How Do Pheromones Work

What is it that attracts people to each other?

Nice hair? Big muscles? Body scent? Recent studies have shown that the cause of such sexual attractions could be airborne chemicals called pheromones, airborne and odorless molecules “emitted by an individual and cause changes in physiology and/or behavior of another individual”

The Role Of Human Pheromones

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What is the role of  pheromones?

Pheromones are naturally produced by the body. These chemicals are responsible for producing attraction and the desire to mate. Pheromones are released through body fluids, like sweat. Some colleges in the United States are doing studies on the production of pheromones in humans. Studies, like those done at San Francisco State have shown positive results with the most sex hormones being found in sweat.

The Chemical Androstadienone

Androstadienone is a chemical that has been involved in most of the studies on sex pheromones. It is what is found in the sweat of males.

The Journal of Neuroscience has stated that this chemical might have an effect on women’s endocrine balance which causes attraction to the male releasing the chemical. In 2008 there were Magnetic Resonance Imaging studies done to see the brain reactions in humans that would correlate with this assumption. This study proved that there was a reaction is the brain to this chemical.

Pheromone Function

The whole existence of the human race is dependent upon mating and producing children. Some people may say it is something that happens because a higher being put that urge into place, but others say it is a natural instinct. However it is looked at, the main thing that always surfaces is pheromones.

In order for hormones to be detected there must be a Vomeronasal Organ or VNO. This organ is located in the nasal cavity near the bottom and is an olfactory sense organ. People or animals with this organ create a chemical that is generally odorless but that can be sensed by other people or animals.

When a chemical reaches the VNO signals are passed along to the Accessory Olfactory Bulb or AOB. The AOB will sort out the signals and decide where in the brain to send them. They will be sent to one of two areas. They will go to the Amygdala which is the area responsible for emotions and memory or to the Hypothalamus which is responsible for releasing hormones and that control the metabolic processes of the body. Once the signals reach the desired area the body responds. The response is determined by the chemical that was sent and can cause a reaction that is physical, emotional or metabolic.


The first pheromone, bombykol, was discovered in 1953. This pheromone is released by female moths and they release it as a signal that they are ready to mate. This pheromone can travel large distances even in small concentrations.

The mammalian pheromone system is a bit difficult to comprehend since the everyday behavior of mammals is much more complex than that of insects. Mammals act independently. Mammals detect pheromones through the VNO. It is pretty much like olfactory membranes except that it is connected to the hypothalamus.

Scientists soon would begin to develop theories that humans also had a pheromone system. In the 1970s Martha McClintock discovered that menstrual cycles of women who lived in the same place would sync up with ovulation occurring around the same time.

This was discovered to be related to a pheromone or something called a chemosignal. The first human sex pheromone, alpha-androstenol, was discovered by Dr. George Dodd in 1974.

It is not clear if every pheromone is detected by the VNO in humans despite the fact that they are mammals. It may also be detected through olfactory membranes. It is known that pheromones have to be smelled in order to work. Some commercial pheromones will release such an odor if they are in high concentrations. Some people can’t detect pheromones at a conscious level, but this doesn’t affect their subconscious.

Pheromones of Humans

The commercial human pheromones are created to work for one specific purpose, attraction. Pheromones can play other roles, though. They are often a part of bonding between mothers and their babies. Products containing pheromones come from certain types of pheromones related to sex hormones. These hormones are related to fertility and youth. Everyone releases these hormones, but the levels can vary.

Some pheromones are unique for each person and can tell such information as tissue type. Pheromones are mainly secreted by the apocrine glands onto the skin. These glands are found in the armpits and pubic area. The hair in these areas helps the chemicals to be dispersed. Some scent glands are ore complex and are for a specific purpose, such as producing breast milk or making ear wax.

The introduction of andostenol can help to increase the Luteinizing hormone in both sexes. This can raise testosterone levels and may be linked to why we develop feelings of attraction.

Pheromone products usually contain three types of pheromones:

– Androstenone or Anone: This brings about aggression and dominance. It is associated with sexual response and serves some other purposes.

Androstenol or Nol or Anol: This hormone can bring about talkativeness, friendliness and calmness and is used to signal youth. It is what helps many people start a conversation.

Androsterone or Rone or Arone: Helps to give off the alpha Male signal since it signals protection and a strong male presence.

Copulins or Cops: Secreted in the vagina at the time of ovulation, this helps increase attractiveness. Men often find women more attractive when they sense this smell.

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