If you stink, or know someone who stinks, here’s some potentially life-changing news: the invention of deodorants and perfumes that become more potent as you sweat.
Researchers in Northern Ireland have developed chemicals that react with water, releasing aromas contained within. The key ingredient is an “ionic salt”–salt in the form of a liquid. Attached to a fragrance, it releases compounds as it comes into contact with perspiration.
“We have built in a water sensitive chemical bond between the fragrance molecule and the ionic liquid,” says lead researcher Nimal Gunaratne, a professor at Queen’s University’s Ionic Liquid Laboratories, in Belfast.
The ionic salt itself is odorless, and it takes on a second role in the “perfume delivery system.” In addition to releasing the sweet odors, it also absorbs malodorous compounds known as “thiols”–onion-like smells created when sweat and bacteria come together (like in an armpit).
Gunaratne’s team is in now in talks with a “perfume development company” about creating products, though there’s a long way to go. The chemicals have yet to be tested on people’s skin. So we don’t know, for example, whether the salt could leave a residue after use.
Gunaratne is hopeful his work could be applied widely–in perfumes and cosmetic creams, as well in other applications, where it could be used to slowly release substances contained in liquid form.
If the technology makes for nicer smelling subway cars, that’s a good thing. Hopefully, though, it won’t produce a rush to “french bathing” over real bathing.