Human pheromones work by effecting hormones that affect behavior

Despite the evidence that pheromones effect testosterone levels and sexual arousal in mammals — including non-human primates — some researchers continue to insist that human pheromones do not exist. Marketers correctly tell you that human pheromones exist, but typically they do not tell you what pheromones are contained in the products they are trying to sell you, or why their products work — if they do. Personally, I have been too caught up in the science of human pheromones to pay much attention to marketing. But from time to time, I intend to better inform others via posts to this domain that help to explain why the pheromones marketed on this site work.

Here, I am responding to the number of relatively uninformed people who are writing essays that tell others about how pheromones work, but who fail to provide any evidence for their claims. In this case, I’ve included citations to research that helps to detail how copulins work. The citations support a scientific approach to marketing human pheromone-enhanced products, like The Scent of Eros products that I formulated.

Copulins are olfactory/pheromonal stimuli from women (human pheromones) that appear to condition increased testosterone and sexual arousal in men. Male marmosets are aroused by the olfactory/pheromonal stimuli from novel peri-ovulatory females; they exhibit increased rates of sniffing and erections and a significant elevation of serum testosterone levels (Ziegler et al., 2005). Men also show this elevation of serum testosterone levels when exposed to olfactory/pheromonal stimuli associated with ovulatory-phase women. This testosterone increase is associated with increases in the favorable assessment of photographs of women. (Jutte & Grammer, 1997). Simply put, the ovulatory-phase olfactory/pheromonal input makes the women look better to men.

Kohl (2007), noted that this testosterone response to olfactory/pheromonal input has been repeatedly indicated or reported in findings from non-human animal studies and from human studies.  In mammals, short-term exposure of males to females is linked to a testosterone increase in men, as well as in rats, mice, rabbits, bulls, rams, and monkeys.  The testosterone increase in non-human mammals is believed to be due to the effect of olfactory/pheromonal conditioning of a luteinizing hormone response that precedes the testosterone increase (Graham & Desjardins, 1980).

Jutte A & Grammer, K (1997). Female pheromones modify men’s physiology and assessments of women. International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste XII and AchemS XIX. San Diego, California.

Author: jim