Dr Alan Hirsch, founder and neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, says that Ageless Fantasy may be based on his studies.'We looked at functional effects of perfume and concluded that pink grapefruit gave the impression of youth,' explains Hirsch.His pending patents include a perfume made from eucalyptus, camphor and menthol that supposedly increases empathy.'You could put that in a business environment, or it could even help with such conditions as Asperger's Syndrome,' he claims. 'We have barely begun to discover the power of smell on the human sub-conscious,' says Ramani, president of the company producing Ageless Fantasy. 'On walking downstairs after first applying it, my husband spontaneously said how fantastic I was looking. Someone I hadn't seen for a couple of years commented on how young I seemed. There was more of a spring in my step.' : My immediate feeling is that there is some cynical marketing going on, though it's feasible in terms of the claims. Many light, fresh and airy scents will give a similar effect and suggest youth. 'Every time I dabbed a couple of drops under my nostrils I felt more relaxed and happier, as well as focused.Vanilla makes people appear more weighty and suggests indolence, whereas citrus scents suggest lightness and dynamism.' Studies are constantly being done into the effects of smell - believed to be the oldest sense of living organisms.
: Dr Hirsch and his team did a test to see if perception of body weight could be affected by scent.
Perfumes work by affecting the human sub-conscious, some scientists say 'We are simply correcting a natural physiological process with our perfume,' says Kumar Ramani, president of Harvey Prince. We searched for the opposite effect.' The result is an overpowering perfume which masks the aroma of age.
Ingredients include tropical fruits and pink grapefruit as research suggests that men traditionally associate these with younger women.' Neuropeptide Synergy, with its hefty price tag of £215, works on an even more sophisticated level involving pheromones. They elicit non-detectable odours which affect the behaviour of people around you,' explains Dr Perricone.
Women were sprayed with different perfumes and men tried to estimate the women's weight.
When the woman wore a floral and spice odour, it reduced the perception of her weight by an average of 4lb. He barely glanced in my direction as he nodded weary agreement.