Is Your Perfume Scent Attracting Mosquitoes?
Some perfume scents can make you more attractive to humans and mosquitoes. Find out how these bloodsuckers find their prey through their sense of smell.
Some people get bitten by mosquitoes way more often than others. If you're one of these unfortunate souls, you know better than to wear and shorts when dining al fresco. To make matters worse, science also says your signature perfume scent may be attracting the pesky bloodsuckers. Read on to find out more about this olfactory mystery before taking another spritz.
How Mosquitoes Detect People
Ever wonder how mosquitoes can find you even in the dark? That's because they have supercharged receptors that can sense your body heat, carbon monoxide, and natural skin odor – which your human nose cannot detect. Try sniffing your wrist. Chances are you wouldn’t be able to smell anything funky. To a mosquito, however, you smell mouthwatering.
Research published in reveals that one “smell” that can make mosquitoes hungry is carboxylic acid, chemical compound produced through sebum, which all humans produce. Some people might have higher levels of carboxylic acid, which makes them more prone to getting bitten. Researchers suggest that eating a might increase the concentration of this type of odor.
On the other hand, the same study reports that eucalyptol, a chemical compound mostly found in plants, can repel mosquitoes.
Perfume Scent That Mosquitoes Love
A 2015 study from the showed the Victoria's Secret scent called Bombshell could repel mosquitoes for up to 120 minutes. Its main notes include vanilla, which claim to be revolting to insects. Based on this fascinating (and weird) finding, it's safe to say that mosquitoes also have their own favorite perfume scent.
Here's what you should know: blood is not the primary food source of mosquitoes. Flower nectar is. So, it's no surprise that discovered these buzzers are attracted to floral perfume scents. So, while Chanel No. 5 may mask the carboxylic acid on your skin, it can also make you smell like a (very expensive) buffet.
What to Do If You’re a Mosquito Magnet
Don’t worry. You’re not doomed to a life of . Aside from strategically picking perfume scents, take some precautions to protect your skin against nature’s Draculas.
Avoid the outdoors during peak mosquito activity.
One thing to know about mosquitoes is that they’re heat-sensitive and direct sunlight can dehydrate them. Meanwhile, certain species are to short-wavelength light, so they lay low when the sun is out (like vampires!).To minimize your exposure to these flying pests, try to schedule your outdoor activities from morning until the afternoon when mosquito activity is at its lowest.
Use insect repellent.
If you must go out at night, your best chance to avoid the itchy bites of mosquitoes is bug repellent. Many options in the market offer long hours of protection against mosquitoes. Some even have scents like and peppermint. However, a high concentration of DEET, a common ingredient in these products, can irritate the skin. If you’re sensitive to it, switch to organic alternatives.
Look for ingredients such as citronella, eucalyptus, and lemongrass in essential oils. Bring one bottle in your purse to reapply every two hours. You can also use it to reduce itching.
Lather up with antibacterial soap.
The humidity of the (and in the Philippines, that means all year round) creates a conducive breeding ground for these flying pests.
You can deter mosquitoes from swarming you with good hygiene. Use Lifebuoy Antibacterial Soap Total 10 to minimize carboxylic acids and other compounds mosquitoes love so much. This soap also has Activ Silver+, which kills 99.9% of germs as per a lab test on select bacteria. If you have sensitive skin, opt for the gentler Lifebuoy Antibacterial Soap Mild Care, which boasts the same germ-fighting effects.
Wear light-colored clothes.
Did you know that wearing black increases your risk of becoming mosquito prey? These insects have keen vision and are naturally drawn to dark hues. They also like bright orange and red, which to them look like human skin. So, if you want to be extra protected, stick to lighter colors like white, pale blue, and lilac.
Of course, wearing long sleeves and pants is safer, especially if you plan to spend a long time outdoors. Be careful, though. Mosquitoes can sting through thin fabrics, so layer up and go for loose-fitting outfits.
While your floral perfume scent may be attractive to mosquitos, many other factors affect their appetite. Take this as a sign to try out other fragrances and build a versatile collection on top of protecting yourself from mosquito bites with the tips above.