Deodorants tailored to disguise either male or female underarm odor released

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Aroma compound Perfume Odor

Gender specific fragrances and deodorants that take into account the characteristic underarm odors of males and females are now hitting the market.

The products have been formulated on the back of research funded by Symrise which investigated the ability of different fragrance materials to interfere with the perception of male and female underarm odors.

Cross adaptation

Cross adaptation describes this phenomenon; where sensitivity to a certain odor is decreased following or during exposure to a different odor.

In other words, it is possible for perfumers to find scents that interfere with an individual’s perception of a bad odor, not masking it but reducing the ability to perceive it.

The scientists found there was a difference between the male and female underarm odors provoked by stressful situations (stress related odors, SRO); it was easier to decrease the perception of female stress related odors with cross adaptation than it was male.

Published in the Flavour and Fragrance Journal, the study found that across all volunteers (male and female) only 11 out of the 41 potential cross adapting agents succeeded in decreasing the perception of male sweat, in comparison to 34 for female sweat.

This allowed Symrise to come up with a list of good cross adapting agents for males and a list of those that work well with female SROs.

Encapsulate cross adapting agents

Blends of good cross adapting agents were then put together and encapsulated before being formulated into the anti-perspirant deodorant, explained one of the researchers Symrise’s Keith McDermott.

Encapsulation is beneficial for two reasons, he explained. Firstly, it means the cross adapting fragrance does not interfere with the signature scent of the product which will be provided by a fragrance oil. Secondly, it allows for release of the ingredients throughout the day.

“In addition, it means that the same cross adapting agent can be used throughout the whole 6 or 7 product range, one for women, and one for men,”​ he told CosmeticsDesign.

This technology has been launched in a major international brand as well as a leading US brand, but McDermott was unable to give specific details.

“The research has given us targeted learning how ingredients go about targeting specific underarm fragrances, rather than just making a very strong perform that overpowers everything,” ​he said.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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