PARIS: Scientists from the L'Oreal Institute of Cosmetic Research yesterday announced that they had discovered and named two new chemical elements - Nutrileum and Boswelox. The news threatens to render millions of chemistry textbooks obsolete, but there are signs that the global scientific community may not be ready to accept the L'Oreal discoveries at face value.
"Our detractors are just jealous," said Antoine Batisse, director of the L'Oreal Institute. "And, most probably, that is caused by oily skin. I recommend the use of L'Oreal Dermo-Expertise Futur-e Moisturizer."
There have been no new additions to the periodic table since element 118 - as yet unnamed - was discovered in 1999. Recent additions to the periodic table have been short-lived and unique chemicals, created in accelerator laboratories. Normally, these elements are of interest only to scientists. In contrast, L'Oreal claims that its new elements - which would occupy the places of 119 and 120 in the table - have the power to make real changes in the lives of ordinary people.
"Nutrileum has remarkable powers to regenerate tired and damaged hair," Batisse says. "It leaves hair stronger, shinier and glossier than ever before."
Boswelox, meanwhile, is touted as a solution to the problems of "expression lines".
But the announcement was met with irritated responses from leading chemists. "You can't trademark elements," protested Nobel Prize-winning chemist Glenn Seaborg, the discoverer of plutonium, when contacted by phone. "And they're not even elements. They're just compounds with fancy names that are intended to convince credulous consumers that there's some merit in the manufacturers' hyperbole about reversing the aging process and mending hair. It's ridiculous."
Informed of Seaborg's comments, L'Oreal's Batisse shrugs. "Have you seen that man's forehead? It's like a map of the Paris metro. And his hair!"
L'Oreal warned yesterday that if the scientific community is unwilling to accept its elements as genuine, it may create a breakaway periodic table, containing elements such as Plenitunium, Luxurase and Rejuvasil
"Beauty is truth," noted Batisse.