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Pheromone-Touting Fragrances Don't Work ... Yet

Posted: July 31, 2009

More in fragrance research.

Another day, another fragranced product promising pheromone-powered effects on the opposite sex. Delivering this sort of functionality to consumers is the holy grail of the fragrance industry, but does it work? Most industry insiders will not be surprised by the findings of a recent white paper issued by the Sense of Smell Institute in cooperation with the Monell Chemical Senses Center's George Preti and Charles Wysocki: No.

Taking note of a slew of pheromone-touting products on the market, the study authors explain that the "selling and marketing of these fragrance materials as pheromonal products are not based upon valid information." However, they say, human body odors do indeed house mood- and endocrine-function-affecting substances that, if isolated, could "affect changes in human physiology and behavior."

The white paper adds, "Fine fragrances have traditionally been created and marketed with the allure of setting mood in both the wearer and receiver. A fragrance containing true human pheromones would be the first to have real experimental evidence to support these claims."

"Human Pheromones: What’s Purported, What’s Supported" is available here.