Back in the summer of 2001, we had an enquiry from one of our visitors enquiring about pheromone enhanced colognes. To be honest, Basenotes hadn't a clue! We knew of Realm and Jovan's long-gone Andron, but other than that we knew very little about pheromones. So we did some research....
If you skip to thje back of a 'mens lifestyle' magazine, you'll probably find some advert for a pheromone enhanced cologne. Along with quotes like: "I didn't believe it but it really works - I had to literally peel the women off me!". Sounds good doesn't it?
So, what is a Pheromone? Well, each species of animal gives off pheromones - it's like a 'chemical messenger'. Each species of animal can detect pheromones from the same species. We detect them using a smell sensory organ in the nose called the vomeronasal organ (VNO), it's actually different from the sense of smell - it's like a sixth sense. different pheromones influence feelings such as confidence, wellbeing and sexual desire.
Although the discovery of the VNO was many years ago (in 1703 by F. Ruysch). It was mainly assumed that the pheromone detector was redundant in humans a bit like the appendix, or nipples on men. It's only relatively recently that it's been realised that our VNO's do work.
We give off these pheromones naturally, but because we have a shower in the morning and use deodorants, then we cover up most of our body with clothing, the poor old pheromones can't compete. No wonder it was thought the VNO was inactive in humans - we didn't have much for it to detect.
This is where pheromone enhanced scents and their like come in - we can supplement what we've already washed off.
Possibly one of the most famous pheromone enhanced scents is Realm by Erox Corp). Erox was set up in 1989 by anatomist, David L Berliner. Berliner had discovered how to isolate the human pheromones that help put you at ease and boost confidence and wellbeing. When you feel more confident more can be achieved. We spoke to some Realm wearers:
Frank D told us:
"I do notice a "sense" of well-being to ME when first applied. It was somewhat startling the first time, since there was an increase in heart-rate associated with it. As for women's reaction, I still feel that is closely tied with presentation, grooming and overall personality -- regardless of the fragrance. So any success with these pheromone based fragrances might be tied in more with how they make you feel about yourself -- which is projected, and noticed, by the women around you."
Another Realm fan, Ziggy, told us
"I was selling advertising at the time. My sales went up. People would stop me (even at the gas station) just to be friendly. The results must've been from the fragrance since nothing else changed about me."
However, not everyone found Realm worked for them. Thomas K said
"I tried Realm for Men. I must admit I bought it to attract some women and to hopefully arouse my current. [It] Didn't work. It was a pleasant scent, and just about everyone liked it, and in the beginning as I wore it I felt and acted more confident, which did get me a little more notice. After that, nothing else."
Although Thomas felt it didn't work he mentioned that it made him feel more confident, which is what Realm was designed to do. One complaint we heard regarding Realm was although users liked the scent after a while they got bored of it. Obviously this could be a problem if you want to try Pheromones but didn't like the scent it was sitting in.
Luckily, unscented pheromone products are available. One of the internet's main players in the pheromone market is Love-Scent.com, set up in 1998. We spoke to the director, Mr Bruce Boyd about the most popular pheromones he sells.
"The most popular by far are the unscented, very concentrated products. Specifically:The Edge, New Pheromone Additive, Primal Instinct (unscented), Andro 4.2
My regular customers mix their own "combos" as they call them, and these super concentrated products are the chemistry sets they used to build them.
Most of the pheromone products on the market contain very little actual pheromones (including a few that I sell) and are of little help (if used on their own) other than they may give the wearer some confidence (the "magic feather effect"). The truth is that pheromones can and do give spectacular effects to anyone taking the time and energy to find the right amount, type of real pheromone ingredients, spots on the body etc, to match their own natural pheromone signature, and personality.
This is something I am sure you are familiar with in the fragrance world. The cologne that works well for one individual may be a total bust with another because it is simply not believable on him/her. Colognes speak on your behalf to others and they say what they want to say, not necessarily something that works with the way you dress, look and act. For example, I have a sample bottle of the pheromone containing product Realm which I could never wear. It smells nice, but it is not "me". You get a whiff of somebody wearing the wrong cologne (or even just too much for that matter), you almost get an image of a man splashing on after shave in a TV commercial. When you smell a woman with the "right" perfume, you are transported to another dimension because everything works together (facial expression, clothes, body, fragrance).
Anyway, this concern is even more important with pheromones, and the science has barely gotten off the ground. At the moment, to get miracle stories you have to "roll your own" unless you just happen to be very lucky. And to do that, the "phero gurus" (who you can meet on my forum), are mixing the above products with designer colognes, essential oils, scented pheromone products, deodorants, lotions and/or applying various products separately to different parts of the body until they find that magic combo that works for them.
Basenotes then became intrigued. Mixing stuff together sounded fun. It was like chemistry at school. We spoke to some of the Phero-Gurus on the love-scent forum.
