Breaking a Sweat
New horizons in sustainable fragrance materials
Wanessa Moura is a 29-year-old model from São Paulo, Brazil who has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. She just recently launched a fragrance called Fresh Goddess—not to be confused with Goddess perfumes by Avon, Lush, Victoria’s Secret, and Marilyn Miglin. [Is this going somewhere?—Ed.]
[Ahem.] What makes Ms. Moura interesting from our obsessively scent-centric POV is that she believes her personal body odor is particularly attractive (even “sexy and exciting”) to men on the grounds that both her ex- and current husband have told her so.
Putting aside the wide range of personal preference in such intimate matters, FirstNerve finds it plausible that Ms. Moura’s BO is inoffensive or even pleasant.
According to the NYPost story by Brooke Kato, Ms. Moura hasn’t just poured her heart and soul into the fragrance design—she’s added her own personal contribution.
In each bottle, she mixed 8 milliliters of her sweat — for “a touch of sensuality and femininity” — marketing it as the “ideal perfume for dating.”
That certainly raised our jaded eyebrows. Never mind the idea of bodily secretions in a commercial perfume. It’s the weird specificity of “8 milliliters of her sweat.” Can that possibly be true? Wouldn’t that require a ridiculously large amount of sweat?
Apparently a sweat rate of 0.5 liters/hour is considered baseline for moderate exertion by a healthy person, and 1.5 liters/hour can be expected for heavier exertion in a hot, humid environment. (The maximum ever recorded was 3.71 liters/hour for a championship marathon runner.)
Let’s say Ms. Moura got on a treadmill and produced 1.5 liters of sweat per hour. Assume for convenience that she captured 100% of the runoff, i.e., no evaporative loss or spillage. At 8 ml per retail bottle, an hour on the treadmill would be enough for 187 bottles. For a modest production run of 1,000 units Ms. Moura would need to spend nearly 5½ hours on the treadmill. Not an outrageous commitment over the course of a work week. So the alarm on the FirstNerve Bogosity Meter remains silent.
But consider this. Fresh Goddess EDP is priced at $138 for a 50 ml bottle. A typical EDP consists of 15 to 20% fragrance oils, and 80% to 85% alcohol. Therefore a 50ml bottle of EDP will have 7.5 to 10ml of fragrance oils. If Ms. Moura puts 8 ml of her sweat into each bottle, that wouldn’t leave much room for the rest of the fragrance materials. You know, the “mandarin, bergamot and pink pepper” in the fruity top, the “rose, cotton flower, [and] geranium” in the intense floral body, or the “notes of vanilla and musk” in the woody base.
Okay, we have to go turn down the alarm on the Bogosity Meter before the neighbors start complaining.
Exit question: If human sweat becomes a commercial fragrance ingredient, like lavender oil or patchouli, don’t we need a quality grading system for it?
Prime AAA supermodel armpit sweat $4,000/liter
Choice AA supermodel forehead sweat $2,600/liter
Co-mingled Instagram influencer sweat $1,450/liter
Grade B cryptocurrency chick bulk sweat $285/liter