Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Innovation Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Ingredients

  • oldperry

    January 21, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Hello Pete,

    The product that is supposed to work on mosquitos is the Victoria secret perfume. That means they only have to list the perfume ingredients as “fragrance”.  They do have to list any solvents too but the active ingredient that would repel insects is some component in their fragrance. Fragrances are considered trade secrets and the only ingredients in a fragrance you have to list are ones known to be allergens.

    Bottom line is that you probably will never be able to figure out what ingredient is responsible for repellency.

  • johnb

    January 21, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    “Victoria’s Secret” is merely a trade name and it doesn’t imply any special dispensation the manufacturer may have to avoid their legal responsibility.


    If it is the ingredient list of the perfume components, you are out of luck.

    Detailed lists of the ingredients of perfumes remain a confidential except for a list of known allergens which are declared as a matter of consumer safety.

    A perfume compound will contain perhaps a hundred ingredients or even more - most of these with complicated chemical names - to declare each one would take up a huge amount of label space and be totally meaningless to the vast majority of consumers - and, more to the point, of zero interest or concern.

    A perfume manufacturer (fragrance house) will reveal the components of a perfume compound to interested parties if there is a compelling reason (usually medical or safety) for them to do so but not the proportions of each one except in a “banded” format.

  • Pete

    January 21, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks guys. I wasn’t aware there was a difference in regulations around disclosure for cosmetics vs perfumes. Something new learnt.

    Regarding finding out the active responsible for the antimosquito effect, I agree that is might be difficult to identify, but I see that as an opportunity right up my street, so thought it worth asking to at least narrow down the possibilities.

    Many thanks for your comments.

  • bill_toge

    January 21, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    the fragrance house will also have to declare any hazardous components on the MSDS (many of which are not required on the label), but only they and the manufacturer will be party to that

  • Pete

    January 21, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks. Sounds like I will need to just wait and see if further research comes out on this one.

  • johnb

    January 22, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Pete, this effect has been studied by the research departments of some extremely large companies and I think that if there was any more to be made public, it would have been done by now.

    The biggest obstacle in declaring a material or essential oil an insect repellent is that for the majority of materials, whilst it may be a repellent to some species, that same material is an attractant to others.

    As an example, some years ago I worked for a company who were investigating the effects of lavender oil (and it components) on various arthropods. It was found that several components of lavender were highly effective in repelling a number of insect species. However, it was pointed out during the investigations that honey bees found lavender highly attractive - so much so that, when available, lavender formed the exclusive nectar source for them (you can even buy lavender honey).

    That, and similar findings with other plant species, put an abrupt end to the investigations

  • Pete

    January 22, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks for that info johnb. I was interested in one particular mosquito that has recently taken resident in our area. They don’t bite me, but they love my wife and daughter. They even bite my daughter during the day at school.

    Of course, I was not thinking of using the fragrance alone, but thought there might be some advantage here.

    Talking about bees, I think urban bee keepers find all kinds of different colour honeys in London depending on what happens to be tipped in the local dumps.

  • johnb

    January 23, 2017 at 8:01 am

    I find your ideas on the origins of London honey interesting:

    “Talking about bees, I think urban bee keepers find all kinds of
    different colour honeys in London depending on what happens to be tipped
    in the local dumps.”

    There was me thinking that honey was made from the nectar of flowers :)

  • Pete

    January 23, 2017 at 10:46 am

    I wish. I believe bee populations in the countryside have declines in most developed countries due to monocultures, pesticides and little space left for wild flowers. However, they appear to be thriving in cities - but I think I would want a tracker on them before eating the honey!

  • goldie

    May 1, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    citronella geranium melissa {i think you call it lemon balm}all of those essential oils been helping with keeping mosquitos away especially the citronella i think one of the component is driven from there from the citronella


    May 1, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Did a lot of research on this in seventies/eighties looking for Deet replacement in conjunction with ICR and two hours is easily achieved with fragrance oils but you will not know fragrance formula unless you get a sample and run GC to determine composition.

  • sukimarmelaide

    February 13, 2023 at 9:48 pm

    I am certain that I have never before commented, only secretly stalked and lurked.

    Obviously, this response is not necessarily for the original poster, but just in case others might be seeking the answer, or a possible answer..

    I’m sure everyone here is already aware of the trials comparing DEET with catnip, I am going to say extract here, because I can’t recall if it was, for example, the essential oil or an extract of some specific kind.

    I do remember that it was an ivy league school that was responsible for this study and that after finding conclusively that catnip..extract was superior to DEET for repelling mosquitoes (although I believe they discovered that it had to be reapplied rather often), the university then immediately secured the patent for the use of catnip whatever for repelling mosquitoes.

    I only mention this because catnip is a mint and smells lovely and definitely could be the mystery fragrance ingredient discussed above.

    Thank you.

  • graillotion

    February 14, 2023 at 1:29 am

    Iowa State….will be thrilled!

  • PhilGeis

    February 14, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Similar reports for Avons Skin

  • microformulation

    February 15, 2023 at 9:52 am

    If you are in the US you may find some Guidance in the CFR Exempt Pesticides; https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-40/chapter-I/subchapter-E/part-152/subpart-B/section-152.25

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