Beauty has always been in the eye of the beholder. Now it may be in the nose, too.
When men got a whiff of a woman wearing a specific floral-spicy scent, they perceived her to be 12 pounds lighter than her real weight, reports Prevention magazine of research at Chicago's Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation.
Scoff if you will, but previous studies have shown that the aroma of pumpkin pie makes men feel sexier and green apple fragrance helps control the appetite. So why can't floral-spicy scents make women seem thinner? (Most women will welcome such news no matter how hard it is to believe.) "It's the equivalent of vertical stripes on a shirt or blouse," lead researcher Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., told Prevention.
To arrive at this curious conclusion, Hirsch's research team conducted a 10-year study of more than 100 odors that ranged from Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies and pumpkin pie to pepperoni pizza and cigarette smoke.
With the assistance of 200 men and boys ages 12 to 61, the team studied the effect three different scents--floral spice, citrus floral, and sweet pea-and-lily of the valley--had on them. The guys were told to guess the weight of a 5-foot 9-inch tall woman who weighed 245 pounds while she was wearing each of the three scented concoctions.
The result? When she wore the floral-spice scent of oranges and flowers, they underestimated her weight by 5 percent. Only two groups of people were not fooled by the scent: tailors and women.
So where do you get this nearly magical, slenderizing perfume? It's not a commercial product, but Prevention says the best replica is a mixture of Old Spice men's cologne and floral shampoo.
I wonder if the trick worked on gay men. I bet they didn't test that.