An aromatic bombshell has been dropped into the world of perfumery with the announcement that a popular and big selling perfume is a very effective as a safe mosquito repellent. Researchers at New Mexico State University have found Victoria’s Secret scent “Bombshell” repels mosquitos for periods of up to two hours after it is applied, which is almost as effective as DEET.
Most insect repellants contain DEET, a pesticide the Environmental Protection Agency says should be washed off ones skin when returning indoors, and should not be breathed in or sprayed directly onto your face.
Head researcher Stacy Rodriguez says there are previous studies that show fruity, floral scents attracted mosquitoes, but as far as she knows this is the first time studies show a perfume can actually repel the annoying, disease carrying bugs.
Testing 20 possible repellants, Rodriguez and her colleagues put 20 mosquitos at the base of a large Y-shaped tube. A volunteer placed their hands in the tube - one hand treated with an insect repellant, the other not. Researchers then counted how many mosquitos flocked to each hand. The test included leading brands of bug sprays as well as some bath oils and perfumes.
When tested, the Bombshell perfume came out on top, repelling mosquitos for two hours after it was applied, beating out all other alternatives, many of which had little effect. One commercially available repellent called the Mosquito Patch, which is made with vitamin B, even attracted the insects.
"It was interesting to see that the mosquitoes weren't actually attracted to the person that was wearing the Victoria's Secret perfume - they were repelled by it," Rodriguez says
The researchers admit they tested an extremely high concentration of the Bombshell perfume and that more tests are needed to see if in addition to smelling nice, the perfume can keep mosquitoes at bay in smaller concentrations.