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Pheromones

Do you often wonder what makes someone attracted to you or what makes

you attracted to that other person? Sometimes you can look at the person and

not even be attracted to their looks, but you feel compelled to talk to them or

just contact them in any form. These urges could be induced by a compound group

most commonly called “Pheromones.”

Pheromones{fair’-uh-mohn} (from the Greek pher, “to carry” and horman

“to stimulate”) are chemicals released by organisms into the environment, where

they serve as signals or messages to alter behavior in other organisms of the

same species. Pheromones are a class of compounds that insects and animals

produce to attract members of their own species. These compounds are secreted by

the body in very small amounts but are never-the-less effective in producing

instinctive behavior when detected by the nose. In insects and animals, most

sexual and social behavior is controlled by pheromones.

Humans have used perfumes for thousands of years, but there is a basic

difference between perfume and pheromones. Pheromones are produced by the body

and usually do not smell at all pleasant, whereas perfumes are either

synthesized or extracted from natural products and are employed because of their

pleasant smell.

Scientific research suggests that there are human pheromones for both

the male and the female. Females have a better developed sense of smell and

testing indicates that they are more responsive to male pheromones than the

reverse.

Research over the years has found that the male pheromones belong to a

class of compounds called steroids, in particular derivatives of androstenone,

which are secreted by perspiration glands on our bodies.

The compound androstenone, and a related product androstenol, are the

most commonly used compounds for testing the effects of pheromones on humans.

The tests usually involve getting subjects to select preferred objects from a

group of objects some of which have been sprayed with pheromones. For example;

statistics are taken of the use of the chairs in a dental waiting room when one

of the chairs has been sprayed with pheromones. It is reported that females

favor the chair marked with a male pheromones whereas males tend to avoid the

chair. Usually the subjects report that they are not conscious of the smell of

the pheromones, the preference shown appears to be a subtle unconscious action

in most cases.

To the perfume industry, the pheromone compound frequently contains

androstenone dissolved in a solvent. Also included is a masculine-like cologne

that is attractive to women. Upon application the solvent will evaporate leaving

the residual perfume and the androstenone. The small amount of perfume is

designed to attract women consciously while the androstenone-pheromone works in

the background in the unconscious way of most pheromones. Next time you are

strangely attracted to a person of the opposite sex, you could think whether or

not they are consciously using a pheromone.


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