With the 4th of July celebrations just around the corner and barbecue parties in sight all summer long, it might be time to think about how not to get your blood sucked by mosquitoes looking for lunch on the lawn.
Mosquitoes are attracted to the chemical messages sent by carbon dioxides, lactic and carboxylic acids that we produce. The more you activate your metabolism and perspire, the more likely female mosquitoes are to pick up on you from a mile away. A good anti-perspirant might be a first step. It's also recommended to eat less salt and potassium-rich foods like potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, cauliflower, chard, strawberries, bananas...ahem, where is the bug-repellent?
Here are a few perfume-related suggestions that are easy to implement.
Brooklyn-based CB I Hate Perfume has a special weapon of choice to fight off unsightly bugs. Christopher Brosius is a grown man full of memories from childhood and smells from the countryside and gardens he frequented. Meaning, he gets the issue. He created CB # 803 Outside perfume spray ($45 on cbihateperfume.com) which is a special concoction, which serves to both scent your clothes and lower limbs in order to deflect mosquitoes...
It works. The first time I used it just by spraying some on a paper napkin by my bedside and soon enough there was a mosquito resting in peace on the paper. It smells of patchouli, it's a bit rosy, with a hint of citronella and it has a herbal-y personality. It's good enough to be used as a home fragrance suggesting the smell of mossy wet stones. It might be a tad strong and conspicuous for an all-over if you are going to a garden party, except on the feet and ankles, which might be just enough to create a halo of protection from the local fauna.
What you read on the label:
"Why don't you protect yourself and your clothes from bugs and mosquitoes with perfume?
Spray yourself and your clothes all over and remember your feet.
DON'T SPRAY IN EYES OR ON FACE."
• A natural scent that bugs and co. positively hate is lavender. You can grab any of your lavender- or lavandula-heavy perfumes (such as Caswell-Massey English Lavender Signature Scent, Jicky by Guerlain or Pour un Homme by Caron, beloved by women too) or you can pick a convenient stick. The Norfolk Lavender Company, an English brand with an original lavender perfume recipe dating back to 1934 also offers the same composition in a convenient twist-up Norfolk Lavender Cologne Solide stick (£4.99 on norfolk-lavender.co.uk/shop) They recommend using it against mosquitoes by swiping the stick on your legs. Plus it's a refreshing scent. Carry it in your purse and you'll be able to refresh impromptu whenever needed.
• Lafes proposes an organic product gentle enough for infants. Lafes Natural Body Care Baby Insect Repellent ($8.18 on Amazon.com) blends ingredients such as geranium, cedarwood, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, sweet almond oil essence, but it is actually said to be fragrance-free. "Estrogenic activity free plastic ... no BPA, phthalates or harmful chemicals. Most plastic bottles leach estrogens that may be harmful to infants and children. Lafe's uses only certified baby-safe plastic. 4 oz size"
• Next comes a group of soaps that are the result of research conducted both by the Australians and Chinese. These are useful because you can also use them to wash your hair providing head-to-toe coverage. FaceDoctorX Anti Mosquito Soap ($9.99 on Amazon.com) was developed as an extension of research on the behavior of mosquitoes over 10 years. Like Skin Armour Deep Woods Soap ($12.89 on overstock.com) it is made of 100% natural extracts and refers to "the unique formula from Dr. Archibald of the Australian National Biological Laboratory." Finally Bug Off Soap and Shampoo bar ($5.50 on Amazon.com) is explicitly advertised as safe for your hair.
• Finally, if you failed miserably at becoming unappetizing to insects, whip out yet another stick (I do love them) and try the comforting First Aid Beauty Healing Stick ($14 on sephora.com) "...unlike other hydrocortisones on the market, this product is a thick, anhydrous stick and not a cream, so it stays put and doesn't run to areas where the skin doesn't need it. Bug bites, poison ivy, harsh soaps, and chapped lips are just a few of the indications for the Healing Stick."