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With new perfume, the more you sweat the better you smell

"This is an exciting breakthrough that uses newly discovered ionic liquid systems to release material in a controlled manner," said project leader Nimal Gunaratne.

By Brooks Hays
Scientists develop perfume that releases more of its scent as the wearer sweats. Photo by Ho Yeow Hui/Shutterstock
Scientists develop perfume that releases more of its scent as the wearer sweats. Photo by Ho Yeow Hui/Shutterstock

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, April 2 (UPI) -- What if perfume didn't wash away with sweat? What if perfume's effects weren't overpowered by body odor, but enhanced? Those are the ideas behind a new prototype fragrance from the science labs of Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Scientists at Queen's University Ionic Liquid Laboratories have developed a perfume that smells better (stronger) as the user sweats. The fragrance's aromas are unlocked by the presence of moisture. As the sweat glands release more moisture, the perfume releases more of its aroma.

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The fragrance itself isn't changed, but attached to an ionic liquid (salt in liquid form). In the presence of water, the ionic liquid relinquishes the fragrance onto the user's skin.

But that's not all. Incredibly, the solution also diminishes bad smells -- perfume and deodorant all in one. The sweat compounds (thiol compounds) responsible for body odors are naturally attracted to the ionic liquid, which absorbs the malodorous compounds and minimizes their foul scent.

The researchers are already working with commercial perfumers to bring their new technology to market.

"This is an exciting breakthrough that uses newly discovered ionic liquid systems to release material in a controlled manner," Nimal Gunaratne, project leader and head of the laboratories, said in a press release.

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"Not only does it have great commercial potential, and could be used in perfumes and cosmetic creams, but it could also be used in others area of science, such as the slow release of certain substances of interest," Gunaratne added. "This innovative development demonstrates the drive of researchers at Queen's to advancing knowledge and achieving excellence for the benefit of society as a whole."

The new technology is detailed in the latest issued of the science journal Chemical Communications.

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