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sweat might make you smell sweeter



Scientists have developed a fragrance-delivery system that works overtime when you perspire

Scientists have created a scent-delivery system that releases a pleasant fragrance when you sweat. Apply it to the skin, and the more you sweat the better you’ll smell. That’s because the perfume only gets released upon contact with moisture.

Chemists at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland combined two compounds to create their new system. One chemical is alcohol-based. This is the nice-smelling perfume. The other chemical is an ionic liquid. It’s a type of salt that is liquid at room temperature.

Ionic liquids are made of ions — molecules that have lost or gained one or more electrons. If the molecule loses electrons, it will have a positive charge. If it gains electrons, it gets a negative charge. Ionic liquids contain the same number of positive and negative ions. This makes the liquid neutral, with no overall electric charge. In general, ionic liquids also have no smell.

When the perfume and ionic liquid are mixed together, a chemical reaction occurs. This bonds the molecules to each together. The reaction also temporarily inactivates the perfume’s molecules. So when applied to the skin, the new perfume initially has no scent.

But adding water — or sweat — breaks the bond between the molecules. That releases the scent into the air. The researchers experimented with two different fragrances. One smelled musky. The other had a sweet, fruity smell.

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