Flagrant fragrancy or Fragrant flagrancy

In the gents’ toilets of a pub in the sleepy Peak District is a machine selling:

Xcite! Pheromone Wipe

Wipe-on SEX appeal
Neck and wrists
Contains human pheromones – scientifically proven to increase sexual attraction
Boosts your pulling power
Use responsibly

Wow, what is this stuff? I had no idea that human pheromones had been identified and isolated and vehicled. I mean, ‘scientifically proven’; must be the business, eh? Found my brand! I’ve been trying the provided phone number to get more information, but keep getting an answer message. Must be due to massive popular demand.

I used to read a bit about symmetry/asymmetry: how the external left-right symmetry of the vertebrates masks a (usually) consistent asymmetrical pairing and/or displacement of the internal organs. And how, in tests wherein women smell the sweat on T-shirts worn by a range of perspiring men, it turns out that they prefer the scent of more symmetrical specimens; symmetry, you see, being indicative of genetic, hence reproductive fitness, and so has been selected for, and has come to be perceived as beautiful. Hence, flatfish, which undergo a remarkable left-right realignment never quite, er, get there and, consequently, can look quite grotesque. (But, hey, I’m not a flatfish.)

Now, as one who is wholly convinced of the power and importance of pheromones, despite the fact that we olfaction-ally-feeble humans are largely unaware of this, I sense a spin-off opportunity here. At work, I have one footprint in a new air-conditioned building, with the other remaining in a lab that, with the now hot weather, is cooking (which can be a driver for actions as described recently). So, I will eschew deodorant and rig up some kind of perspiration collection apparatus, bottle it with a slug from the ethanol bottle, and commence my earnest scientific experiment. Form an orderly queue, ladies.

I wonder which will be more attractive – the pheromonal reek; or the money I’ll accrue. Smells like bullshit to me!

3 responses to “Flagrant fragrancy or Fragrant flagrancy

  1. When I was in grad school, a friend had samples of perfumes that were being marketed as pheromones to attract either men or women, depending on your preference. We decided to test them by spraying them on different phones in a bank of public phone booths (this was the pre-cell phone Neolithic era), and then monitored phone choice and usage from the safety of a nearby restaurant. Our experiment was flawed in many ways, but after consuming hamburgers, fries, and a couple of pitchers of excellent microbrew, we observed absolutely no altered behavior as a result of pheromone perfume-dousing.

  2. Forget the Peaks. Go to the Forest of Dean. The sheep there are a right bunch of floozies.

  3. That’s just ridiculous. And people go for it, don’t they. I am a big fan of the placebo effect – if spraying this (no doubt, stinky) nonsense all over oneself makes one feel irresistible to the opposite sex, fine. Do it. The science-speak used to sell this stuff is absurd and unecessary. It’s not tested. It’s not proven. It’s not human pheromones! I really don’t want to know what it is, in fact. I would rather stay safe in my ignorance.
    And, err, please forgive me if I don’t queue up for your experiment. Again, happy with my ignorance :)


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