CK Obsession for Men more Important than Food to Big Felines {The 5th Sense in the News}

The best customers for CK Obsession for Men might be jungle cats or rather the zoologists who research (and enable) them. In a procedure called "scent enrichment" conservationists use all sorts of scents to "enhance" the lives of big cats on a quotidian basis. Seeing them nearly enter in a "trance" and do "cheek-rubbing" are sure signs that a particular perfume is a hit. Musk perfumes are reportedly their favorites. Using an olfactory bait to retain the attention of felines is also one of the means that researchers use to get the animals from moving away too quickly from a data-gathering setup in the field about their identities and behavior. Apparently, the "best-seller" of the feline kingdom is the masculine version of CK Obsession over L'Air du Temps, still the runner-up, leaving Revlon Charlie and Estée Lauder Beautiful in the dust.

Big cats then must love oriental fougères, with this particular mix of green forest-y accord and animalic notes. CK Obsession for Women, although it quite clearly echoes the men's vesion, is perhaps too sweet for their tastes? Dr. Pat Thomas of the Bronx zoo hints that it would be good to know what ingredients are used in some popular perfumes among the big cats but admits that the industry's secrecy works against this wish (pssst, you could perhaps do a chromatography analysis and then there is a whole industry that specializes in copycat perfumes, like in Grasse)...

"In 2003, Pat Thomas, general curator for the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo in New York, decided to get scientific about it. Working with 24 fragrances and two cheetahs, he recorded how long it took the big cats to notice the scent and how much time they spent interacting with it.

The results left barely a whiff of a doubt. Estée Lauder's Beautiful occupied the cheetahs on average for just two seconds. Revlon's Charlie managed 15.5 seconds. Nina Ricci's L'Air du Temps took it up to 10.4 minutes. But the musky Obsession for Men triumphed: 11.1 minutes. That's longer than the cats usually take to savor a meal."

Read more in WSJ's Big Cats Obsess about Calvin Klein's 'Obsession for Men'...

You can also watch a video entitled "Catnip for Conservation" featuring an interview with Dr. Pat Thomas explaining what scent enrichment is here.

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