Jan. 27: Hurrah!
With these words, blind Lt Col. Frank Slade walked up to a young woman at a restaurant and swept her into a breath-stopping tango in Scent of a Woman. In real life, he could have been drawn by a mystery chemical in her sweat.
The chemical, synthesised from the sweat of young women and whose composition is being kept a secret, could end the eternal search for that ingredient which would make perfume ' especially when used by women past child-bearing age ' irresistible to men.
In tests, post-menopausal women wearing perfume laced with the compound, Pheromone 10:13, reported receiving more affectionate behaviour and romantic advances from men.
Experts believe the pheromone, airborne chemical secreted from the body and recognised by their smell, is picked subconsciously by men who interpret it as a sign that the woman can reproduce.
As a result, they are more likely to behave romantically towards women as men have evolved to find fertility attractive.
Animals also emit pheromones.
A study published in the New Scientist magazine said: 'In diaries kept by the women for six weeks, 41 per cent of pheromone users reported more petting, kissing and affection with partners.'
Joan Friebely of Harvard University and Susan Rako, a doctor from Newton, Massachusetts, studied the behaviour of 44 older women. Half were given a perfume with the compound while the remainder used a fragrance with a placebo or dummy chemical.
Only 14 per cent of women using the perfume with the placebo reported an increase in affection from their partners.
Overall, 68 per cent of the pheromone group reported increases in at least four 'intimate socio-sexual behaviours', like sex and formal dates. In the placebo group, only 41 per cent reported increases.
'The results suggest the pheromone formulation has a role in increasing sexual attraction for post-menopausal women...,' said Friebely, the lead author of the study.
Earlier, a study by the University of Pennsylvania had found that men's perspiration had a surprisingly beneficial effect on women's moods by helping reduce stress and inducing relaxation, but there was no sign they were sexually aroused by it.
Biologist Winnifred Cutler, the discoverer of the mystery pheromone, is keeping the identity of the compound a secret until patents have been granted to her organisation, the Athena Institute for Women's Wellness Research in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.
Beauty, brains, sex appeal, charm, grace and all the other attributes a woman brings into play in the game of love now have a formidable partner: a pheromone, which could soon be marketed as the final word in romance.