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Human Pheromones

Buzzle Staff May 10, 2019
Pheromones are not detected as conscious smells, therefore it's very difficult to study the effects they may have on human beings. This article provides information regarding the same.
Researchers have known for years that a large part of human psychology and response can be triggered by smells. The smell of baking bread may remind you of your grandmother's house and make you happy, or the smell of a raincoat might remind you of the time you got locked in the coat closet at school and make you frightened.
While we understand the power of conscious smells, scientists have discovered that our behavior may also be triggered by a series of unconscious smells as well. These odors, that we aren't aware of at a cognitive level can be the explanation behind attraction, mating, and other human rituals.

In Animals

Pheromones are a known phenomenon in the insect and animal world. The secretions produced by a bug can do a number of things such as marking its territory to warn the other species from trespassing, and creating an attractive scent that makes a potential mate more docile or willing.
Animal and insect experts have documented the role these chemicals play in everything from marking the trail of honey to the reproduction cycle of monkeys. Researchers began to investigate this phenomenon in human beings and create a startling series of discoveries.


Since pheromones are not detected as conscious smells, it's very hard to study their effects on human beings. Most human research is done by verbal reporting or observational testing. These studies led to the discovery of the VNO, the vomeronasal organ located in the nose or mouth.
This organ detects odors and relays the information to the brain in a subconscious way. The VNO is how a baby knows a blanket that has been touched by its mother even though the infant has no understanding of conscious smells.
Armed with this theory, researchers began testing different odors and fluids secreted by men and women to discover the role they play in everyday life.


Human pheromones are still undergoing scientific study and are in the peer-review process where scientist's check each other's work and results. However, early data are promising that these chemicals do play a great role in attraction, desire, and choices.
Studies show men who exude certain types of chemicals were found more attractive by women, revealing that there is something in the smell that drives women to choose which men are more "sexy" or "desirable".
They also play a role in human reproduction. When a woman is ovulating, the chemicals that are released alert men to the possibility of mating for an offspring, just as they do in animals. Although men may not be consciously aware of why they suddenly want to have sex with a certain woman, the chemical may be driving the process forward.
Studies have also shown the presence of receptors as a part of the biological base for homosexuality. In several studies, homosexual men responded to certain pheromones the same way as heterosexual women. This adds a crucial piece to the much larger puzzle of sexual orientation.

Pheromone Perfumes

Some perfume manufacturing companies began to "market" the idea that certain pheromones could be sold that would attract men or create desire in women. It's important to note that no peer-reviewed study suggests that these chemicals can be produced synthetically. They are something the body produces and each body is unique.
However, since we know that these are a natural attractors, the answer isn't to buy more perfume but wear less. Don't use heavy soaps or perfume, but let the natural smells of your body do your talking for you.
There is still a lot to learn about humans, and the possibility that the things we find attractive are more like animals than the environment. However, this intriguing notion is worth taking note of and investigating.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.