Researchers crack olfactory code for partner selection

Researchers crack olfactory code for partner selection, synthesise first biologically effective perfume

Researchers believe that not only the perception of body odour, but also of perfumes, play a role in sexual communication. After all, humans have been using perfumes for more than 5,000 years.

February 01, 2013 • 9:57 PM

Doing it naturally, with pheromones

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August 04, 2011 • 12:30 PM

Scent of Eros products

Scent of Eros products are formulated by James V. Kohl, a clinical laboratory scientist. The products work as pheromones do in other species. All mammals perceive pheromones in a manner analogous to their perception of food odors. No species consciously perceives the hormone-mediated changes that allow pheromones and food odors to affect behavior. Thus, the behavioral affects of food odors and pheromones are typically unconscious affects.

We may sometimes think about food odors and associate them with behavioral affects during the development of our food preferences, and few people would deny the role of food odors in food selection. In contrast, pheromones are typically subliminal scents that function at levels below those that can be consciously detected. We do not think about them and therefore most people do not associate pheromones either with changes in their behavior, or with changes in the behavior of others.

But you don’t need to understand the science of human pheromones to use them to influence the behavior of others. You probably already know that not all spices enhance the appeal of food for all people. Enhancing your natural scent with pheromones may not affect everyone you meet in the same way. But pheromone-enhancement will make you less of a plain Jane, or typical Joe. If you don’t want to seem special to others you meet, don’t use pheromone-enhanced fragrances.

June 15, 2011 • 1:24 AM

Conditioning of the response to pheromones begins at birth

Mice are mammals, which indicates that the same process is involved in humans.

Mouse nose nerve cells mature after birth, allowing bonding, recognition with mother

For rodent pups, bonding with mom isn’t hard-wired in the womb. It develops over the first few weeks of life, which is achieved by their maturing sense of smell, possibly allowing these mammals a survival advantage by learning to identify mother, siblings, and home.

March 15, 2011 • 8:52 AM

New book about sex pheromones

Intraspecific chemical communication in vertebrates with special attention to sex pheromones. NUR-code: 922. ISBN: 978-90-77713-78-5. © 2011 by R. van den Hurk.

Available for $ 45 (or 35), inclusive transfer costs. Paypal accepted through this account:

This 2011 edition (191 pages) is an update from the book entitled ‘Intraspecific chemical communication in vertebrates with special attention to its role in reproduction’ (R. van den Hurk, 2007). With the appearance of the new edition, it now becomes the most recent and most comprehensive pheromone review available.

In this book you will find a survey of intraspecific pheromonal and odorous processes in Vertebrates, the source where such semiochemicals are formed, their chemical nature, the sites where they are perceived, and the way in which they can exert their effects. Knowledge of these nature and role of these chemicals is important for their application in fish breeding, husbandry and production of farm animals, housing of companion animals, integrated management of harmful animals (like beavers which, in dense populations, may cause enormous damage to nature), reproduction of endangered animal species, and behaviour of humans.

After the publishing of the first edition in February 2007, world-wide attention of pheromone research was particularly directed to odorant/pheromone receptors and signal transduction within odorant/pheromone sensing cells. Therefore, in the new edition of the book, the chapter ‘Olfactory receptor sites, odorant and pheromonal perception, signal transduction, and conduction of evoked action potentials to and within the brain’ has substantially been changed, while in every chapter new information (published until January 2011) has been incorporated. Most tables are extended with new data on sex pheromones in vertebrate species. To focus more on the term (sex) pheromone and to facilitate tracing of the current book, the original book title has slightly been changed.

Dr. R. van den Hurk

Pheromone Information Centre, Brugakker 5895, 3704 MX Zeist, Netherlands.

E-mail address:

March 08, 2011 • 6:44 PM

Love at first sight: Divine intervention, selective breeding, and pheromones

Do reports that love is a universal feeling have anything to do with the ubiquitous nature of pheromones, which exist in species from yeasts to humans?  Here’s an indication of how pheromones might be involved in love at first sight. The full text of this article is available from

February 14, 2011 • 12:09 PM

Love at first sight: a fundamental attribution error

The fundamental attribution error is a common type of mental bias in social psychology. To those who better understand the biological basis of behavior, it is a blatantly ridiculous error that suggests an inability to reason effectively. The error involves placing a heavy emphasis on internal personality characteristics that are used to explain someone’s behavior in a given situation, rather than thinking about external situational factors. The biological basis for the development of internal personality is not detailed. With love at first sight, the beloved’s personality simply exists at the time any associated brain-directed behavior is manifest. The behavior is manifest as a response to the external situation that involves the beloved. (more…)

February 13, 2011 • 9:38 PM

Full text publications by James V. Kohl about human pheromones

With the recent addition of an author’s copy of our 1996 Hormones and Behavior article,  the full test of all three of my peer-reviewed articles is available.

