Scientists have discovered that Steve McQueen’s aftershave may have made him even more attractive to women. McQueen wore Christian Dior’s Eau Sauvage which contains the chemical Hedione, that can cause “sex-specific activation patterns” in nasal tissue that in turn stimulates an area of the brain responsible for releasing sex hormones in women.
This is the first time scientists have shown how a scent can activate the pheromone receptor VN1R in humans.
Hedione is the chemical name Methyl dihydrojasmonate an ester and a diffusive aroma compound, with a smell vaguely similar to jasmine. The name derives from the Greek hedone—meaning for fun, pleasure, lust.
Discussing the investigation into the arousal properties of Hedione, scent researcher Professor Hanns Hatt of Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany told the Telegraph:
“These results constitute compelling evidence that a pheromone effect different from normal olfactory perception indeed exists in humans…”
Scientists analyzed brain activity when a person smells Hedione. This was compared with phenylethyl alcohol and the scent of flowers. It was discovered that:
Hedione activated brain areas in the limbic system significantly more strongly than phenylethyl alcohol. The limbic system is associated with emotions, memory and motivation.
But more significantly, Hedione also activated a specific area of the hypothalamus in women which is known to promote sexual responsiveness by flooding the body with sex hormones.
It was originally believed the special organ at the base of the nasal septum which picks up pheromones was no longer used. Now, this new evidence shows that Hedione can activate this area in humans.
“In the next stage, we want to find out which physiological and psychological parameters are affected when Hedione activates the pheromone receptor,” added Prof Hatt.
“We have already launched the relevant studies. But we also have to search for scent molecules in bodily secretions, which resemble Hedione and activate the receptor. With its help, humans could actually communicate with each other.”
Hedione was discovered in 1957, when it was noted for its importance in plants “for seed germination, root growth, flowering, fruit ripening, and senescence.” In 1966, perfume manufacturer Christian Dior added Hedione to the aftershave Eau Savage. The brand became so popular that some women began to use the brand, leading Dior to create a women’s version Diorella in 1972.
Eau Savage was Steve McQueen’s preferred brand of aftershave, and it may even explain why so many gorgeous women were attracted to him.
Since Dior first put Hedione in its products, it has been used in First by Van Cleef & Arpels; Chamade by Guerlain; Chanel no. 19; L’Eau d’Issey by Issey Miyake, Angel by Thierry Mugler, Blush by Marc Jacobs, Paco by Paco Rabanne and CK One.
Now everyone can smell as attractive as Steve McQueen….
Below a long dead Steve McQueen is used in a car commercial:
Via the Telegraph