But the bouquet also contained notes of overripe fruit, pet store interior, dead muskrat, paint, and countless other olfactory sensations. In one study , scientists in upstate New York used manmade scent mounds to manipulate the establishment of wild beaver families. Weber encouraged me to squeeze a bit harder. I felt a touch lightheaded, and wondered if the Food and Drug Administration had ever seen reason to ban the use of beaver glands as a narcotic. And that, Weber told me once we were safely removed from the line of fire, would be a very good thing. Indeed, a single anal secretion may contain upwards of different chemical compounds. A drop of amber liquid glistened on one tip, and I dabbed at it gingerly. In between live-trapping and release, the Project houses its wards at the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery , where males and females form pair-bonds that help them better survive in the wild. Your perfume? Not even the sharpest-eyed matchmaker can reliably tell the sexes apart — at least not visually. Methow Project biologist Katie Weber ponders a tissue full of diagnostic beaver secretions. Beavers have poor eyesight, which means they experience the world primarily through their noses their hearing is excellent, too.