tijon

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The experiment that puts an itchy rash on the buttocks of science


Reading through other people's thoughts and experiences sometimes reverts you to your own. I was browsing though Andy Tauer's blog, reading about how he was subjected to a series of theater commercials prior to watching "The Manchurian Candidate" and how "Axe reduces women to helpless perfume victims".

With his usual candour and grace he commented:
In a sense, Axe (=Lynx) is very honest about things. Some of us dream this dream of fragrances as a pheromone bomb. Well,…forget it. I would rather recommend (if at all) looking at fragrances as aphrodisiac. But wait, maybe I am wrong and my skin is just too cheesy to lead to an Axe effect. hmmm…I never was a perfume victim so far.


Which brought me to my own thoughts on this. I was watching the completely bonkers and terrifically entertaining British TV show "Brainiac" the other day and ~lo and behold!~ there they were trying to examine just what power olfaction has in sexual attraction. For those unfamilliar with the show (self-consiously tagged "science abuse") I have to say that they take science (proper, good old-fashioned science if you can believe it) and mix it up really well in a blender of dry wit, British sarcasm and crazy ideas that involve blowing up sausages to make a quick breakfast with pyrotechnics, using rollers and wheel armchairs equipped with carbon dioxide propellants to examine which one is faster, pub experiments that would probably earn you banishment from all pubs in the future and other similar assorted brilliant ideas. Ah...the British wit!

To revert to this particular experiment, however, it entailed this concept: one pretty girl was blindfolded and told to pick between three unknown to her candidates (specimen was more likely, but more on that later) for a date, based only on their smell. Sounds "scientific" enough (enter sarcasm), even though we're just dealing with one girl, let's not forget...
As we, the passive audience, browsed through the candidates we witnessed an ugly chap with very bad teeth (is this still prevalent in Britain, I wonder? I though it was an Austin Powers 60s touch...) drenched in synthetic pheromone (androstenone to be exact). Places to be sprayed: armpits, neck, chest and...crotch.
The second one was an otherwise likable midget who had to be placed on a stool as to not betray his being vertically challenged. He was wearing a commonly used unspecified aftershave, per the commentator.
The third one was the complete antithesis of the other two physically, as he looked as if he had stepped out of a Men's Health editorial: all bulging biceps and pecs, clean cut and shaved torso, nice looking mug, if not great. This one was directed to indulge into assorted gymnastics so he could build a good sweat (clean sweat of a recently bathed body, we presume...but no guarantees).

After this short demonstration the pretty blonde entered the scene and proceeded to sniff (but not sratch!) all of them one by one.
I know most of you are waiting wondering whom she did pick in the end.
Well, it ain't what you think it was......
The first one she proclaimed to be smelling of stale beer and quite drunk! (save those bucks, guys, on getting that miraculous pheromone!) The second one she said smelled nice. About the third one (which for some perverse reason I thought stood the most chances) she turned her nose up and proclaimed he smelled dirty. (maybe that lack of recent bath, there???)
So, imagine her surprise when they took off the blindfold to see that the exquisitely scented specimen was the midget with the common aftershave.

Axe/Lynx (the latter is the british brand name under which this circulates) must be on to something...To witness watch their hilarious sexist clips of their brilliantly conceived campaigns.
Click the screen

or go here.



or go here.


Personally I think Axe/Lynx is the stuff of the devil, olfactory speaking, but who said the Dark Prince doesn't have his own cheesy appeal?



Pic courtesy of Sakopetra.com
Clips courtesy of Youtube.

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