Kohl, J.V. (2007). “The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences.” author’s copy Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality 18(4): 313-369.

Kohl, J.V., et al. (2001). “Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology.” full text of Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 22(5): 309-21.

Diamond, M., Binstock , T. &  Kohl , JV. (1996).  “From fertilization to adult sexual behavior.” author’s copy Horm Behav. 30(4): 333-53.

January 16, 2011 • 7:44 PM


The following pages  of unsolicited testimonials (too many to read in their entirety) are some of those we received during the first few years that the Scent of Eros for men was available. There are now literally thousands of unsolicited testimonials that can be found simply by searching on the product name (or in some cases, its initials).  This product line continues to advertise itself by virtue of its overwhelming success.

Scent of Eros (SOE)

. . . it has so many positives and I feel is really underestimated by those in pursuit of “sexual hits”. The effects you noticed on yourself are similar to what I experience with SOE – just much more confidence, feeling at ease in all situations and this translates to being able to meet and interact with everyone very easily. And folks around just seem to like you instantly, talk about anything and everything with you and I’ve become so used to the attention I get from waitresses, waiters, bartenders, my co-workers etc. – but my friends (who I’ve never told I wear pheros) all say they can’t figure out how I seem to “mesmerize” folks and I’ve gained this rep. of being “the man” (PT 5/18/2003)

SOE even in its praise is still underrated, I am not sure how I ignored it for so long. (TM 5/20/2003)

SOE when you are wearing it has that effect on people were it makes them take every word you say as more important, you may notice people lean into you more, or seem to be anticipating something “great” that you will say next. Along with this people take what you say more to heart and it seems like they enjoy your words more then you. (more…)

January 12, 2011 • 5:50 PM


Pictures of food are visually appealing due to associations we make with the chemical appeal of the food. It wouldn’t look good if it didn’t smell good.

Pictures of people are visually appealing due to unconscious associations we make with their chemical appeal.

Pheromones are chemical signals from other people that condition you to respond to what you see.

For example: which of these pictures do you find most attractive

These pictures are of a face that has been altered in appearance to show the difference between how high levels of testosterone change facial features (left) compared to how high levels of estrogen change facial features (right). The three faces between the most masculine face (on the right) and the most feminine face (on the left) represent variations in levels of hormones, like testosterone and estrogen, that are associated with attractive male and/or female facial features. (courtesy of Dr. Victor Johnston)

January 12, 2011 • 5:02 PM

The nature of physical attraction

The nature of physical attraction is biological. If you don’t understand the nature of human sexuality, you can’t explain or predict sexual behavior. You do not need to understand biology to understand physical attraction, but you should think about how human pheromones might be influencing the biological basis of your behavior.

January 12, 2011 • 4:44 PM

Are humans primarily visual creatures?

People think that their first response to a physically attractive potential partner is due to visual input. That’s not accurate! If we were not already conditioned by human pheromones to respond to physical attributes, we could not develop an appropriate response to what we see.

Perhaps it’s easier to grasp this concept of odors and pheromones if you think about your food preferences. No matter how good it looks, if the odor isn’t right, you’re not going to be interested in the food. And no matter how good someone looks, you’re not going to be interested in them if their scent signature is not right.

Even when the chemicals were transferred to you in the womb, your experience with food chemistry before birth set the stage for your adult food preferences. Just as food odors cause changes in our physiology that are associated with hunger, ingestion, and satiety, human pheromones cause our physiology to change. With the human pheromone-induced changes in physiology come human pheromone-induced changes in behavior. The changes in physiology and behavior happen without thought; you don’t know that the changes are happening.

It’s even more difficult to comprehend how thoroughly human pheromones affect our behavior because we are not aware of their affects. We think about what we see, and — without thought — attribute attractive physical characteristics to our visual perception. In truth, however, we are very much like other animals. We know that they depend on their sense of smell for food choice and for mate choice. We are like other animals that don’t need to think about their choices. Neither do we –except that sometimes after-the-fact we may ask ourselves “What was I thinking?”

