Re: [Guardian] The sex appeal of sweat

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From: Mike Masnick (
Date: Sat Oct 07 2000 - 01:50:48 PDT

At 06:51 PM 10/3/00 -0400, Linda wrote:
>[A bit dated; I was reading through a stack of journals at work
>today and this article got mention in The Chronicle of Skin & Allergy.
>Would be interesting to see the studies used to back up their claim.

Article snipped. Okay, so I'm still about a week behind on my FoRK reading
but I'm trying to catch up (really). Besides, Linda posted this a couple
of months after the original article anyway, so it's okay if I'm a little
slow on the response.

Point being, when this stuff was first announced, I also saw the following
article where someone tried to test the stuff and found that basically it
doesn't work.

Some of the quotes from the (somewhat informal) test:

"Urgh, what's that smell? Are you wearing cheap aftershave? It's really
"It makes you smell like one of those Kentucky Fried Chicken hand wipes."
"You smell disgusting."

Sounds like a real winning product. I'll have to get me some.


Girls turn their noses up at the scent of a man
IT IS the new way to boost your animal magnetism - just carry a sachet of
natural pheromones to dab on your neck at the right moment.

At least, that is what the makers claim for the new product, called Xcite.
Appropriately, perhaps, they aim to sell the sachets in machines next to
condom dispensers. Yesterday, my supply came directly from the maker and,
thus armed, I set out for a local City wine bar to test its effects.

In the past, chatting up the opposite sex has required a certain amount of
alcohol. This time I had a ready-made conversational ice-breaker. One
immediate lesson was that tearing open the sachet with your teeth is not
very alluring

Dabbed and hopefully dangerous, I plunged into the fray. It was not a
success. "Urgh, what's that smell?" asked Emma Starkey. "Are you wearing
cheap aftershave? It's really nasty." Her colleague Jane Howarth was more
scathing: "It makes you smell like one of those Kentucky Fried Chicken hand

I moved on to another bar hoping that Xcite needed some time to take
effect. But if anything Sandra Bonning and Sarah Swinbourne, both PAs for
City firms, were even less impressed. "You smell disgusting," said Sarah.
"There is nothing remotely attractive about you with that on. It's like
some really nasty type of aftershave." They were equally dismissive of the
sachet of women's Xcite I had brought along and vowed that it would never
grace their necks. "The only time I think you would ever consider wearing
it is on a hen night for a laugh," Sandra said. "But I certainly don't
think it would attract anyone."

Any man who tried the pheromone on with her would get short shift. "That
would just be extremely sad," she said. Just when all seemed lost for both
the manufacturer and my self-esteem, Patricia Farrell appeared on the
scene. "You know it's really not that bad," she said with a certain twinkle
in her eye. "It's got quite a pleasant smell."

Taking the maker's warning seriously - that Xcite should be used only
"responsibly" - I made the time-honoured journalistic excuses and left.

"Not tested on animals," the packet proudly boasts. One wonders if they
tested it at all.

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