Is it Just Pheromones, or Does He Love You?

silhouette photo of man kneeling in front of woman giving flower

Pheromones are secreted by one person and received by a second person of the same species; their purpose in humans has yet to be determined since the vomeronasal organ responsible for processing pheromone signals in animals has atrophied in adults. However, you can’t help but wonder if your partner’s attraction towards you might be partially attributed to his or her desire to procreate with you via the release of pheromones into the air around you. According to some recent research, pheromones might just be linked to how men perceive love from women.

pheromones anyone? Man and woman standing face to face
Photo by Katie Salerno on

Have We Lost Our Sense of Smell?

Recent studies have shown that humans have lost the ability to detect certain smells. One reason for this could be that we now rely on sight instead of smell to find our way around and determine if food is spoiled. Another theory is that the chemicals in our modern environment, like air fresheners and perfumes, interfere with our sense of smell. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to know how pheromones might play a role in attraction since we are constantly surrounded by signals designed to make us feel good.

The Science Behind Human Pheromones

As stated, pheromones are substances secreted to the outside by an individual and received by a second individual of the same species. Their role in humans is a mystery since adults have no functioning vomeronasal organ which processes pheromone signals in animals. One study found that women exposed to male pheromones had increased levels of testosterone and cortisol, which could cause attraction and arousal. Some also believe that pheromones increase attraction through their ability to trigger emotions like happiness or sadness.

Do Humans Really Have Pheromones, And What Are They For Anyway?

Pheromones are chemicals that are secreted by one individual and received by another of the same species. They’re essential in animals since they help with mating rituals, but little is known about their role in humans. Since adults have no working vomeronasal organ, there’s been no wide research done on how pheromones affect us. It’s possible that we produce them but don’t know it because we lack the means to detect them.

So Why Do People Think We Need Them?

Pheromones are often thought to be a way for people to communicate subconsciously. Since humans have no functioning vomeronasal organ which processes pheromone signals in animals, we can’t rely on pheromones to do the same in humans. However, people think that they serve as a way for us to subconsciously communicate by either increasing sexual attraction or acting as an alarm system. Indeed, there is evidence that humans can perceive pheromones through other senses, such as smell or hearing, and respond accordingly, even if they are unaware of doing so.

So, Are There Really No Human Pheromones at All Then?

Humans may have pheromones. But they’re probably not detectible by a vomeronasal organ. We may be giving off pheromones subconsciously – as we sweat and through our skin – and they just haven’t been identified yet. What we call chemicals could really be human pheromones that are just too subtle for us to feel or notice.–MM



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