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Do Pheromones Really Work?

In short, it's debatable. "There has been a lot of misconception about what human pheromones do," author and neuroscientist Dr. Charles Wysocki told The New York Times. "We do know there are several types of pheromones," he added. "Modulator pheromones have shown us, for example, when women are exposed to certain male underarm compounds, they become less tense, more relaxed."

Those testosterone-like compounds are replicated, and formulated into products like Dial for Men Magnetic Attraction Enhancing Body Wash. "We don’t claim using our product you’re going to hit a home run,” said Ryan Gaspar of Dial. "We say, ‘We’ll get you to first base,’ " he explained. Or, perhaps it's just that wearing these frisky scents work like a placebo effect, boosting the confidence levels of the person who's wearing them. Find out more after the jump.

"For humans, though, it’s usually love at first sight, not love at first smell," according to biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher. It seems to come down to a statement made by Dr. Wysocki: "How human pheromones work is still totally questionable," So, the next time you pick up your pheromone-enhanced Urban Decay Pocket Rocket or Paris Hilton Eau de Parfum Spray ($39), wear it with a spring in your step, but let your personality win them over, instead.

Image Source: Getty
dootsie dootsie 8 years
I had a friend who got a solid perfume that was supposedly infused with pheremones. I think I recognized some of the essential oils that they added in with whatever was in it, but the smell was inexplicably intoxicating and memorable.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I think pheromones do actually affect how people respond to each other, in both sexual and platonic ways. I've been more attracted to certain guys, I believe, because of this...each one had varying physical attractive factors and other characteristics where they were vastly different, but there was just *something* I couldn't put my finger on that kept me wanting to be around them physically all the time. Some people call it a "feeling" or an "aura"...I think they're pheromones. I used to think that maybe those manufactured pheromones that you could buy (Philosophy used to sell one at Sephora that I could NEVER get my hands on! It was like $60) would boost your attractiveness towards potential love interests, not like the placebo effect you describe in the article, but more as an enhancing effect. But now that I know a bit more about them, buying store-bought ones would probably just mess that whole system up. I think your body makes certain pheromones that are attractive, either sexually or platonically, to only some kinds of people. Just have to work with what you got.
terryt18 terryt18 8 years
Peoples' noses don't work as well as most animals, so I doubt pheromones have that much of an effect. I sure hope that Dial wash doesn't stink like Axe. I still loves me a good smellin' man though. And I concur with that underarm statement as long as it's a clean underarm, only slightly sweaty, maybe, after exercise, when I'm all snuggled into the crook of his arm and chest... whoo, I'm getting flushed.
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