When buying mosquito repellent, most people look for products containing DEET, or perhaps lemon eucalyptus or citronella oils. That’s because we know these chemicals work well as mosquito repellents. Now, one thing you probably don’t look for when buying mosquito repellent is Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume. However, a recently published study in the Journal of Insect Science might just have you packing away a bottle of Bombshell on your next camping trip.
In their study, researchers at New Mexico State University wanted to find the most effective mosquito repellents out on the market. To do so, they designed an experiment in which they trapped mosquitoes into a chamber at the bottom of a Y-shaped tube. On the other end of the tube, one prong of the Y led to a researcher’s hand that was coated with repellent, while the other prong led to the researcher’s other hand, which was not treated at all. After releasing the mosquitoes, they simply calculated the percentage of mosquitoes that flew towards each hand.
Of course, the repellents that worked best were the ones that had DEET in them since DEET has long been established as an effective mosquito repellent. The more DEET a product had, the longer the protection lasted. Equally effective as DEET were products that contain lemon eucalyptus oil. Much to their surprise, the researchers found that Victoria’s Secret Bombshell was also among one of the best repellents, attracting 69% fewer mosquitoes than an untreated hand does after 2 hours.
So which repellents fared the worst? The worst by far was a Vitamin B1 patch, which supposedly alters blood chemistry and human scent to make us less attractive to mosquitoes. Overall, the Vitamin B1 patch had no effect whatsoever. Equally ineffective was Cutter’s Natural insect repellent. A similar “natural” repellent, EcoSmart Organic worked okay, but only for 30 minutes. However, if you are still determined to go the “natural” route, the common home remedy Avon’s Skin So Soft Bath Oil fared a bit better, providing a small degree of protection for 1-2 hours.
Now, before you begin hoarding bottles of Bombshell perfume for your next warm-weather hike or camping trip, there’s an important thing you should note. The authors state that the perfume concentration they used was quite high, and lower concentrations of it might have had different effects. Unfortunately, they did not offer us any numbers as to the concentration they used, which makes it difficult to truly say how effective this perfume is at repelling mosquitoes. Ultimately, whether we need to bathe ourselves in Bombshell perfume to repel mosquitoes remains unknown. But hey, you can always give it a shot and let me know how it turns out!