A fragrance that actually helps you lose weight rather than pique your appetite. We look into this novel concept to find out whether it works!
Spray on some perfume and lose weight simply by wearing it? That’s what some companies trying to sell so called “slimming” perfumes are saying.
There are a few of these weight loss perfumes on the market and according to their manufacturers, their fragrances work as appetite suppressants as well as helping to increase your metabolism. Recently weight loss perfumes have been featured in the media and touted as the latest method of weight loss.
A recent article in the UK newspaper the Daily Mail featured Diet Slimming Perfume the latest weight loss perfume to hit the market. In weird sort of way, it sounds as if it may make sense.
After all compared to our other senses, we use our sense of smell the least and it is possible that using it more may have an effect on all sorts of physical and mental conditions. So why not an effect upon weight loss, the appetite and the metabolism?
According to scientific research, olfactory stimulation (the effects of the sense of smell) is an extremely complex mechanism, which is underused in humans. Maybe there is something to this theory of weight loss by perfume and maybe it may have an effect?
The major problem with this theory is that it is completely unproven. As yet, weight loss by smell has not been clinically tested on humans so comes with zero proof and no credible medical backing.
The Science Of The Nose!
We have around 400 odorant smell receptors in the brain. This is low when compared to animals – mice apparently have 1200 odorant smell receptors.
Scientists do not fully understand the effect of smell upon our emotional and physical responses and still have not fully explained the role of smells and the effects upon our brains.
Groundbreaking research was carried out in 2004 at the Columbia University New York by Professor Richard Axel and Linda Buck winning the Nobel Prize in the same year for “their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system”.
These scientists have tried to improve understanding of the mechanism behind odours and how the brain reconstructs these stimuli into a “smell map” of the world.
Despite this long-term work encompassing many studies, thousands of hours and scientific investigations across the whole field of biology, molecular and neuro science, it seems olfactory science still holds many mysteries.
According to a major report published by EMBO the European Molecular Biology Organisation.
The field of olfactory science is undoubtedly exciting and now offering many more practical applications than one might imagine
In other words using the stimulus of smell may work for many different purposes but has not yet been fully investigated or proven!
There is No Clinical Evidence That Smells Promote Weight Loss
As yet, smell and the effects upon weight loss have not been fully researched.
There have been some clinical tests carried out by a research team at the Osaka University in Japan.
They have carried out several clinical experiments involving olfactory stimulation and have found that when tested on rats and mice the scent of grapefruit enhanced sympathetic nerve activities and suppressed gastric nerve activity as well as the appetite. Lavender had the opposite effect.
As yet, these tests do not seem to have made it past the preliminary stage and have not crossed over the human clinical trials.
It seems obvious that if mice have around 1.200 smell receptors in the brain, compared to humans measly 400 receptors; it is highly likely that the mice will respond better to smells than humans. These findings do not necessarily cross over to the human world.
The idea of using a scent for weight loss is new and there are already a couple of companies touting it as the next best thing for the diet industry. After all the diet industry is well known for its gimmicks and these perfumes appear to fall into this category.
Take Me And Lose Weight?
The first diet slimming perfume was Prends Moi (Take Me) a French diet perfume made by Velds in Paris and released in 2011.
According to the product information, it works by inducing a sense of well being and comfort so leads to the reduction of your appetite.
We cannot help thinking that this theory sounds a bit flimsy and there is no scientific evidence that this works.
As well some nice smelling ingredients – this is a perfume after all, Prends Moi contains caffeine and Carnitine but it‘s key ingredient is betaphroline which apparently reduces fat tissue if you rub it into your skin, There is absolutely no evidence that betaphroline will do anything at all and according to perfume critics, Prends Moi is not a great perfume fragrance wise either.
According to the company’s own trial, three quarters of the women (aged between 18 -70) felt that it did help to control their appetite and the same percentage simply enjoyed wearing the perfume. It is highly likely that the appetite suppressing results were caused by nothing other than the placebo effect. It is expensive too!
Expect to pay around 61€ for a 100ml bottle for something that a few women “felt” helped reduce their appetite. This trial is not scientific evidence – just a gathering of loose opinions and some free samples.
Diet Slimming Perfume
A similar product is on sale from Hair and Glamour a British company offering “safe and affordable products” Their version, simply called Diet Slimming Perfume claims to;
satisfy cravings instantly & control your appetite while increasing your metabolism with just a whiff!
You are advised to carry the rather attractive bottle with you at all times and when you get the urge to eat, simply inhale five times a day to suppress your appetite.
It claims four key features and according to advertising will;
- Reduce your body weight
- Reduce your appetite
- Increase your metabolism rate
- Increase your energy levels
There is no evidence to back up the claims. Perfumes do not have to list ingredients and there is extremely limited product information.
According to the Diet Slimming Perfume advertising, this scent is based upon aromatherapy oils and;
triggers an immediate sensation of calmness, a reduction in stress and an increased sense of contentment, reducing the need to over eat.
The fragrance apparently works on the principal of suppressing the appetite by signalling the “satiety center” of the hypothalamus part of the brain to release appetite-suppressing hormones but there is no proof that this is even possible.
Diet Slimming Perfume has a “fresh light and citrus flavour” so it seems likely that the company have researched the Japanese clinical trials that indicated that grapefruit oil had an effect upon the appetite of rats.
Very few details are available about the precise nature of this research some of which was carried out by the Institute of Protein Research at Osaka University and at the time of writing, these tests have never been carried out on humans.
Diet Slimming Perfume costs £22.99 for an 8ml bottle. Apparently, this is enough for one month’s supply.
Despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence to prove that Diet Slimming Perfume works , according to Hair & Glamour, the company behind the product, over 6000 UK women are already on a waiting list for this perfume.
So Can You Sniff Your Way To Weight Loss?
It seems highly unlikely and there is just no evidence that it will work. According to Dr Kim Bell Anderson from the University of Sydney speaking in an interview in the Sydney Morning Herald;
There is absolutely no peer reviewed publications to support this product
She has been unable to find;
a shred of evidence to suggest that a product could permeate the skin to increase endorphin release
Just Another Gimmick?
Weight loss perfumes appear to be just another gimmick and spraying on either of these perfumes or any others on the market will not make you thin. The only way to lose weight is to make some dietary and lifestyle changes and sadly, there is not a quick fix solution.
If you like the fragrance of either Prends Moi or Diet Slimming Perfume, there is nothing to stop you from enjoying that, but if you believe it is going to make you slim you are going to be disappointed.
In Conclusion – Can You Really Sniff Yourself Slim?
Using our noses and the whole area of olfactory science is in its infancy and there is a lot to learn before scientists can prescribe various odours to help with medical conditions.
If you really wanted to suppress your appetite by using a smell, perhaps an unpleasant odour that puts you off your food is the only way to guarantee an effect. But who wants to spend their lives surrounded by a bad smell. Most of us would rather be overweight than live like that!
You can smell nice and lose weight of course. The two are not mutually exclusive. However, if you expect your perfume to actually help lose weight you will most likely be disappointed!