Smell Like a Vampire Hunter: Aromaflage review

     Okay, maybe calling mosquitoes ‘vampires’ is an exaggeration, but that’s what they sometimes feel like. Blood-sucking parasites that are up to no good, flying around the night and carrying horrible venom on their razor-sharp teeth… alright, that last part was from Twilight,” but still. Nobody has ever felt bad about swatting at one (or ten), nor should they. We’d all be better off without the little buggers, in my humble opinion.

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     Just how many perfectly pleasant picnics, banging backyard BBQ’s, and enchanting educational expeditions have come to a grinding halt because a cloud of mosquitoes decided to drop in for lunch?

     I say, no more! Arm yourself with bug spray; burn citronella candles everywhere; guard the children and protect the women – this is war! If only all those things didn’t smell so bad and were made of more natural ingredients you can actually pronounce…

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     Say no more, because I want to introduce you to your Knight in Shining Armor: meet Aromaflage, and his brother Aromaflage Wild. Aromaflage is the signature product from Melissa and Michael Fensterstock, whom I had the pleasure of talking to in the summer.

     The origins of the company are in Southeast Asia, where the real-life couple discovered an exotic and natural fragrance that the locals use as insect repellent. In lab trials they found that the concoction worked just as well as the leading DEET repellent over 2.5 hours, which I was eager to see for myself in a field test of my own. The Purser bottle I received for review consideration ($30/8 ml*) is good for about 75 sprays of the child-safe, toxin-free, perfumed bug spray. The dragonfly logo hints at its effectiveness, as the beautiful insect is known to eat mosquitoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (er, yum?).

     And so, with the bottle of Aromaflage in tow I headed for the Great Outdoors – Presqu’ile Provincial Park, to be exact. I wore the fragrance to the beach…

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     To my morning hike…

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     And even to an exciting battle reenactment that happened on the grounds.

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     At the end of the three days trip I compared the number of bites I ended up with (no, the spray is not a 100% mosquito-proof barrier) to those my family suffered while using an expensive repellent with 23.5% DEET. The results were unexpected, even optimistically: we’d all gotten just about the same, give or take. The only difference is that I had been enjoying the vanilla and citrus fragrance while they reeked of chemicals. I was very satisfied with the result, and although Aromaflage does need to be reapplied frequently it is perfectly portable and easy to carry, and the fragrance never overwhelms.

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     But wait, there’s more! Every time we sat down to enjoy a meal in nature, I lit a tiny soy candle of Aromaflage Wild, the ‘flanker’ to Aromaflage. It’s miniscule in size but monumental in keeping bugs away. Although telemarketers did call a few times, the rest of the pests stayed blissfully out of the table’s vicinity – even the flies! It can seem pointless to light a candle outdoors, but it really works.

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     Verdict: Too many products never live up to expectations, but this one delivers. The only downside to Aromaflage is it doesn’t come in larger sizes than 50 ml. For the future it would be great to see it become available in bulk size for easy refills. Until then, I’ll be spraying this on every bit of visible skin when I’m under the sun’s glorious rays and lighting candles whenever I fire up the grill. Aromaflage not only smells good and keeps my skin relatively free of those annoying welts, it also sounds incredibly cool to say – try it! Big thanks to Michael and Melissa, and my best wishes to them as the line expands. As they would say, “To health, long life, and living naturally!”


 

 

*Prices true at time of writing.


 

You can check out Aromaflage at their website, Twitter, Pintrest, Facebook, and Instagram.


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2 responses to “Smell Like a Vampire Hunter: Aromaflage review

  1. Thank you for this review, Gil! Looking forward to trying this out as well. But one thing I’d love to know more about is what exactly this smells like. Other reviews and sites, including Aromaflage’s own, have listed “citrus and vanilla,” but we all know that this so general, it says precious little in the world of fragrance! Can you give us some more details of what this is like–top notes, whether there is any development, sillage and scent longevity (putting aside the bug repellant element which demands 2 hr reapplication), etc.? In short, a real fragrance review, not just a bug spray effectiveness review (although that was very helpful, to be sure).

    • Hi Vera! So sorry for the delay in answering your question, I’ve been travelling for most of the month and am currently recovering from some serious jet lag. LOL

      SO, Aromaflage. I had to re-read what I wrote last summer, and then smell it again (it’s been a hot minute since the weather in Canada demanded bug spray). I have to say it’s a very foody vanilla, almost reminding me of the old Bath & Body Works cupcake scent. Then it mixes with a sort of harsh, detergent-like lemon scent. Both are very artificial, but combined they make a semi pleasant aroma, kind of like what “spa” scented body care might smell like. I would say it is inoffensive, but the scent is not the main attraction. It also doesn’t change much, the two just mingle for the entire longevity.

      I hope that clarifies things a little better! 🙂

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