Sex & Relationships

The Smell of Sex: Can Pheromones Get You Laid?

Do the chemical signals we send out through our smell affect the hormone levels of other people?

Whether it’s the first flicker of sexual attraction, or deep in the throws of passion, it’s a good bet that when you’re in the moment, you’re not worrying about the chemistry of desire.

Lust in a Bottle

We’ve all seen the plethora of products making claims such as: “Attract Men Instantly!” and “Be a Babe Magnet!” But do they really work? Can you really bottle pheromones? While the topic is still being debated, there’s plenty of pheromone-postive propaganda, all backed by “scientific studies.” Though the data “overfloweth,” you might come away confused by the variety of results people may -- or may not achieve.

I asked Kohl why these products seem to work for some and not others. “While we can predict what will probably work for most people,” he explains, “we cannot predict who a specific individual will like, because sexual preferences vary,” adding that some people might feel a product doesn’t work because they wore it and didn’t “get lucky.”

“Simply put,” he concedes “pheromones don’t create desire, they merely enhance it. If you’re not desirable to start with, because your personality is disagreeable, you’re not going to get lucky by using pheromones.”

So how do all the perfumes and colognes that don’t contain pheromones play into this equation? Bottled fragrances are a multibillion-dollar industry. Are we wasting our hard-earned money trying to smell good for the opposite sex when we have all these natural pheromones to do it for us? And what about the Axe phenomenon? Is that all just advertising hype? Actually, no. It’s been shown that a person who wears fragrances feels better about him or herself, and more confident, thus making that individual more attractive. Also, it seems the frangrances actually interact with and enhance our natural scents and pheromones.

After sniffing around this topic ’til I was blue in the face, I finally concluded that while pheromone research has a way to go, it’s pretty clear that there’s something to the science. I can attest to the fact that what happened the night we used a product containing pheromones -- whether it was “all in my head” or in my olfactory receptors -- was unlike anything I’d experienced before. So the next time you have a nose-jerk reaction because the guy that just walked past you smelled Oh so good, it could be the cologne he’s wearing -- or it might just be his pheromones that are making you want to follow him home.

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