Pheromone Science: How Pheromones Attract

Happy Friday, Love Scent fans!

Today, we’re going to look at precisely how pheromones attract people!

As you know, different pheromones work in different ways. Some attract people to you by making you more into their “type” of person. Others directly stimulate the brain to trigger interest in romantic and sexual encounters. And others help people who are already interested in you overcome their reservations and make their move!

Before we dig deeper, a reminder: pheromones are not magic potions. Yes, they have identifiable effects on our brains and behavior. But there are a lot of factors that go into attracting someone, ranging from the person’s individual beliefs and preferences to your personality, and pheromones only affect some of those factors. So keep that in mind as you go forward! Think of pheromones as tools rather than magic wands.

All right, let’s dig in!



How you appear to other people is a big part of how attractive you are to them. It’s also a key component of how pheromones attract people to you! Did you know that pheromones can alter how people see you, without you actually changing a thing? Let’s examine how!

First up: AndrostaDIENONE. This is one of the most well-researched pheromones out there. Some of that research shows that straight women and gay women who are exposed to AndrostaDIENONE are more likely to think of the men they see as masculine. For people who find masculinity appealing, AndrostaDIENONE can be a powerful attractant.

A similar pheromone, with similar effects: Estratetraenol. This female pheromone makes straight men see the women around them as more feminine. If a woman wears Estratetraenol around a man, and he is attracted to traditionally “feminine” women, she will find that he is more likely to be attracted to her.

Sometimes, pheromones’ effects are more generalized. The social pheromone AndrosteNOL, for example, can make people see others as “warmer” and “friendlier.” For the many people who find warm, kind people attractive, AndrosteNOL (while not a sex pheromone) can act as a solid attractant. It can also be useful in non-sexual settings, such as workplaces and gatherings with friends, where a friendly personality is always a plus.

As you can see, pheromones can attract people to you by helping you appeal to their personal preferences. By presenting yourself as the type of person someone wants to date, you increase your chances of being with them.

In some cases, though, the pheromones have a much more direct effect on others by stimulating specific parts of their brain. Read on to learn more!



When studying how pheromones attract, some researchers look directly to the brain. By scanning the brains of people exposed to pheromones, we can understand how these molecules affect us on the most fundamental level.

Let’s return to the male pheromone AndrostaDIENONE. Using brain imaging technology, researchers found that AndrostaDIENONE activates the anterior hypothalamus in straight women and gay men. This part of the brain is related to sexual activity. So, basically, AndrostaDIENONE directly stimulates romantic and sexual interest in people who are attracted to men.

Brain scans revealed similar effects with Estratetraenol. This pheromone stimulates the anterior hypothalamus in straight men and gay women. So, if you are attracted to women, Estratetraenol will directly stimulate your romantic and sexual thoughts.

Estratetraenol and AndrostaDIENONE aren’t alone in their stimulating of the hypothalamus. Brain scans found similar effects in AndrosteNOL, at least in women. On top of this, AndrosteNOL also stimulates the right amygdala, which controls our response to emotional stimuli. So, in addition to affecting our perception of others, AndrosteNOL can also directly stimulate our desire to be with them!

In summary, pheromones can make you appeal to others in many ways. But what about people who are already attracted to you, but haven’t made their move yet? Pheromones can help there, too! Read on to learn how!



All the sexual magnetism and attraction in the world won’t mean much if someone can’t bring themselves to act on it. Luckily, pheromones can subtly encourage people to take that step. This goes beyond the question of how pheromones attract; it’s also a question of how pheromones help seal the deal!

Once again, the pheromone AndrostaDIENONE offers some examples. This pheromone doesn’t just enhance men’s attractiveness or get women thinking about love. It also effects women’s moods and behavior. Women who are exposed to AndrostaDIENONE behave more generously, for example, which can make them more likely to act on the signals they’re getting. Combine this with AndrostaDIENONE’s ability to put women in a good mood, and it can really increase your chances of not just attracting a woman but going out with her too.

Another sex pheromone to examine here: copulins. We find these pheromones in the female reproductive tract, and they have a strong effect on straight men. Exposure to copulins increases men’s testosterone levels, thus increasing their interest in sex and dating. Copulins also make men more likely to take risks, and more likely to think of themselves as attractive to women. All of these factors combine to make men more likely to take the leap and approach women they might otherwise think of as out of their league.

So, pheromones don’t just make you more attractive and appealing to others. They can also help bring down those last barriers to getting together!


There you have it, Love Scent fans! If you’ve ever wondered exactly how pheromones attract people to you, we hope we have answered your questions. And we hope you find this research as fascinating as we do!


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Further Reading:

Zhou, Wen, et al. Chemosensory communication of gender through two human steroids in a sexually dimorphic manner. Current Biology 24.10 (2014): 1091-1095.

Kirk-Smith, Michael & Booth, David & Carroll, D. & Davies, P.. (1978). Human social attitudes affected by androstenol. Research Communications in Psychology, Psychiatry & Behavior. 3. 379-384.

Savic, Ivanka et al. Brain response to putative pheromones in homosexual men. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102 20 (2005): 7356-61.

Berglund, H. et al. Brain response to putative pheromones in lesbian women. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103 21 (2006): 8269-74.

Savic I, Berglund H (2010) Androstenol – a Steroid Derived Odor Activates the Hypothalamus in Women. PLoS ONE 5(2): e8651.

Perrotta, Valentina et al. The Putative Chemosignal Androstadienone Makes Women More Generous. Journal of neuroscience, psychology, and economics 9.2 (2016): 88–99.

Bensafi M, Tsutsui T, Khan R, Levenson RW, Sobel N. Sniffing a human sexsteroid derived compound affects mood and autonomic arousal in a dose-dependent manner. Psychoneuroendocrinology. (2004) 29:1290–1299.

Jütte A., Grammer K. (1997). Battle of odors: significance of pheromones for human reproduction. Gynäkol Geburtshifliche Rundsch, 37, 150–153.

Williams M., Jacobson A. (2016). Effect of Copulins on Rating of Female Attractiveness, Mate-Guarding, and Self-Perceived Sexual Desirability. Evolutionary Psychology, 14 (2).


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  1. found your article very informative

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