When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Can A Bottled Spray Ensure That Your Lover Stays Faithful?

Spraying the love
Spraying the love
Camille Destraz

GENEVA — Beloved French singer Edith Piaf probably wasn't aware of it but what made her see "La Vie en Rose," or life expand=1] through rose-tinted glasses, as she sings in one of her most famous love songs, could have just been a rush of phenylethylamine or oxytocin.

Several types of hormones are released when a person falls in love. The brain produces vast amounts of phenylethylamine, or PEA, a hormone as addictive as drugs, which provokes a state of ecstasy, euphoria and hyperactivity.

If you believe that your new partner is perfect, blame it on the PEA.

"PEA alters reality," says Anouk Truchot, a relationship therapist. "It gives people the illusion that they are one, that they'll never be any conflict. When the hormone release reduces, the relationship can continue to function well as long as the couple does their best to continue what worked in the beginning and is aware of what really matters."

That's when dopamine, another hormone linked to pleasure, takes over. "This hormone provokes a strong stimulation that the brain will seek. It explains certain unreasonable behaviors such as ‘rebounds' despite difficulties in a relationship or a breakup, a little like relapse for alcoholics," says Patrik Vuilleumier, a professor in the neuroscience department at the University Hospital of Geneva.

With oxytocin, the relationship enters the phase of stability and long-term attachment. It's oxytocin that decides whether we have monogamous tendencies.

[rebelmouse-image 27090485 alt="""" original_size="600x400" expand=1]

Eau de Oxytocin, A Love Fragrance? — Photo: Vetiver Aromatics

"The manipulation of this hormone can transform a monogamous species into a polygamous one," says Vuilleumier. "That's the case for two species of shrews. One is monogamous, the other polygamous. If we suppress oxytocin receptors in the brains of the monogamous species, it becomes polygamous."

Women's bodies secrete oxytocin during when they give birth — it triggers contractions — as well during breastfeeding, which is believed to stimulate attachment to the baby. Oxytocin is reproduced in the form of a nasal spray to stimulate milk production in mothers. But this hormone is also released in women during sexual intercourse.

Can this spray, which is available over the counter, also then guarantee the attachment and loyalty of your partner? A little spurt on the pillow before going to bed?

"In theory, yes," says Vuilleumier. "Conversely, in case of a difficult breakup, we could prescribe chemicals that would block the pain inflicted by the separation. This is part of ongoing scientific research."

Truchot refers to Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages that notes down actions that make one feel loved and secure — physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time together, gifts (of course) and help, like changing the tires of your loved one's car.

"A man once told me, ‘If only I'd known during all these years that all I had to do to make love to my wife was to vacuum'," Truchot recalls.

"It's about chemistry," says Vuilleumier. "And when you get the right cocktail, it's good."

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


Influencer Union? The Next Labor Rights Battle May Be For Social Media Creators

With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor.

​photograph of a smartphone on a selfie stick

Smartphone on a selfie stick

Steve Gale/Unsplash
David Craig and Stuart Cunningham

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

✉️ You can receive our Bon Vivant selection of fresh reads on international culture, food & travel directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest