Whipped Out

Stuff that matters

Name: Pillow mists.

Age: Lost in the mists of time. Medieval insomniacs may have used a sprig of lavender to help them sleep, while herbs and oils have been fashionable as sleep aids since the 70s. Pillow mists or sprays have become big business in our sleep-obsessed age, and pandemic-related anxieties have led to soaring sales.

Appearance: Attractive small bottles with oils containing ingredients such as lavender, chamomile and vetiver that, when sprayed on your pillow, are supposed to soothe you to sleep.

How? The theory is that the aromas produce melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. Psychologists say the brain then associates the smells with going to sleep, reinforcing the effect.

Do they really work? Sleep therapists say they do, and who am I to argue? But the cynic in me would like to see a bit more independent evidence. There is, however, a lot of money to be made out of sleeplessness; these little bottles can cost upwards of £15.

Why are they in the news? Because the lingerie company Pour Moi has decided to spice up the industry with a new line of pillow mists that smell like “the world’s sexiest and most lusted-after celebrities”.

Who are these lusted-after celebrities? Jennifer Aniston, Maya Jama, Rihanna, Margot Robbie, Bradley Cooper, Zac Efron and Harry Styles.

How does Pour Moi know what they smell like? The company says it has been inspired by the perfumes and colognes the celebs wear.

Hardly scientific. Stop being so po-faced.

What’s the point anyway? “Our new bed sprays will create sensual dreams filled with the actual scent of the superstar you admire,” says Pour Moi, alluringly.

OK, how does Zac Efron smell? “Ultra-fresh herby notes and energising green apple.”

And Jennifer Aniston? “Orange blossom, lily and sandalwood notes.”

Margot Robbie? “An intoxicating blend of persimmon, pomegranate and rich orchid.”

Ah yes, of course. But if you were in bed with a sexy celebrity, would sleep be the first thing on your mind? I couldn’t possibly comment.

How much do these celeb sprays cost? They’re not yet commercially available and can only be obtained via a prize draw.

A way of Pour Moi gathering useful data to sell its lingerie and other associated lines, in other words? Dear me, you are more cynical than I am.

Never trust these glossy French companies! Pour Moi is British, actually, and started life in Macclesfield.

Not to be confused with: Vicks VapoRub.

Do say (sleepily): “Oh, move over, Rihanna, you’re on my side of the bed.”

Don’t say (sleepily or otherwise): “Can I get a really sweaty Russell Crowe?”