According to Dr. Alan Hirsch, Director of Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment Research Center, we’ve had it wrong for centuries. It isn’t your sexy perfume that drives men insane.
“Throw away perfume and go get some pumpkin pie,” Dr. Hirsch declares. Yes, pumpkin pie flavor /scent is an aphrodisiac.
Extensive research has found that the scent holds more power than you’ve ever known. Hirsch says that the combination of pumpkin pie and the scent of lavender was shown to increase penile blood flow by 40% in a 2010 study. Plus, they found that the general scent of pumpkin pie made men instantly think of sex.
So what exactly does this have to do with Starbucks? Everything!
We’re coming into the holiday season when pumpkin-flavored goodies pack the popular coffee chain. The popularity of Pumpkin Spice Latte isn’t only related to the fact that it’s a holiday flavor. Starbucks and other brands spend ample time and money trying to understand what scents make men and women crave their products.
According to a Marketplace.org report from 2015, 200 million pumpkin spice lattes have been sold since Starbucks released the drink in 2003. The number can only be greater now.
It’s safe to assume that Starbucks lattes generated a heck of a lot more than happy taste buds. How about millions of sexually charged men loitering around Starbucks as they happily take in the scent of pumpkin wafting through the air.
Beyond their pumpkin lattes, and all the other fun pumpkin-scented aphrodisiac feeling products in the stores, Starbucks has released a Chestnut Praline Latte. While this one isn’t linked to sexual arousal (as far as we know), it is geared toward tapping into the emotions linked to Christmas.
“It is really reminiscent of, you know, chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” said Starbucks spokeswoman Linda Mills.
“Food marketing people are trying to take advantage of those warm fuzzy feelings, and they have been very successful,” says MaryAnne Drake, a food scientist at North Carolina State University.
Selecting product flavors goes much further than clever marketing. Starbucks and other brands focus some on the science behind our attraction to specific flavors.
According to market analyst Robert Eckard, the business of “flavoring” has grown into a $2.7 billion industry.
Now that you’re aware, the next time you visit your favorite Starbucks you will have a whole new understanding as to why the dude next to you his smiling wide or off in a dreamland far, far away.
And remember, try ditching the perfume and baking your man a pumpkin pie one evening instead. You may have the perfect night!