January 12, 2011 • 4:36 PM

What makes you appealing?

In all mammals, a life-long developmental process that begins before birth is responsible both for physical attractiveness, and for our personal preferences. For example, our food preferences for different types of food depend on odor associations with different foods we have tasted. It’s the chemistry of the food that is most important.

Our preferences for the physical characteristics of other people depend on human pheromones. It’s the chemistry between people that is most important.

Like food odors, we can sometimes detect human pheromones with our sense of smell. Unlike food odors, the production of human pheromones and our response to them depends on the differences between men and women.

Typically, women respond to increased male pheromone production with increased attention. Men respond to increased female pheromone production with increased attention.

January 12, 2011 • 4:32 PM

The Concept

Human pheromones do not create desire; they enhance it! Human pheromone-enhanced products increase your natural appeal. Marketing claims that guarantee you will get more sex are unscientific and unrealistic. If you are unappealing, human pheromones cannot magically make you appealing. However, human pheromones work because nearly everyone is somewhat appealing, and human pheromones enhance your natural appeal.

January 12, 2011 • 4:28 PM

Presentations and Publications

We have repeatedly shown that a chemical mixture of androstenol and androsterone increases flirtatious behavior in women during 15 minutes of exposure. These women also reported that they were significantly more attracted to the man wearing the mixture, which is the same mixture used in the Scent of Eros products. From 2007 to 2010 we presented results six times during five different scientific assemblies. You can track our scientific progress with this effective mixture of human pheromones via these presentations (listed below).

In 2007, our title included the caveat “…may condition…” We then responded to the comments of other researchers who had seen our work by incorporating a masking odor as a control and replicating our results. Beginning in 2009 we were able to state clearly that “Human pheromones increase women’s observed flirtatious behaviors and ratings of attraction.”

It took 8 years from the time of the Scent of Eros product debut to scientifically conclude what was obvious from the anecdotal evidence provided in testimonials by people who used the product. During this time the scientific basis for product claims became clear. Our study results exemplify how science is used to support the fact that human pheromones elicit effects on hormones and affects on behavior, just as it was expected they would from the studies of other species. The science is real. There’s no magical aphrodisiac involved; it’s just “chemistry”.


Kohl, J.V., Kelahan, L.C. & Hoffmann, H. (2010). Human pheromones increase women’s observed flirtatious behaviors and ratings of attraction. International Society for Human Ethology. Madison, Wisconsin.

Kohl, J.V., Kelahan, L.C. & Hoffmann, H. (2009).  Human pheromones increase women’s observed flirtatious behaviors and ratings of attraction. 13th Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. East Lansing, Michigan.

Kohl, J.V., Kelahan, L.C. & Hoffmann, H. (2009). Putative Human Pheromones Increase Women’s Observed Flirtatious Behaviors and Ratings of Attraction. Association for Chemoreception Sciences 31st Annual Meeting,. Sarasota, Florida.

Kelahan, L.C., Hoffmann, H, & Kohl, J.V.  (2008). Olfactory/pheromonal input and human female proceptive sexual behaviors/preferences. Society for Neuroscience. Washington, D.C.

Kelahan, L.C., Hoffmann, H, & Kohl, J.V.  (2007). Androstenol/androsterone may condition a human hormonal effect/behavioral affect. Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting. Indianapolis, Indiana.

Kelahan, L.C., Hoffmann, H, & Kohl, J.V. (2007). Androstenol/androsterone may condition a human hormonal effect/behavioral affect. Association for Chemoreception Sciences 29th Annual Meeting. Sarasota, Florida.

Publications (Free full text is available for all three articles):

Kohl, J.V. (2007). “The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences.” author’s copy Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality 18(4): 313-369.

Kohl, J.V., et al. (2001). “Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology.” full text of Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 22(5): 309-21.

Diamond, M., Binstock , T. &  Kohl , JV. (1996).  “From fertilization to adult sexual behavior.” author’s copy Horm Behav. 30(4): 333-53.

