24 September 2014

Slimming fragrances might be the next big thing

There was a waiting list of 6,000 in the UK for Prends-Moi, a perfume, when it launched in 2012. Unusually, it claims to be a 'slimming fragrance' due to the presence of a plant-derived ingredient called 'betaphroline' in the perfume. Sniff, and Prends-Moi's maker Veld's says that it will reduce snacking.

TechNavio, a research firm, noted in a release on the Fragrances Market in France 2014-2018 that slimming fragrances are likely to fuel demand. 

"A fragrance manufacturing company launched a slimming fragrance in France, which has been developed for weight loss. It can be used like any other fragrance, but it also contains beta-endorphins, releasing ingredients that help in sending pleasure messages to users and help in fat degradation. Trial results revealed that the perfume helped users by limiting their desire for snacks. High tech, value-adding features in perfumes will help drive the sales of fragrances during the forecast period,” says Faisal Ghaus, Vice President of TechNavio.
There is some evidence that smells might help weight loss, but nothing quite like a fragrance that slims. In 2003, an experiment done with rats and grapefruit and lemon oils showed increased nerve activity in fat tissue when anesthesised rats were exposed to the oils, which the researchers took to mean that the smell of the oils could help weight loss. A 2006 study, from Korea, noted that rats which were exposed to fennel and patchouli oils for two ten-minute sessions a day for eight weeks saw a decrease in 'food efficiency' compared to a control group and rats exposed to bergamot oil. It's not clear however how food efficiency is defined, though it seems reasonable to assume that less food was made available for conversion into energy (or fat) after exposure to certain smells.

Another Korean study, dated 2003, compared aromatherapy massage to normal massage on middle aged women. The researchers claimed that the aromatherapy version had better results for overall weight loss, abdominal circumference and appetite suppression. Another 2007 study, again in Korea, had post-menopausal women undergo a full body massage weekly and massage their abdomens five days a week for six weeks. Half of the group were controls and used grapeseed oil for the massages, whereas the others were called the experimental group and used used various aromatherapy oils, including grapefruit and cypress oils. Abdominal subcutaneous fat and waist circumference were significantly decreased in the experimental group. While the aromatherapy component appeared to have been effective, the weight loss occurred after massage, and not simple spraying and sniffing as with perfume.