Splash on a Bit of Your Own Odor and Attract Sexual Partners sand Find Love! Spray your secret attracting factor-pheromones to charm the opposite sex! Pheromones

Love makes the world go around or so the saying goes. And our perfume industry is trying to capitalise on this saying by creating products which are supposed to speed up the process of finding your love. One such product which has captured the attention of perfume manufacturers, scientists and the love lorn is pheromone perfume. Yes, now this enterprising industry is manufacturing and promoting perfumes containing pheromones, in order to boost up your sex factor amongst the opposite gender and increase your dating chances. But what in the world are pheromones?

What are pheromones?

Pheromones are chemical molecules, belonging to the class called hormones, synthesised in the bodies of some animals, which influence the behaviours of other animals of the same species towards it and produce a response. They are thus hormones which are produced by glands with external ducts and which act outside the body i.e. ectohormones and influence traits such as food behaviour, fear and sexual arousal. These molecules are required in very low amounts and can act across huge distances. The term pheromones was proposed in in 1959 BY Karlson and Luscher. Both the sender and the recipient obtain benefits of this chemical messaging system.

History and research

Pheromone research is an extremely fascinating story. Olfactory communication has been known in animals but actual evidence of it in the form of Intra-species communication through the use of chemical messengers was first discovered in insects. Research in insect pheromones established the fact that there were types of pheromones : releasers and primers. Releaser molecules are responsible for initiating behaviour responses in insects, when they receive it. Primer molecules, on the other hand, are responsible for initiating physiological responses in insects. Releaser molecules, which have been chemically studied, fall into three categories:

  1. Sexual attraction- these are the sex pheromones which control the whole gamut of sexual behaviour. Insects show high degrees of sensitivity and specificity for sex pheromones. Male insects have been observed making copulating actions with objects coated with sex pheromones.
  2. Recruitment_ hormones which are involved in aggregating bees together and guiding them to food sources through creation of trails of odours in the air. the odours can be laid in a continuous manner or in a discreet manner.
  3. Alarm behaviour- these hormones are responsible for behaviours in response to alarm signals. Insects do not show the extreme specificity to this category of chemical molecules unlike the sex hormones. Which means basically, any alarm hormone from any insect species may be able to trigger the responses.
  4. Queen bees use pheromone systems to control worker bees’ fertility and to ensure that other bees do not develop ovaries and are unable to rear queen bees.

PheromonesFirst discovered in moths, their existence has been since confirmed in a variety of animals and known to influence sexual behaviour. Pheromones can bring about immediate behavioural responses or delayed effects. They are released into the air in the form of liquid droplets through external ducts, which get vaporised and form a cloud of molecules around the signalling animal. Many of them are lipid derivatives, some are proteins and peptides. All are small molecules, though.

The extent to which a pheromone may travel is based on their volatility, stability, polarityand how windy it is. The first pheromone to be identified and isolated physically was the male silk moth attractant molecule, bombykol.Just 5.3 mg of this molecule was obtained from the combined scent glands of 313000 female moths. Isn’t that staggering ? And it is also a measure of the potency and power of this molecule.

What Role Do Pheromones Play in Acting As Sex Attractants

Questions persist as to how significant are the roles of pheromones especially sex attractants in humans. The chief areas involved in pheromone control and management are the Vomero Nasal Organ and the Main Olfactory System. Sex attractants have been identified and characterised from such animals as boars, hamsters etc. An example is the boar sexual attract pheromones which consists of high levels of androgen derivatives such as 5α-androst-16-en-3-one and 5α-androst-16-en-3-ol.  In case of humans, it has been far more difficult to identify and isolate. However, it is believed that human underarm and genital secretions are rich source of pheromone related molecules such as (E)-3-methyl-2-hexanoic acid (E-3M2H)

Based on these discoveries, several companies are manufacturing perfumes incorporating these pheromones and promoting them emphasizing their usefulness in increasing your attractiveness amongst members of opposite sex. In fact, they say that pheromone perfumes can increase the attractiveness quotient of older women (with lowering hormone and possible pheromone levels). Many products being marketed has flashy names like human sex pheromone spray, AttracteX, Pherazone and even Paris Hilton is popularizing such a product. But how effective are these pheromones perfumes?

But Do Pheromone Perfumes Actually Work?Pheromones

Many scientists are sceptical about the efficacy of these perfumes. Amongst the reasons they give are:

1. The usage of such words in advertisements is just a device to tickle the interest factor and maybe more than the product itself, just the name itself may consider some kind of a psychological boost. This all may be an advertisers’ gimmick

2. Attractiveness may be conferred by a combination of several factors, rather than just pheromones also

3. Ideally, animal pheromones are best effective on the animals from where they are derived. So, in case for humans, human pheromones should be the best choice for the preparation of such perfumes.

4. Such perfumes do not have long lasting effect. Their effect may wear off over a period of time. You may develop dependency on the usage of such perfumes. Is that a healthy way of improving your relationships?

But do human pheromones exist? We know that body odours play a significant role in human sexual attraction and reproductive cycles but so far how exactly it functions is not known. The first molecule believed to function as a pheromone in humans, is androstenone but how exactly it acts is not yet clear.

Till then, use these products but don’t forget that ultimately it is you that counts and your odour may count to a lesser extent !

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