Matt told us "The holy grail is the "right combo" of two or more pheromone products in just the right ratio. My own experience is that some women are a bit friendlier and more relaxed around me. No clothes being ripped off. But a factor that isn't often mentioned is the effect of the pheromones on the wearer. As we know, when wearing a good cologne, you are often more confident and magnetic. One more thing. High end pheromone products smell like cat piss and it's necessary to cover them up with a good smelling cologne. maybe A*men?"
We know someone that has good results with A*Men anyway, so imagine the effect when added to pheromones! We also spoke to another forum regular, Ken M.
"I have had several very positive experiences with them. Since wearing them and finding my ratio of the different pheros. They are not sure fire for anything. But they do really work. Well here is one example of the power of phero's.
On the last Memorial Day weekend. I was working in our nightclub and it was wall to wall people with 450 or so in the club and another 300 or so waiting in line to gain entry. I have worked these weekends as the manager/cooler for the last 6 years or so. On the first night of weekend (Friday) it was normal. With all the bitchy and PO's folks in line and dealing with them all night long. The second night I wore my phero mixture (The Edge with New Phero Additive - both from love-scent, and my cologne with a bit of glycerin for staying of the scent). My first hour or so I thought was a fluke with dealing with the folks as they were mad or PO'd when they came to the door but in speaking with them they seemed to relax right out and actually joke a bit on entry. Had more hugs from girls and just little conversations with them on through the night.
Ken then goes on to tell us about a cigarette break when a girl had got very friendly with him. I'm sure you don't want all the details. The girl then inquired about what cologne he was wearing.
"Told her it was blend a friend makes for me. She then hugged me again took a big sniff and squeezed me tight and told me she would be back in a few weeks and wanted to know if I was available for dinner or something more. Gave her my card and told her to give me a call. Long story short, 2 weeks later she came back and we had a good weekend. And she really kept saying how nice my scent was.
While this is not the norm. I think the pheros had something to do with it. Have had many hard in depth conversations with women in social settings and hugs and looks etc. I work as a Risk Management Rep for a casino do I usually have irate guests to deal with. And I have found that in face to face situations, folks seem to chill out and really pay attention to every syllable I am saying to them. No back in my face replies. All in all, pheros are a great tool for personal as well as professional situations."
So Pheromones have lots of fans. For 'Scientific Reasons' Basenotes decided to try them out. Armed with New Pheromone Additive and Alter-Ego from Love Scent and Entropy from Interneeds, Basenotes enticed a bunch of volunteers to experiment.
Entropy smelt like a cheap after shave. Okay, so it definitely wasn't Green Irish Tweed but we had a job to do.
What we found. Girls were very friendly, but maybe no more than usual. We felt confident though. Shame it didn't smell better.
New Pheromone Additive
Designed to be added to cologne. On it's own it smelt a bit musky. We added a few drops to Body Kouros from Yves Saint Laurent and went out to play.
What we found. Women kept telling us how nice we smelt and tended to hang around us a lot. As this was an experiment in the name of science we didn't want to take advantage of the situation!
Can be used on it's own or as a mixture. We tried it with some Chrome by Azzaro
What we found: Similar story to the Pheromone additive, we felt pretty confident and were often told how good we smelt. Women were very touchy-feely.
Overall we were quite surprised, especially as we were all a bit skeptic. Not everyone had the same success but it's probably a case of trying different formulas and seeing which works best.
Bruce from Love-Scent is optimistic about the future of Pheromones.:
"I think that some day pheromones will be used extensively in medicine, and the stage we are in now will be looked upon as the stone age of pheromones. Pheromones have been shown to have an effect on hormone levels, so I think that having an understanding of the science of pheromones both store-bought and natural can help us remain youthful and sexually active further into old age than would normally be possible."
And for those of you who think this whole pheromone deal is a one way street designed for men to attract women, well you couldn't be further from the truth. Love-Scent carry a range of pheromones designed for women too. And just as we though we'd seen all the combinations we received a press release from 10% productions.
The new fragrance 'Ten' was launched in November 2001 with the slogan: "Gain confidence...seduce the senses...get the man". The fragrance is the first pheromone scent designed for the gay market. President of 10% productions, Greg Nimer says "Most men's fragrances are what I call either 'full throttle' or 'full brake.' They're either overpowering or they disappear. I wanted to create something long-lasting, but not overpowering -- decidedly masculine, but clean and fresh -- that wouldn't completely take over a room,"
We think that if you are unsure about whether pheromones would work for you then give them a try. Most are reasonable priced so it's worth buying some for 'experimental purposes'. We had lots of fun!
We would like to hear from you if you've had experience with any pheromone products.
Basenotes would like to thank the following for all of their help in researching and writing this article: Bruce Boyd at Love-Scent and the Love-Scent forum members, Erox Corp (Realm), Interneeds, Human Response Laboratories and Tammy Carter.
Most of the products mentioned in this article can be purchased from Love-Scent.com.