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Human Pheromones: The Science Behind the Scent of Attraction

Osmology, or the science of smell research, has determined that men and women are attracted to each other via selective chemical messengers called pheromones. These are arousal-stimulating chemicals that signal sexual desire, sexual readiness, hormone levels, fertility and the deepest emotions. When released by the body, certain pheromones can work like magic to attract members of the opposite sex.The term pheromone was coined by two hormone researchers, Karlson and Luscher, who created the word from two Greek origins: pherein, meaning to bring or transfer; and hormon, meaning to excite.

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Pheromones are primarily perceived through olfactory sensors, and studies suggest they are excreted by several areas of the body, including the skin, sweat glands, saliva, and urine.

Pheromones are linked to some of the most crucial stages in our lives ... from breast feeding to mate selection. Studies have shown, for example, that breast-fed newborns are able to distinguish between a breast pad worn by its mother and one worn by a stranger. In a crib, the baby will turn quickly away from the unfamiliar breast pad ... and turn towards his mother's.1

Even your soul mate must have the right pheromones ...

You may even pick your soul mate by subconsciously reacting to pheromones that transmit their genetic compatibility. You may be familiar with the landmark white tee-shirt test in which women consistently preferred the odors of tee-shirts that had been worn by strangers who were genetically compatible with them ... and were actually turned off by those who were genetically incompatible. 2 What’s more, the odors they preferred reminded them of their boyfriends.

Subconscious sexual attraction

Pheromones can act as powerful catalysts of sexual attraction. As humans secrete these chemicals through perspiration, they are subconsciously detected by the nose, brain and nervous system. Only about 10 percent of men give off significant amounts of androsterone, a select pheromone that seems to give them what many call sex appeal. These men may not even look sexy yet through pheromone-release they send out powerful signals of attraction.3

Men primarily release androsterone through their skin and hair. And while both men and women excrete trace amounts of it through their urine, men excrete up to four times as much as women do. This particular pheromone, which is produced by the adrenal glands of both sexes, is also present in sweat under the armpits of both sexes. In addition, it is present in smegma, the substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of the penis and vagina.
Researchers have found that women secrete at least one other attracting pheromone from their vagina. Studies of the vaginal secretions of sexually alluring women have demonstrated the presence of copulin, a pheromone which is mainly present in these fluids. The appearance of these chemicals appears to correlate with hormonal variations corresponding with changes in the female menstrual cycle.

Therapeutic applications

According to Masters and Johnson, products containing pheromones can be used for correcting sexual dysfunction. The researchers say that the sense of smell is under used in the treatment of sexual problems, and they admit to utilizing pheromone-scented lotions in their clinic to help couples benefit from the therapy offered there. The research group conducted a 10-year study that confirmed the sexual turn on aspect of these chemical attractors.

Sexual applications

One study confirmed that pheromones are commonly used by the perfume industry. Although companies claim to use these compounds as a carrier of the fragrance, the added pheromones are most likely the secretly seductive ingredient. Since perfumes are primarily marketed based upon their ability to appeal to the opposite sex, the pheromone-perfume combination makes perfect “scents”!

What to expect when you use pheromones

People using pheromones have reported a wide range of benefits, including4:

  • A heightened state of relaxation and ease especially in social situations
  • Less anxiety
  • Increased confidence
  • Decrease of social butterflies
  • Feeling more attractive
  • Happier; more optimistic outlook
  • Enhanced working relationships
  • Revved-up sex life
  • More romantic relationships
  • Empowered
  • Increased sense of well-being

Elevated mood: Both men and women who describe themselves as depressed report an overall sense of well-being, positivity and energy, when wearing pheromones. Researchers at Pherin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., inspired by the therapeutic benefits of using human pheromones, are now engaged in clinical trials of their use to alleviate panic attacks and mood disorders.

Enhanced working relationships: A journalist researching human pheromones tried them to see for himself what the results were like. “I immediately noticed that the people I work with were looking at me and smiling more than usual. I finally realized that it was me, that I was making more eye contact with them and sending a message of confidence I didn’t normally project.”


Enhanced sexual attractiveness: In a double-blind study testing human pheromones, 20 women received topically applied pheromones three times a week. The women receiving the pheromones reported a significantly higher rate of sexual contact with men than the control group. A similar study conducted with men had the same results, more sexual contact with women than the men who applied the placebo.

Safety and precautions

Pheromones are generally considered safe and have no known side effects; however, they may cause subjectively unwanted effects. For example, the use of a pheromone formula may result in the attraction of undesirable members of the opposite sex. Thus, we suggest careful and calculated use of these compounds at all times.

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Dosage and timing

Perfumes may or may not contain pheromones (marketers are not required to list them on the product label). Therefore, initial applications may be tested in small dosages of one or two quick sprays. When pheromones are purchased separately, they can be added to a favorite cologne or perfume in amounts recommended by the manufacturer.

To heighten the passion of the sexual experience, pheromones may be strategically applied in erogenous zones just minutes prior to the encounter. They may also be used to build up to sex, in which case they should be applied an hour or two beforehand. If the desired effect is not noticed, the amount can be increased in small increments.


The scent of attraction is very real and human pheromones play a powerful role. If you want to boost your confidence and increase your attractiveness to the opposite sex, human pheromones might be just what you are looking for. 

Editor's Note:

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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with a physician before embarking on a dietary supplement program.


  1. Watson, Lyal. Jacobson’s Organ, And The Remarkable Nature of Smell. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, New York (2000).

  2. Wedekind C, Furi S. “Body odor preferences in men and women: Do they aim for specific MHC combinations or simply heterozygoity?” Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. Oct. 1997: 264 (137); 1471-9.

  3. Cutler, W.B., “Human Sex-Attractant Pheromones: Discovery, Research, Development and Application in Sex Therapy. Psychiatric Annals.” The Journal of Continuing Psychiatric Education, Jan. 1999, Vol. 29, 1:54-59.

  4. McClintock MK, “On the nature of mammalian and human pheromones.” Ann N Y Acad Sci, Nov. 1998 30; 855: 390-2.

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I can honestly say that pheromones work.  If you want to “get noticed” give them a try!

For gay men, there’s also a male-to-male pheromone cologne, I recently bought it as a gift for a gay friend and he swears by it.  It’s called KCologne (i believe their website  I think the mix of phermones is particular to gay men.

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