The idea of using perfumes to prevent itchy bites from mosquitos isn’t necessarily a new one. Essential oils that contain citronella, geranium, and peppermint are just some of the more natural insect repellents out there (per Web MD).
You might also recall the TikTok hack that promoted the use of Victoria’s Secret Bombshell and Amber Romance perfumes to repel mosquitos. The trend originated from a 2015 study in the Journal of Insect Science that was done on the subject, which seemed to indicate that Victoria’s Secret Bombshell kept the flying insects away for up to 120 minutes. However, according to the entomology collections manager at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Floyd W. Shockley (via Allure), this study was probably successful because a larger-than-usual amount of perfume was used. Participants’ hands were coated in 0.5 milliliters of the stuff while what someone would typically spray on themselves might be just 0.1 milliliters, according to Shockley.
Shockley also added that what could’ve happened is a mere masking of smell so that the mosquito couldn’t smell you. “Remember that female mosquitoes base their feeding decisions on heat, carbon dioxide, and smell. So, if you use enough [perfume] then mosquitoes won’t ‘see’ you as a potential host because you won’t smell right,” explained Shockley. The efforts by DSM-Firmenich differ in a few ways, however.