Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Prends-Moi Eau De Minceur – the Sweet Smell of Swindling?

The first time I heard about “the scent that makes you loose weight” on Fox News, I checked my calendar. Nope, it was not April Fool’s Day. So I decided that it was time to check out this strange bit of news.

Turns out that the French perfume house Robertet has created a fragrance claiming that it helps weight loss. The quite improperly named Prends-Moi Eau De Minceur or Take Me (in the sexual meaning of the word) Slimming Scent. How very French.

According to the Daily Mail, over 6,000 women in the UK alone have subscribed to a waiting list for the fragrance that will set each one of them back for around $50 for 100 ml.

According to the manufacturer Veld’s, the scent contains Betaphroline which stimulates the release of B-endorphins in the skin. This is supposed to trigger "an immediate sensation of well-being, a reduction in stress and an increase in contentment reducing the need to overeat."

This “amazing” (and absolutely unproven) chain of events is supposed to result in weight loss. A mix of other ingredients, such as Spirulina, Caffeine and Carnitine, should help to breakdown body fat.

The Centre of Biological Research and Cutaneous Experimentation claims that 70% per cent of women in a trial said that the perfume did indeed have an effect on appetite, influencing eating habits and 75% found their well-being boosted.

There are two problems with this lab research:
  1. The Centre is a private French laboratory that tests beauty products for paying customers to substantiate their claims. Thee results are based on statements of users. 
  2. No measurements of e.g., weight or body mass index were performed. In other words, all are results are subjective – placebo effect anyone?

Dr. Kim Bell-Anderson of the School of Molecular Bioscience at the University of Sydney found that there are "absolutely no peer reviewed publications to support this product." She could also not find even one shred of research suggesting that a product could permeate the skin to increase endorphin release.

It this product is really successful, should it not carry a warning for women that have eating disorders? Why are there no supermodels toting the fragrance? Well, we do know why......

Veld’s obviously has a great marketing and legal team. They are very clever with their wording by stating that “people feel as though their appetite is reduced" rather than making solid claims.

If you want to spend money of weight loss, please change your diet and go to a fitness center.  Please note: women that ordered the fragrance also tried to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

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