A lot of hype surrounds pheromones, the chemical we secrete (as do insects and animals) that is said to relate to sexual attraction. The name has its roots in two Greek words, translated as “transfer” and “excite.” In spite of widespread claims about the power of this “odorless” compound, scientists still debate its purported importance in arousal of the opposite sex. There is no question however that smell plays a role in the mating game, especially since each of us has more than one thousand olfactory genes.
When males produce armpit sweat, the pheromone secreted is called androstenol. The smell of fresh male sweat disappears fast and apparently, so does its ability to attract women once it becomes exposed to oxygen and turns “locker room” unpleasant.
In the animal kingdom, male aromas in perspiration, tears, and saliva communicate key factors for stimulating female attraction such as mood, status and health.
The University of Indiana has published papers online about pheromones and the Bellarmine University Web site includes two reports on the subject. One states that researchers at the University of Colorado have identified the specific organ located in the nose that detects pheromones. Once those cells relay the pheromone message to the hypothalamus in the brain, physiological and behavioral reactions take place. One article references research at the University of Kentucky that suggests pheromones could possibly explain why you can instantly like or dislike a person you just met.
A report on the Live Science Web site cites a 2002 study that “found women prefer the scent of men with genes somewhat similar to their own over the scent of nearly genetically identical or totally dissimilar men.” That too may involve pheromones. Studies show a similarity in their effect on the sexual area of the brains of women and gay men.
The Smell Report from the Social Issues Research Center claims that women respond to the scent of musk a thousand times more than men do, so musk will more likely arouse her than him.
This Report goes on to detail how using cologne can improve the mood of men in their mid-life crisis and how that mood improvement alone can make them more attractive. Similar results with perfume apply to young women and to post-menopausal women who are on hormone therapy. The report also quotes the results of another study conducted by the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago that showed a “variety of odors could increase penile blood-flow.” The listed scents include “lavender, pumpkin pie, licorice, doughnuts, oriental spice and cola.”
Let’s see then. That means if you’re a female, you should put lavender in your bath, bake a pumpkin pie (maybe a pumpkin-scented candle will work), eat some licorice and doughnuts, dine with your date at an Asian restaurant and order a cola with your meal. You will either end up getting sexual interest from your male partner or possibly dealing with a bad case of indigestion.