How do pheromones work

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How do pheromones work

We tend to think that sexual desire is the only thing that can be influenced by what we see, but we forget that our body functions in complex ways and that sexual attraction is also influenced by other factors like smell, tone of voice, touch, among others, making all our senses come into play. Surely you've heard of the famous pheromones, but what are they? And more importantly, how do pheromones work in our body? Do they have something to do with sexual attraction? At OneHowTo we answer these questions so keep reading and find out.

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Pheromones are chemicals secreted by the bodies of animals and humans. In the animal kingdom they are used to communicate with members of the same species to send all kinds of messages: from mating signals to warnings or instructions.

For a long time, there has been controversy over whether or not humans produce pheromones and what they are used for.


Recent research have shown that humans do in fact produce and perceive pheromones. Several studies have concluded that pheromones work in specific circumstances, for example to synchronise the menstrual cycles of women who live together.

These chemical substances are secreted through sweat, so some areas of our body are better spots to perceive them, for example behind the ears, chest or armpits.

How do pheromones work - Step 2

But what many people do not know is that you can't smell pheromones, they don't have a specific scent that can be identified by anyone. They are perceived by the vomeronasal organ, an auxiliary olfactory located in the vomer bone, which is between the nose and mouth, and has neurons capable of distinguishing chemicals such as pheromones.

Once the vomeronasal organ senses these chemicals it sends a message to the hypothalamus, located in our brain, which causes physical and emotional responses in the individual, or at least this is what some scientists believe.

How do pheromones work - Step 3

They have found some specific cases in which pheromones work such as the synchronising of women's menstrual periods or transmitting fear. But without a doubt, we talk more about pheromones in sexual desire as being responsible for the many times when we feel sexually attracted to someone without really knowing why.

This is one more way that our body uses to tell others about our desire.

How do pheromones work - Step 4

It is known that in humans pheromones don't work the same way as they do in animals, and although they may influence the attraction and sexual desire, we have other means to express desire, such as body language.

However, these chemicals remain the focus of many studies, and nowadays the cosmetics industry includes them in many of their products in order to increase sexual attraction.

Men also produce pheromones, int this case, they are called androstenones and androsterones and are mainly used to show dominance and to intesify sexual desire.


Pheromones are a good way to explain the many times that we may find someone extremely attractive or sexy without being able to explain why. For example, why a certain person's scent or certain body parts can drive us wild such as behind the ears, which we can't seem to stop kissing again and again.

If you want to read similar articles to How do pheromones work, we recommend you visit our Sentimental relationships category.

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At what distnce and for how long pheromones are active on a person wearing it and can be perceived by others?
How do pheromones work
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