Earlier in Summer you may have missed the a new chewing gum phenomenon, “Otoko Kaoru” (Literally: ‘Man Scent’).
What’s unusual about this gum is that it causes a rose fragrance to be emitted from the chewer’s body for about one to two hours after its chewed. The Rose Menthol flavoured gum, contained a fragrant component geraniol, which is found in roses. According to Kanebo’s food research laboratory, the component is easily emitted from the body’s sweat glands, in much the same way as garlic or alcohol is.
With its black, ‘this will make you sexy’ design, the gum is marketed at Japanese men. Its been hugely popular, showing that guys here are very concerned about the way they smell. In Japan, it is often reported that young women cannot stand the smell of men, and are particularly put off by the scent of older guys. Apparently this product is an attempt to cash in on the insecurity that such reports have generated.
The gum has proved so successful, that the manufacturer, Kanebo, published a statement to say that they were unable to keep up with demand and the gum had been pulled from the shelves until further notice. A strange way to do business you might say until you take into account that chewing gum sales in Japan are driven through convenience stores. Due to their just-in-time distribution systems, these large chains can’t take on products with a questionable supply.
Is it likely we’ll see more pheromone inducing substances hitting the market soon? Tell us what you think.