The makers of Deo Perfume Candy claim that if you eat a few of their pink lozenges, the odor compounds contained therein will travel through your body and start oozing out of your pores, giving you a vague and pleasant rose-smelling aura. That's right. It's edible deodorant. But don't throw out your Speed Stick just yet. I tried it for a week, and suffice it to say "pleasant" is a wild overstatement.
First, how it's supposed to work: The theoretical mechanism of action is pretty easy to grok if you know something about chemistry. The "active ingredient" in the candy is geraniol, a monoterpene alcohol found in rose oil, citronella and geraniums. It is used in perfumes and in artificial flavors such as raspberry, peach and lime. Those who read my BeerSci column will remember me talking about terpenes, as they pertain to hops and cannabis active ingredients. Well, geraniol is another terpene. If you look at geraniol, you'll see that it's mostly carbon and hydrogen; as such, it's at least moderately fat-soluble, and thus it should pass easily through cell walls and therefore through your skin.
To test if this candy really does make one smell like roses, I agreed to 1.) eat them for a week and 2.) not use antiperspirant. I also refrained from using any perfume or scented lotions during the testing period. I did shower every day, though. My lucky (read: brave, foolish, insane) coworker Susannah agreed to smell-test me during the week.
Test smell before the experiment. Susannah reports that I smell "normal" (whatever that might mean). The instructions that came with the candy say to eat four pieces of candy to get enough geraniol in your system. So I do. I don't eat them all at once, but over the course of an hour. By the third candy, I am already dreading piece number four. It's not that the candy tastes bad--it's tart-sweet with a rose-raspberry character--but more that I don't actually have a sweet tooth. After I pop the fourth candy, I wait for an hour or so, then demand to be smelled. It's probably a mercy that Human Resources is on the other side of the building, otherwise I might have been answering some rather pointed questions about my shouting in the middle of a cube farm, "Susannah! Smell my rose-inflected funk!"
Result: I do not smell like a rose.
Same as Day 1, except that I eat candies about once an hour, all day. Again, I have Susannah smell-test me before I shove the first candy into my piehole. By 3 p.m., I figure I've had enough geraniol-laced sugar to be stencherific. I stand up and present my arm for the smell test.
Result: I do not smell like a rose.
I'm starting to really despise that bag of candy. I haven't looked at a sweet with that much hate since the last time I got a Bit O' Honey while trick-or-treating. In 1983. I dutifully eat more candy and make other people in the office smell me pretty much constantly. I start feeling nauseated due to general sugar overload, and I am pretty sure my pancreas is planning a bloody coup against my hands and my mouth. Susannah shakes her head sadly and reports that, no, I do not smell any different. She says, and I quote, that I "smell like a girl," and that I'd been smelling like a girl since before the experiment. Needless to say, I do not smell like a rose.
After that, I give up.
Two, or even four, pieces of Deo candy aren't bad. In fact, I actually like the flavor of it. The problem is that it just doesn't work--at least it didn't for me. If you already "smell like a girl," the candy will not likely make much difference to your personal odor. Susannah, who, it should be noted, also smells like a girl, did a follow-up study of her own the following weekend, and came to the same conclusion. I would love to say I'd forgo the shower for a week on behalf of science, but I am pretty sure my colleagues would lock me in a closet. It's one thing to "smell like a girl." It's something else entirely to smell like feet and onions, even with the vaguest hint of rose scent on top of it.
The candy, which is made in Bulgaria, is imported to the U.S. by Ecodeum LLC. You can buy it from Amazon.
Willy Wonka I believe would not amused, lol.
Lol, <--- agrees with Robot.
Wouldn't diet effect this more? For instance if you have a High "meat" diet VS a high "Green Vegetable" diet your "Stench" will be completely different. Simply adding in a little candy is like spraying scented "Air Freshener" into an outhouse.. yeah, you smell lilac, but you still smell everything else too.
A "Better" candy would be a candy that is nothing but Chlorophyll, which if I remember correctly is a natural deodorizer; thereby making a candy that neutralizes rather then masks.
On another note, wouldn't it also take more then 3 days for it to start working? One would assume that a 1 month test of eating 1 candy every 4 hours while awake would be the optimal proof of its working at the end of the month.
@Xionanx -- Diet will likely have an effect, yes. How much is probably more dependent on your gut flora than strictly on what you eat.
Regarding three days vs. a month: I was merely following the directions on the package, and they say that if you have one serving (approximately four candies), you should be exuding geraniol for up to six hours afterwards. I spaced those out over an hour, but the idea is to get a decent dose of geraniol into your system all at once.
@Robot and Hernberger -- Funny you should mention that. We were making gellified cocktails for the PopSci Holiday Party the other day, and I decided to rename a classic cocktail the "Augustus Gloop" because of the rather gnarly texture.
Martha, thank you so much for taking the time to try the candy and putting all this effort into experimenting with it! I am glad you did not get in trouble having to explain the smell-tests to unsuspecting colleagues passing by:)
A lot of people are experimenting with the candy - just like you and we are getting a lot of positive reports - some people say they just smell floral, others - just clean. So it does seem like it very much differs for every person. The one thing that is key and valid for all cases though is that you need to let your body metabolize it and you need to sweat at least a little bit to feel the effect. That is why we recommend that it is best to enjoy before going to the gym, going out to a club or being active outdoors. If you just try it as you are sitting down at home or in the office, it has no way of working, because it needs to be released through your pores as you sweat- the effect is much quicker and noticeable when you are being active.
It is very similar to how garlic and strong spices work. It is impossible to completely mask the smell of garlic after you eat it, because the aroma is released not only through your breath, but also through the pores of your skin and it is more noticeable when you are active. Actually, some of our customers have reported that the candy works as the perfect garlic antidote:-)
We did in fact have one person report that it helped her overcome a problem with excessive sweating, but we have never advertised the product as a deodorant replacement. It is just a candy with fun bonus effect that is interesting to experiment with. Thank you again for trying it and for sharing your experiences with all of us!
Somewhat clearly brings into view the old saying, "you are what you eat", including the aroma.
I remember long ago of a supplement long ago, that had a strong die in it and was advertise to tan your skin.
So overall I guess if you want to feel good, smell good and look good, be wise what you put in your own body. I believe being as much of a vegan is the way to go and make drinking water your best friend. At least this is my life style choice for me. Take care. ;)
@PerfumeCandy -- thank you for the comment. I should be clear that while I didn't wear antiperspirant (mine is fairly strongly scented), I did use an unscented natural deodorant for the duration. I didn't want my colleagues to rate the candy down because I was super-stinky.
I really want to give the candy to one of my male colleagues and see if there's a difference in perceived smell. For all I know, we're socially trained to think of women as smelling "nice" that the presence of a light rose scent might be viewed as the equivalent of "normal," whereas a guy smelling like a rose would be more noticeable. Our study did not account for this aspect of psychology.
@Robot -- I've known some stinky vegans in my time, but I generally agree that eating healthy and drinking a lot of water does keep one from smelling like ambulatory death.
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It worked just fine. I bought a couple bags (one bag has 20 candies, FYI, so it doesn't last long).
It's kind of expensive for daily use, but I think it could be good for special events. It's nice to know I won't smell sweaty if I have an airline flight, go out clubbing, make a sales presentation, etc.