Dr. Alan Hirsch, director of the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation in Chicago, reported back in 2005 that a study showed that women wearing the scent of pink grapefruit were perceived by men to be six years younger than their age.
He tried several types of scents on male and female middle-aged models: broccoli, pumpkin pie, pink grapefruit, banana, cucumbers and spearmint leaves, and invited individuals of the same and the opposite sex to smell said subjects and subsequently estimate how old they were.
Hirsch, who is described as a board-certified neurologist and psychiatrist, reported that men tended to report middle-aged women wearing an essence of pink grapefruit were perceived as being, on an average, six years younger than their actual ages. The odor of spearamint leaves, bananas, broccoli, or cumumbers had no effect on men's perception of a woman's age. Furthermore, a woman's perception of a man's age, or of their perception of the age of another woman, was unaffected by any of these possible scents.
The researcher could not account for why grapefruit's scent has such an effect on men, but noted that perfumes don't have the same effect as grapefruit. Without any empirical gounds, Hirsch speculated that "Maybe it induced men to become sexually aroused" Other individuals suggested that the smell of pink grapefruit made people happy, and may have affected indirectly their age perceptual processes. Very clearly, these are mere speculations that can be resolved by subsequent research. [In short, this is a little bit of shooting from the hip in explaining things.]
Hirsch is also commercially marketing a product of this type called Timeless View Youth Perception Spray, and advises "Use it before work, a big date or a night on the town." In short, when you might want to appear younger. I can see there might be a market for this with some cougars.
I have a personal anecdote: once, instead of using my usual scent, I misted my self with a pear room spray before going out with friends. This was strictly on a whim that I adopted essence de poire.
Though I am an adult, I was carded repeatedly, despite my mature dress, style, and people I was with. One the doorman of one place accused me of having a fake driver's license!
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