How many times has this happened to you? You’re at a party, you’re unattached, and you end up talking to an attractive member of the opposite sex who also appears to be unattached. You’re talking, and things seem to be going smoothly except there doesn’t seem to be any chemistry between the two of you.
How can you ensure that love will be in the air when you want it to be? Well, you can’t always, but you can give love a head start by using the right pheromones. Human pheromones can be a great dating tool.
What Are Pheromones?
Pheromones are chemical compounds that animals use to communicate with other members of their species. They’re olfactory cues that elicit a wide range of behavioral responses. Insects like honey bees use these olfactory cues to signal the direction of food and to warn of threats. Mother rabbits secrete chemical signals that prompt their offspring to nurse.
One distinct class of olfactory cues seems to be associated with attracting members of the opposite sex for mating purposes. These chemical signals are so subtle and complex that some of them are actually capable of relaying highly specific information that references age and genotype in addition to species and sex.
While many pheromonic signals are associated with odors, some are actually odorless. They’re not processed the same way that odors are processed, either. Most scents are detected by the olfactory epithelium that lines the nose. Pheromonic chemicals, on the other hand, are detected by a specialized sensory organ called the vomeronasal organ, which is located deep within the nose.
The neurons that innervate the olfactory epithelium culminate in the olfactory bulb, which is located in the cerebral cortex. The neurons that innervate the vomeronasal organ, however, culminate in the hypothalamus, which is an area of the brain known for secreting neurohormones that affect sexual behavior and autonomic nervous system responses.
Do Human Pheromones Exist?
Scientists are divided on the subject of whether or not human beings respond behaviorally to chemical signals. In the August 30, 2001 issue of the scientific journal “Neuron,” Swedish researchers reported on the results of an experiment in which a group of male and female human subjects was exposed to synthetic estrogen and testosterone compounds. Following the exposure, the subjects’ brains were scanned using positron emission tomography (PET) technology. The female subjects showed heightened blood flow in the hypothalamus when exposed to testosterone but not when exposed to estrogen; the male subjects showed opposite results. The hypothalamus, as noted above, is the area of the brain that responds to pheromonic signals.
On the basis of several experiments whose results were similar to these, many scientists have concluded that while individual human pheromonic molecules may not yet have been isolated, they do exist.
Still, there are scientists who reject the notion of human pheromones. These scientists point out that the vomeronasal organ in humans, when it’s present at all, is a vestigial duct that’s very tiny. Additionally, the genes that would be responsible for the development of the vomeronasal organ’s neuronal receptors are inoperative. Believers in human pheromonic chemicals counter that there’s scientific evidence to suggest that in humans, impulses caused by pheromonic chemicals travel along a neuronal pathway known as cranial nerve zero.
Science carries weight, of course, but when it comes to matters of the heart, most of us prefer to rely on our own experience. When love is in the air, you know it. Some people just smell right. It could be their own body chemistry, but it could also be the effect of the synthetic pheromonic chemicals they’re wearing. If you’re looking for a way to rev up your dating life, why not see whether human pheromonics will work for you?
What Are the Best Pheromones?
Since the first synthetic human pheromonic chemicals were marketed in 1993, the industry has taken off. Pheromonic chemicals are sold in a variety of forms, including colognes, pillow sprays, body lotions and even unscented roll-ons. For the most part, these products are marketed as perfumes so they don’t receive direct oversight from the Food and Drug Administration.
While the majority of these chemicals focus on enhancing personal attractiveness, a growing number are formulated to help you in other areas of your life. There’s a company that specializes in creating pheromonic chemicals designed to help calm individuals affected by post-traumatic stress syndrome, and another that specializes in chemically enhancing the air in retail stores so that customers will want to buy more products.
Here’s a look at some pheromonic product categories that are on the market today.
• Products designed to make you feel more attractive
The best pheromones designed to make men more attractive to women typically contain blends of synthetic androstadienone, androstenol, androstenone, and androsterone. Scientists have found that this group of steroids decreases tension and nervousness in women, and while a reduction in negative feeling states isn’t the same thing as attraction, it may be able enough to turn an initially awkward date into a delightful evening and a goodnight kiss.
Products designed to make women more attractive to men typically contain blends of synthetic estratetraenol and copulins. Copulins are fatty acids that are found in women’s vaginal secretions just before they ovulate. Copulins are an ingredient widely used in the perfume industry.
• Aphrodisiac products
Pheromonic blends that are designed to make men and women sexually more enticing contain the same chemicals described above but in higher concentrations. Products designed to affect women may also contain perfume elements such as musk. Though musk was originally harvested from the Himalayan musk deer, these days it’s sourced in laboratories from synthetic and plant-sourced materials. Musk’s scent is said to resemble the odor of testosterone, and indeed, there is a sex-linked facet to its appeal since women are 1,000 times more sensitive to musk than men are.
• Products designed to make you more popular
Could pheromonic chemicals be the secret behind personal charisma? Can pheromonic products win you, friends?
At present, there are few if any products on the market that are formulated to win you friends rather than lovers. Our sense of smell may play a role in our ability to make friends and influence people, however. According to a 2014 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, friends tend to share more genetic markers with one another than they do with members of the general population, and many of those genetic markers have to do with the sense of smell.
This makes sense. If you like the smell of coffee, for example, you may tend to hang out in coffee houses where the other patrons also like the smell of coffee. If you befriend some of these other patrons, it would not be surprising if you shared olfactory genes.
Written by: Jack Wristen is the webmaster and editor of Pheromone Authority. When Jack is not blogging about pheromones and reviewing different products on the pheromone market, he enjoys camping with family and friends and riding his dune buggy across the sand dunes.