Pheromones are subconscious and silent sex cues that can help you feel attracted to someone, or send you running.


Pheromones are mysterious chemical signals that are released into the air by humans and animals alike. They are used to send subconscious messages and have been linked to everything from ovulation cycles to physical attraction. Some perfumes and colognes containing pheromones are marketed to people who are looking to attract the opposite sex.

However, while the science of pheromones is still relatively new, it seems that there is no way to exactly duplicate your own personal pheromones. They are as much a part of your genetic makeup as your hair color or your skin tone. In fact, researchers have recently discovered an olfactory nerve that they believe is the route through which pheromones are processed. Cranial nerve zero, as it is called, bypasses the olfactory area of the brain where scents are normally processed. Instead, it is linked straight to the area of the brain that processes sexual cues and creates attraction. Turns out, nerve zero isn’t a typical scent sensor; instead, it seems to be used to interpret sexual cues from potential mates.

But what are these sexual cues, and what exactly is nerve zero looking for? For one thing, we are more likely to be attracted to people whose scent is dissimilar to our own. Family members often share similar chemicals, so our attraction to differing chemical makeup suggests that sexual cues evolved to protect close family members from procreating together. On the other hand, pregnant women have been shown to be more drawn to people with similar chemical makeup, which might be due to the fact that during this crucial time, women are more apt to seek out family members than potential mates.

Furthermore, couples who have high levels of chemicals in common are more likely to encounter fertility issues, miscarriage, and infidelity. The more dissimilar your chemical makeup is from your partner’s, the better chance you will have of successfully procreating and staying together.

So how can you create the scent that will keep you and your partner in the land of happily ever after? Unfortunately, you can’t. Perfumes and colognes can’t fool nerve zero — the scents that humans and animals are attracted to are intangible and instinctive. Even the most expensive designer perfume can’t fool Mother Nature. When it comes to sexual attraction, nature’s nerve zero knows best.

However, if you are taking a hormonal contraceptive, you might be bucking an evolutionary tide. Women who are on the pill are more likely to be attracted to men with similar chemical makeup — most likely because their bodies are fooling them into believing they are pregnant, and so much like actual pregnant women, their nerve zero leads them to kin, not mates. So if you were on the pill when you met your mate, you might possibly experience a diminishing attraction when you cease taking it.

Only time will tell what role nerve zero plays in future sex research, but one thing is for sure: love is in the air!

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Pheromones Give Off Sexual Cues


Smell reigns supreme in matters of the heart.


Everything from your first boyfriend’s cologne to the familiar smell of your mother’s house is uniquely encoded in your brain as a “scent memory.” It explains why a chance whiff can instantly take you back to another place and time, maybe even evoking a memory you never knew existed.

Past Smells

Might Equal Present Attraction to being decoded. Watch out!

Believe it or not, undetectable odors may actually turn us on to and off from mates, favoring those with whom we are reproductively compatible. A study at the University of Bern in Switzerland found that women preferred the  smell of men who reminded them of former lovers and who would give them the best chances at conceiving. (They smelled their T-shirts, in case you’re wondering; however, the fascinating finding lies below the level of conscious smell.)

It’s a concept known as major histocompatability complex, or MHC. MHC, basically, is the reason that women unknowingly prefer the scent of men with whom they are best suited to mate, at least immunologically speaking. Basically, the more a man’s and woman’s immune systems differ, the better their children’s odds are of surviving.

You Can’t Fight Pheromones

Women sniff out the best mates via pheromones — the undetectable scents that drive a range of reproductive behaviors. Humans have denser skin concentrations of the scent glands that release pheromones than almost any other mammal. As a result, pheromones are slinging at least some of Cupid’s arrows. However, don’t put any stock in thosepheromone perfumes on the market. They don’t work.

Showing some skin is a far better mating strategy in more ways than one: Dancing close, as well as kissing, puts you in even closer proximity to a beloved’s imperceptible smell.

But beware: Studies have found that women on the pill experience hormonal changes that can interfere with this law of “scent attraction,” leading to trouble picking the right partner and potential problems with infertility down the line. Once off the pill, some women may find they have a different “sense” about their mates. Also, pay attention to a partner’s smell when he is free of cologne and laundry detergent. You may learn something about your compatibility!

Bring the Aromatic Smells of the Kitchen to the Bedroom

That being said, there are a variety of aromatic delights that  can give your love life a boost. Try burning some essential oils by your bedside to evoke a new ambience. Exotic, sexual scents include vanilla, patchouli, and ylang ylang. Experiments have found that the scents of pumpkin pie and lavender increase blood flow to the male reproductive organs by 40 percent! The smell of licorice and doughnuts increase it by 32 percent. For the ladies, licorice combined with the scent of cucumber did the trick. So whether you channel Betty Crocker and actually cook, or fake it with one of those excellent candles on the market, put these scents to work the next time you’re entertaining your sweetie. And I hope your sex is good & plenty!


Source: Dr. Laura Berman

The Nose Knows How to Help Us Find and Keep a Mate


Each of our senses plays a part in forming our attraction to our mates, but scent might be the strongest.


Can you sniff out a good mate?

Studies have shown that women are highly attuned to smell — and for good reason. A study at the University of Bern in Switzerland found that women preferred the natural scent of a man (oh fine, his body odor!) who happened to be her best mating option — evolutionarily speaking. Basically, the more dissimilar a man and woman’s immune systems are, the better their odds for conceiving healthy, strong children. Women, it seems, are able to instinctively detect immunological differences via smell. It’s a concept known as major histocompatibility complex, or MHC.

However, things like soap, perfume, spicy food, and even the birth-control pill can get in the way of our natural nose guide. The pill interferes with a woman’s processing of pheromones, which can cause problems with her ability to sniff out the right guy. But, if you want to test your nose, don’t go renouncing the pill just yet: Instead, try taking a whiff of your man first thing in the morning and see how his scent appeals to you. What does your nose tell you?

You have a magnetic scent too. But forget Chanel No. 5. When it comes to attracting a mate, women need look no further than their own natural chemical makeups. A recent study from Florida State University asked men to rate the attractiveness of a female subject after spending a short interval of time with her. When the subject was ovulating, she was rated as more attractive and desirable than when she wasn’t ovulating. Apparently, men can pick up subconscious cues that alert them to a woman’s ovulation cycle, and their bodies instinctively respond by increasing their desire for mates who are most likely to be fertile.

However, the scent of an ovulating woman isn’t always deemed desirable. In the same study, it was found that some men were not attracted to the ovulating female subject; these men were in committed relationships, and they reported significantly less attraction to the subject when she was ovulating. Researchers theorize that this is because a man in a committed relationship “shuts off” his biological drive in an attempt to safeguard the relationship.

The commitment to monogamy goes way back: In the early days of humans, monogamy was important, at least during childbearing years. In order for his seed and child to survive, a father had to stay committed to his mate and help provide food and protection for his budding family. It was only after a child became older and able to walk and move skillfully that the man would feel free to pursue other mates and spread his seed. Thousands of years later, this commitment to monogamy and family ties are still in place, although women certainly no longer need a man to feed and protect them!

Of course, one’s relationship stability and happiness does not all come down to subconscious biological cues and ancestral ties to the wild. However, studies such as these help to better illuminate our relationships with one another and our connection to the past as well, and for this reason they will always be a valuable and interesting resource.


Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Follow Your Nose to Your Soul Mate