Pheromones and How Do They Work?

Do humans respond to pheromones? Do pheromone fragrances actually work? You will find out all this and much be reading on!

Why are pheromones important?


However, smell is also a very important component of attraction

Humans are very visual creatures. The very first impression that is formed about a person usually involves their looks, that is before they start speaking… However, smell is also a very important component of attraction. And we’re not talking about artificial smells. Artificial smells only stand in the way of attraction since they completely numb your own sense of smell and prevent people from smelling your real odor, which is quite pleasant if you keep yourself clean. Think about this the next time you apply your favorite perfume by Dior or Chanel.
So, what is it about your smell that makes it so important? Recent studies have confirmed that people tend to select mates with similar genes but a different immune system than their own. For example, kissing allows us to get close enough to a person to smell their pheromones and figure out if the person we are with is compatible with us. Having parents with different immune systems is important to ensure better survival of the offsprings, as their immune system will be more resilient to various pathogens

How do we secrete pheromones?

The pheromones that we produce are secreted by our adrenal glands, ovaries, and testes and excreted by apocrine sweat glands located in our axillary regions (armpits). There is a number of pheromones that humans produce and they include: androstenol, androstenone, and androstadienone.

  • Androstenol
  • Androstenol is a pheromone produced by females. In 1978 a study conducted by Kirk-Smith researchers have found out that after smelling this hormone people described the pictures shown to them as being “more friendly” and “warmer”. Also, this pheromone is responsible for the synchronization of menstrual cycles of women that spend a lot of time with each other each day.

  • Androstenone
  • Androstenone is secreted only by males, and is thought to be focused on attracting females. Women respond to the pheromone a lot more when they are ovulating, and are indifferent toward it throughout the rest of their menstrual cycle.

  • Androstadienone
  • Is also produced by males and affects women, improving their mood and decreasing their perception of pain. At the same time men respond negatively toward exposure to this pheromone.  Also, after people were exposed to this pheromone they became more attentive to pictures that showed human emotions in contrast to the control group.


It appears that pheromones play a major part in our life. Major studies have confirmed that both men and women respond to major histocompatibility complexes (MHC) combination, which provide information on the individual’s immune system. Both males and females are attracted to odors of individuals whose MHC is different from their own.

Moreover, there is not a single peer reviewed study which has proven the effect of body sprays that claim to contain human sexual pheromones. Therefore, it’s better to save the money you would spend on perfumes and pheromones, and use it to buy a membership to the gym, since regular exercise boosts your levels of testosterone and sexual hormones.