quantities accepted are between 0.1% to 0.5%.

In the case of the Perfume Candy, there are 12mg of Geraniol for 2.6 ounces = 73gr. So it represents around 0.16% of the total product. Legally speaking it is ok but people who developed allergies about Geraniol, should be careful with it as the Geraniol, although under the limits, is present as single component. If you eat this kind o product you should also respect the quantities described by the manufacturer as people would tend to eat a lot of candies in order to smell stronger.

 

Does it really works?

george-pretiDr. George Preti is an analytical organic chemist currently working at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For more than four decades, his research has focused upon the nature, origin and functional significance of human odors. Dr. Preti’s laboratory has identified characteristic underarm odorants and he collaborates with companies like Symrise or Procter&Gamble. According to him, things are not so simple. Indeed, the body smell is not the same between your armpit, your mouth, your hair or your feet. This is due to the different conditions of temperature and humidity that influences the work of your skin bacteria to digest your perspiration. People realizes that if you eat a lot of garlic or spices, your skin changes its scent. Preti says that no one never really proved it with scientific tests. In any case, you are suppose to eat quite big quantities and for longtime.

What happens if you eat big quantities of Geraniol during a long period? We do not know for sure, but we say that the more a person is exposed to a possible allergen, the probability to get an allergy increases. Not everybody is allergic to strawberries or carrots but if you eat quite a big quantity of those every single day, you increases the allergy possibility. So you should be careful.

 

What to do then?

Our grand mothers would probably say: “Stop being so lazy and get a life!”. And they would be right! These pills or candies are what we call “Let’s hope for a lazy miracle to arrive”. Here are some real advices to keep a good body scent.

  • Wash yourself regularly, once a day minimum and more depending where you live and what you do during the day
  • Dry your skin properly, towel off, so that bacteria responsible for body odor will not develop.
  • Keep a good healthy lifestyle: Do not smoke, do not drink too much and prefer healthy food rather than too much of fat or heavy foods.
  • Do sports or at least keep an active life.
  • And yes, use a “normal” deodorant. There are many brands proposing good 24h efficient deodorants or you can use the alternative of the Alum stone. Very efficient, you would be surprised.

healthy-life

Roses are red, sky is blue, and you will not fall in every marketing trap.
LA

 

Info sourced Delphine Minard, Product Manager at Victorinox Fragrances for Luxuryactivist.com. Sources also from abcnews.com, cosmopolitan, Dailymail.co.uk, Men’s Health UK, Perfumecandy.com, pillboxjapan.com, wikipedia, LeMonde.fr, Theguardian.co.uk. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.

LuxuryActivist is an international lifestyle webzine based in Switzerland. Get fresh news about luxury, arts, fashion, beauty, travel, high-tech and more. subscribe to our Happy friday luxury newsletter or follow us in social media.