Do pheromones work? As we move into a more scientific mode and guide you through the anatomy of pheromone perception. We’ll take a brief but fascinating tour through the human brain and discuss theories of how pheromone perception fits into the complex workings of the other five senses. Next, we lighten things up a bit and delve into the irresistible topics of sex, love, and lust, followed by a discussion that sheds light on even more wonders of pheromones. We’ll discuss pheromone-laden products like perfume and then look at the future of pheromones as the leading scientists and we see it.
During the course of our research, we unearthed a wealth of information that we have used to ground the reader in the basics of pheromone research and development. As we sat down and outlined Love Scents, we realized it would benefit from a combination of true-life stories and hard science, and we have intertwined those threads whenever possible. Fortunately, our scientific collaborator, Dr. David T. Moran, is one of the leading pheromone experts in the world. His involvement in this book helped us greatly and opened doors to information that might have been difficult or impossible to obtain had our way not been paved. We spent several years researching pheromones and collecting material related to the study of human interaction.
We went to libraries, universities, medical schools, bookstores, and computerized databases to find everything we could that either focused on pheromones or was related to the topic. Our searches proved fruitful and provided us with a breadth of material that gives this book a significant and broad scope of coverage.
Have You Experienced the Chemistry of Pheromones?
Before we begin, the following questionnaire will help you think about the chemical conversations in your life. If you are currently not involved in an intimate relationship, recall a past encounter or relationship when answering the following questions.
Keep in mind that the word relationship does not always imply a sexual liaison. In this context, it could also refer to a friendship or an acquaintance.
- When I met my partner/friend, I was aware of an instant, undeﬁned chemistry ﬂowing between us.
- I have had encounters in which I became aware immediately that my response to the person in front of me was “off” for some reason
- My partner/spouse and I have a strong sexual attraction, and the chemistry seemed to exist from the moment we met.
- I have had experiences where I felt strongly that my intu- ition, gut feelings, or what] have referred to as my “sixth sense” came into play.
- I have ignored a gut feeling or intuition about someone only to discover later that my instincts were correct.
- I am often aroused and excited when in the presence of my sexual partner: 0 Agree Very
- In general, I would avoid a relationship with someone if I felt our chemistry wasn’t in sync:
- I have ended or would end an intimate relationship that lacked chemistry.
- I have declined or would decline job offers and other career advancements and opportunities based on the strength of my gut feelings and intuition.
- For some unexplained reason, I feel sexier and more receptive during the warmer months of the year.
If your answers are mostly “Agree Very Strongly”: You are tuned into the powers of your sixth sense and the silent communication of pheromones. You are cognizant of the impact of pheromones on your everyday life, and you consider the role of chemistry seriously in all of your relationships.
If your answers are mostly “Agree Somewhat”: You are aware that chemistry is present in your life and you pay attention to it, but you could become more tuned into how pheromones and your sixth sense engage you in chemical conversations with other people. How can you do this? By consciously evaluating events and situations in your life, which will then help you to hone your sixth sense and discover the true power of pheromones.
If your answers are mostly “Disagree ”: You have much to learn about pheromonal communication. To become better able to decode the chemical conversations in your life, you might want to keep a diary of your encounters with other people, documenting your first impressions and how they made you feel. After a while, you’ll begin to notice the subtle moments that occur in your interactions with your fellow humans. Now, read on.
The meeting of two personalities is like the Contact of two chemical substances: If there is any reaction, both are transformed.
—C. G. Jung
Do pheromone colognes work?
A happily married man meets a woman at a party and within minutes is imagining her in his bed. He is shocked by his immediate rush of feelings. What’s happening? he wonders. She’s not as beautiful as my wife and yet I can’t keep my eyes—or my thoughts-off her.
An employee at a large corporation feels uncomfortable in the presence of a certain division manager and makes every effort to avoid her peer. Her intensely visceral reaction is a mystery. This person hasn’t done anything to me, and we don 7 even really know each other, the employee tells herself. So what could be causing this response?
What do these two scenarios have in common? They describe what can happen in the presence of pheromones, chemical signals that tell us important things about the people we encounter every day. Pheromones can ignite an instant and perhaps even startling attraction, quietly advise us to avoid a threatening or overly aggressive person, or bond us to our best friends.
Invisible but Powerful
Pheromones are odorless molecules that are produced in the body and enter the world by wafting off the skin. They also ﬂoat up from the recesses of the sweat glands and linger in strands of hair. Each unleashed pheromone molecule is packed with information about your sexual desires, your level of aggression, the attributes of your immune system, and more. Every pheromone carries your one-of-a—kind chemical “signature,” which is as unique as the swirls of your fingerprint.
What Are Pheromones and How Do They Work?
Pheromones tell you about your neighbor, your best friend, your coworker, the man who reads your electric meter, the person who sits next to you on the bus. Your pheromones are odorless and invisible, and as they glide through the air, they carry with them. vital information about you. Although you might not be aware of it, pheromone messenger molecules whirl off your body and into the air twenty—four hours a day. Their target is other humans. And, when a pheromone hits its target, it delivers its message.
For example, consider the powerful impact of first impressions. A friend introduces you to his cousin and you register an instant dislike. At this point, your logical brain will most likely speak up and suggest in its rational way that you shouldn’t form such a strongly negative opinion in mere seconds. Nevertheless, you can’t erase the nagging thought: I don ’t like this person. Most people have engaged in this delicate battle between logic and the more intangible effects of emotion and intuition.
This is but one of the many mysteries of pheromones. Pheromones bypass the logical, thinking brain and affect the center of the primitive, emotional brain. Many of us live in societies that place merit on controlling the emotions and other primitive responses, but pheromones’ effects are always present to remind us that such control is not always possible. Do sex pheromones really work to attract others?
There is a fascinating story in the psychological literature about a woman who was visiting Oxford, England, when she found her world turned on end. She was standing by a river when a group of young male students walked by. As the boys passed, the woman had the unmistakable and instant feeling that one of these youths was the infant son she had given up for adoption only a few hours after his birth. The young man said later that he had experienced a similar visceral, gut reaction to the female “stranger” standing by the water. As he walked by her, a thought ﬂew into his brain: That’s my mother!
What makes this story particularly powerful is that the woman and the young man did not look like each other, so the recognition was not based on a similarity of physical traits. How did these people from vastly different worlds know that one of their own was in the vicinity?
While hugged in the cozy, wet warmth of the womb, the fetus uses pheromones to communicate with its mother in a quiet code of chemical signals. This chemical link survives the baby’s birth so that a mother can identify her infant not only by his smell but also by his pheromones. Human pheromones also help guide the infant’s mouth toward the nourishment of its mother’s breast. Could this chemical bond be so strong that a mother separated from her baby soon after his birth would be able to identify him many years later?
In the vast landscape of human emotion and physiology, scientists continue to be amazed by what people can do; thus, recognizing a son years after giving him up for adoption is not all that far-fetched. After all, humans are chemical creatures. We may believe we’ve evolved beyond the need to communicate with subconscious chemical signals, but the fact is we do just that all the time.
Many of us shower or bathe daily, shampoo our hair, launder our clothes, and scent our bodies with perfumes and Colognes. Because We control how we present ourselves to the world, we might believe that we have mastered our subconscious messages. In general, we live according to the credo of our large, developed brains, the brains that have given us the gift of higher thought processes. We are human. To hint that we are driven by chemical impulses is a discomforting notion.