One of the great scientific wonders of our time is Lip Smackers' ability to emulate every flavor from Coca-Cola to Sriracha. And it's all possible because Maritza Aispuro has the coolest job in the world: as the Product Development Manager for Markwins International, the company that creates the famous lip balms.
Lip Smackers' site says it's the first scented lip balm product ever. It all began with strawberry in 1972. Then, it branched out to more complex flavors like Moon Rock Candy and Butterscotch Topaz, and it still releases more each season.
"I’m probably smelling and tasting and testing flavors a good three days out of the week, every week," Aispuro told Bustle. "So it’s a lot of flavor, it’s a lot of formulas. We have tons of flavors, like over 400, that we make available." For each new one, she sends a request to the company's chemists, who create three oils for her to mix with Lip Smacker formula and try out on her lips.
Creating a new lip balm flavor really is a science. When the team was making the Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers flavor, they used gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers to examine the drink's ingredients.
Many brands only use basic fruits that produce essential oils because creating the scent to match a food or drink is not always straightforward. Lip Smackers had to get creative with Strawberry Shortcake, for example, because there's no strawberry essential oil. And guacamole was impossible, since the dip gets so much of its distinct taste from its texture.
The hardest part, though, may be not eating the lip balms. Because the makeup's smell is so enticing, Aispuro leaves sweets in her office so she and her coworkers don't cave, she said. "Having a bunch of candy around helps quell any urge to munch on a Smacker."