A three-year-old jaguar kept at the Belize Zoo, west of Belize City, Belize.
Calvin Klein Obsession for Men doesn’t just attract cougars...it also works on jaguars (actual jaguars).
Rather than paying an army of field assistants to observe the elusive cats, wiildlife biologists often deploy cameras in jungles from Guatemala to Nicaragua to capture images when these solitary, nocturnal cats pass by. But how do they lure the big cats in front of the camera? After testing many different fragrances, one researcher now swears by Obsession, which, according to The Guardian, contains synthetic "animal notes" similar to those secreted by cats.
Every bottle of Obsession is made with a chemical called civetone, which is derived from the scent glands of the cat-like civet, Miguel Ordenana, a biologist with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, told Scientific American. “What we think is that civetone resembles some sort of territorial marking to the jaguar, and so it responds by rubbing its own scent on it.”
So if you plan on wearing Obsession on your next date, don’t plan on having dinner in jaguar territory.
Researchers in Guatemala sprayed a rag with Calvin Klein's Obsession for Men in order to capture rare images of jaguar behaviour.
Jaguars obsessed with Calvin Klein scent
Wildlife conservationists in Guatemala use Obsession for Men to lure jaguars to cameras in order to film them
It's advertised as the "pure essence of masculinity", a fragrance with a musky, sensual aroma that, by implication, women are bound to find irresistible. But what's not mentioned in the marketing is that Calvin Klein's Obsession for Men has also proved a hit with jaguars in the Guatemalan jungle.
Scientists are using the cologne to lure the elusive big cats to hidden cameras in the Maya biosphere reserve, a protected tropical rainforest spanning 8,100 sq miles, to help them record, monitor and protect the animals.
The jaguars have been filmed rubbing, sniffing and pawing objects sprayed with the scent, a reaction which perhaps Calvin Klein's perfumers had not anticipated .
The discovery was made by the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx zoo in New York. In an attempt to draw cheetahs to camera traps, it experimented with 23 different scents. Estée Lauder's Beautiful detained the cats for two seconds on average, Revlon's Charlie lasted 15.5 seconds while Nina Ricci's L'Air du Temps managed 10.4 minutes. Obsession for Men's musky scent scored best: 11.1 minutes.
News spread to field researchers, including those in Guatemala. They sprayed it on a rag staked close to heat and motion-sensitive cameras in the hope jaguars would linger long enough for proper images.
The cologne did better than that. It prompted "cheek-rubbing behaviour" which yielded hair and DNA samples. Male and female jaguars seemed equally keen. The project has also captured seldom-seen jaguar mating rituals.
"We're just starting to get an idea of how jaguars behave in their habitat," Roan Balas McNab, WSC's Guatemala programme director, told the Wall Street Journal. "Before we used Obsession for Men we weren't able to get these images at all."
Ann Gottlieb, who helped create the scent, told the paper: "It's a combination of this lickable vanilla heart married to this fresh green top note – it creates tension."
The cologne also had synthetic "animal" notes like civet, a musky substance secreted by the cat of the same name, giving it particular sex appeal. "It sparks curiosity with humans and, apparently, animals."
Adverts for Obsession for Men, one of the world's top 10 best-selling men's scents, tend to feature models wearing little except glistening baby oil.
Researchers plan to expand the use of the cologne to wilderness areas in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Some buy the £41 bottles at duty-free shops en route to forests, others rely on donations.