Beatrice Minguez is a young pediatrician who works in the gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition department of the Sant Joan de Déu hospital in Barcelona. She is one of the protagonists of this story that will change the lives of people suffering from fish odor syndrome. In fact, he has already changed it for several of his patients, two children, and for a few volunteers – a teenager and three adults – who signed up two summers ago for a pioneering and collaborative project between the aforementioned hospital center and the multinational perfume euro-fragrance, Present in more than 60 countries.
“Coincidentally, I was covering a colleague’s sick leave last year and these patients, aged 3 and 7, came to see me. When they left the nutrition clinic, they left a lot of fishy smell in the room. parental concern it was that smell and its social consequences. I told them to try essences, but the result was fatal because the smells were mixed and it was even worse”, recalls the doctor who explains that after reviewing the scientific literature, she did not couldn’t find any other option than to use antibiotics vague low choline diet [con restricción de pescado, legumbres y huevos] that they were already using.
“Then I asked a friend of mine for help. I was very heavy,” Mínguez points out. her friend is king of cupcakes, technical perfumer of Eurofragance and the one who opened the doors of a company that was unaware of the existence of this medical problem and immediately got to work. “It was our way of helping these people get back to normal life, because this problem It affects them a lot psychologically, it isolates them and generates anxiety and depression.“says Stéphanie Marze, director of corporate communications.
A rare pathology
the fish odor syndrome It is a rare disease suffered by people with primary carnitine deficiency (1/20,000 – 1/70,000 people in Europe), making these patients unable to process long-chain fatty acids to convert them into energy. It also happens to people with trimethylaminuriaa genetic and metabolic condition (with an estimated incidence of heterozygous carriers between 0.5% and 11%), incurable, and in which the body is unable to process certain nitrogen-containing compounds, such as trimethylamine, and which translated by this characteristic stench.
The hospital and the company had never worked together before and, according to Mínguez, “such collaboration between the healthcare and perfumery sectors is not common.” Now, anyone affected by this problem can register for this project What good results have you had? *[al final de este reportaje encontrarán un correo donde pueden apuntarse].
No cure has been found, but a solution has been found for these patients. “At first we started a bit instinctively -says Rey-, testing with materials that we thought could neutralize bad smells. We know how to counter the smell in a room, but on the skin it’s is different and we had never tried it”.
Here is how the perfumer explains the process: “We bought pure trimethylamine, we made the solution that could be compared to the power that we perceived that the children gave off. And in a closed container we simulated what the child could evaporate for about eight minutes. hours, the daily time when he is usually away from home. We put it in a closed container with the lotion in the dose of this raw material, then we smelled it at one o’clock, three and eight o’clock”.
block out the stench
With that trial and error came with a “synergy” in which the smell of fish does not disappear, but it is not perceived. “We use citrus notes, which help block the fishy smell receptor in your nose. The idea is to get the scent before the stench,” says Rey. Come on, whoever gets there first wins.
Your partner david malo explains how they thought about the type of scent: “When it comes to pediatric and adolescent patients, the key has been to get a scent to match their age to increase their acceptance and that of their environment. For the little ones, we were inspired by a concept fresh ‘cologne’. For teenagers, an agreement has been designed ‘Green tea’fresh, unisex and easy to wear at any age”.
Specifically, they developed a body lotion in 1% flavored cream, an “eau de toilette” with 5% perfume and a body serum with 2% perfume. With the latter, greater fragrance retention and good hydration are achieved, as well as ease of application.
Each set of products – which are currently produced in conjunction with the hospital’s pharmacy department – contain the same fragrance applied to give consistency to the fragrance effect. To increase its effectiveness, patients are advised to use neutral gels and shampoos, preferably fragrance-free and the total elimination of other additional cosmetics that might interfere with the results.
“It’s cosmetic, with hours it leaves the skin, but it can be reapplied as many times as necessary”, explains the pediatrician, who has received “a million thanks” from his patients.
Remember Mínguez that he always looking for volunteers to test the effectiveness of the products, and that all persons concerned can be contacted via the following e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.