January 11, 2011 • 9:42 PM

Human Tears Contain a Chemosignal

A new study published today demonstrates changes in sexual arousal and testosterone after exposure to female tears.
Human Tears Contain a Chemosignal

  • Shani Gelstein,
  • Yaara Yeshurun,
  • Liron Rozenkrantz,
  • Sagit Shushan,
  • Idan Frumin,
  • Yehudah Roth,
  • and Noam Sobel
Science 1198331Published online 6 January 2011

Comments on the work above are at this URL:
Women’s tears contain chemical cues : Nature News

January 06, 2011 • 6:26 PM

Current Issues in the Study of Androstenes in Human Chemosignaling

Those who are interested in the latest research might be interested in the full text of this journal article / book chapter.

Here is some dialogue between me and a correpondent:

Correspondent: The review makes a pretty good case for androstadienone. Androstenone the obvious one to be left out of the mix, unless you want women to sit in a particular chair. The proven ingredients seem to be Androstadienone, Androstenol, Androsterone and no androstenone  Yet the whole pheromone industry sells the vast majority of products on androstenone content with claims of proven research.

JVK: ormally, I would not put much faith in the impression I got from one article, but this review is much more comprehensive than most, and I did not detect any bias, which is apparent in the writings from other groups with research interests — even mine. I can speculate that this group has studies in progress, perhaps of androstadienone, but I’ve also discussed replication of our results with them (i.e., with Lenochova and Havlicek), and have already sent the mixture of chemicals from our studies to Oberzaucher and Grammer for attempted replication.

That’s part of what is expected to happen in the scientific community. We are definitely on to something, and others become interested when they see our work presented. For example: Lenochova, P. Havlicek, J. Oberzaucher, E. Grammer, K. (2008) Do perfumes mask or interact with body odour? International Society for Human Ethology. Bologna, Italy. July 13 – 17.

Next, we may see androstadienone fall out of favor, because no one has shown that it has any behavioral affect. Like androstenone, however, it has been heavily marketed and conceptualized as a human pheromone. However, it’s species specificity and appropriate use of physiological rather than supraphysiological amounts for empirical testing has not been addressed except in the critical review by Wysocki and Preti.

I think that I mentioned the issue of non-disclosure in another post. If you don’t disclose methods and the chemicals you’re testing, you don’t present results at conferences, which is the only way your scientifically-minded peers can evaluate your research. If there is scientific support for the use of androstenone, I haven’t seen it presented at the conferences I’ve attended.

Reports that androstadienone has a similar odor to androstenone made me ask why so many groups are testing it. The answer, a few years ago, was because everyone else is. To their credit, however, other researchers are likely to be influenced by the claims from those who use commercial products, as we all are. The problem then becomes how to properly design a study that could show a true affect, if any is to be found.

Background: In April of 2007 my colleagues and I reported effects of menstrual cycle phase and affects of the mixture of chemicals used in my Scent of Eros product for men on women’s flirtatious behavior. see #492 at

In July of 2008 a group using a similar study design reported an effect of menstrual cycle phase on behavior, but found no affect of androstadienone on women’s flirtatious behavior. See # 511 at

Johan Lundstrom, a member of the 2008 group above, had suggested to me in 2007 that we use sandalwood odor as an odor-masking control in a replication attempt. We used sandalwood, and replicated our results and presented our findings at the Society for Neuroscience in November of 2008, and at another conferences in April of 2009 see #290 In our replication, we found an increase in women’s ratings of their attraction.

To my knowledge, no other researcher or group of researchers has successfully shown an affect on behavior either of an individual putative human pheromone, or of a mixture of human pheromones like those found in the Scent of Eros for men product (and also found in The Mind’s Eyes product for men.) Studies that have previously reported behavioral affects, tend to equate effects on brain activation, physiology, or mood with behavior, or to make claims for behavioral affects that have been debunked after review of their statistical analysis.

Our study design and results are based on four publications, two of which have won awards. One publication is a book with 1995 and 2002 editions. One is a 1996 journal article in Hormones and Behavior: One is a 2001 journal article in Neuroendocrinology Letters. And one is a 2006 journal article in the Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality and 2007 book chapter in the Handbook of the Evolution of Human Sexuality.

Three of the five publications have the words “Human Pheromones” in the title. Researchers who claim there are no human pheromones may want to familiarize themselves with the concept, and minimally update themselves on the latest literature, most of which can be found here at (a likely place to look for information on human pheromones).

January 05, 2011 • 5:17 PM

Welcome to Scent of

I will be attempting to update this domain during the next two weeks. Please be patient. I’m studying molecular biology not web design!

December 29, 2010 • 6:16 AM