human pheromones


Summary: Chemical substances excreted by humans that elicit behavior or physiological responses from other humans. Perception of these chemical signals may be olfactory or by contact.

Top Publications

  1. Wysocki C, Preti G. Facts, fallacies, fears, and frustrations with human pheromones. Anat Rec A Discov Mol Cell Evol Biol. 2004;281:1201-11 pubmed
    ..It is emphasized that no bioassay-guided study has led to the isolation of true human pheromones, a step that will elucidate specific functions to human chemical signals.
  2. Vaglio S, Minicozzi P, Bonometti E, Mello G, Chiarelli B. Volatile signals during pregnancy: a possible chemical basis for mother-infant recognition. J Chem Ecol. 2009;35:131-9 pubmed publisher
    b>Human pheromones play a role in regulating relationships and apparently influence partner choice and mother-infant recognition...
  3. Savic I, Hedén Blomqvist E, Berglund H. Pheromone signal transduction in humans: what can be learned from olfactory loss. Hum Brain Mapp. 2009;30:3057-65 pubmed publisher
    ..The anosmics inability to activate the hypothalamus with EST, therefore, suggests that in healthy men EST signals were primarily transmitted via the olfactory system. ..
  4. Zaviacic M, Sisovsky V, Zaviacic T. Cosmetic perfumes vs. human pheromones (natural chemical scents) of the human female and male in signalling and performing context of their sexual behaviour. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2009;110:472-5 pubmed
    ..29). ..
  5. Grammer K, Fink B, Neave N. Human pheromones and sexual attraction. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2005;118:135-42 pubmed
    ..In this article we review the present evidence of the effect of human pheromones and discuss the role of olfactory cues in human sexual behaviour.
  6. Beier K, Ginez I, Schaller H. Localization of steroid hormone receptors in the apocrine sweat glands of the human axilla. Histochem Cell Biol. 2005;123:61-5 pubmed
    ..Accordingly, the results of this study establish a possible link between steroid hormone action and induction of pheromone production in the apocrine axillary glands. ..
  7. Okumu F, Biswaro L, Mbeleyela E, Killeen G, Mukabana R, Moore S. Using nylon strips to dispense mosquito attractants for sampling the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae s.s. J Med Entomol. 2010;47:274-82 pubmed
    ..The nylon material required is cheap and widely available and the strips can be prepared without specialized equipment or electricity. ..
  8. Syed Z, Leal W. Acute olfactory response of Culex mosquitoes to a human- and bird-derived attractant. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:18803-8 pubmed publisher
    ..quinquefasciatus can smell humans and birds. Nonanal and CO(2) synergize, thus, leading to significantly higher catches of Culex mosquitoes in traps baited with binary than in those with individual lures. ..
  9. Ferdenzi C, Schaal B, Roberts S. Human axillary odor: are there side-related perceptual differences?. Chem Senses. 2009;34:565-71 pubmed publisher
    ..The results also provide new evidence of the variation of female sensitivity to biologically relevant stimuli across the menstrual cycle. ..

More Information


  1. Baum M, Kelliher K. Complementary roles of the main and accessory olfactory systems in mammalian mate recognition. Annu Rev Physiol. 2009;71:141-60 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, we review experiments that raise the possibility that body odorants detected by the main olfactory system contribute to mate recognition in humans. ..
  2. Saxton T, Lyndon A, Little A, Roberts S. Evidence that androstadienone, a putative human chemosignal, modulates women's attributions of men's attractiveness. Horm Behav. 2008;54:597-601 pubmed publisher
    ..The results suggest that androstadienone can influence women's attraction to men, and also that research into the modulatory effects of androstadienone should be made within ecologically valid contexts...
  3. Lundstrom J, Boyle J, Zatorre R, Jones Gotman M. Functional neuronal processing of body odors differs from that of similar common odors. Cereb Cortex. 2008;18:1466-74 pubmed
    ..The results provide evidence that social olfactory stimuli of high ecological relevance are processed by specialized neuronal networks similar to what has previously been demonstrated for auditory and visual stimuli. ..
  4. Brewer W, Wood S, Pantelis C, Berger G, Copolov D, McGorry P. Olfactory sensitivity through the course of psychosis: Relationships to olfactory identification, symptomatology and the schizophrenia odour. Psychiatry Res. 2007;149:97-104 pubmed
    ..This may be linked to olfactory habituation effects, abnormal chemical processing or a genetic predisposition. ..
  5. Friebely J, Rako S. Pheromonal influences on sociosexual behavior in postmenopausal women. J Sex Res. 2004;41:372-80 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that the pheromone formulation worn with perfume for a period of 6 weeks has sex-attractant effects for postmenopausal women. ..
  6. Stowers L, Marton T. What is a pheromone? Mammalian pheromones reconsidered. Neuron. 2005;46:699-702 pubmed
    ..Recent discoveries of potential pheromones reveal that they may be more structurally and functionally diverse than previously defined. ..
  7. Kline J, Schwartz G, Dikman Z. Interpersonal defensiveness and diminished perceptual acuity for the odor of a putative pheromone: androstenone. Biol Psychol. 2007;74:405-13 pubmed
    ..The results are discussed in terms of motives to seek social approval and avoid social disapproval as they may relate to diminished awareness of androstenone. ..
  8. Swaney W, Keverne E. The evolution of pheromonal communication. Behav Brain Res. 2009;200:239-47 pubmed publisher
  9. Madon P. Earliest detection of pregnancy. Reprod Biomed Online. 2005;10:415 pubmed
  10. Thompson E, Haller G, Pinto J, Sun Y, Zelano B, Jacob S, et al. Sequence variations at the human leukocyte antigen-linked olfactory receptor cluster do not influence female preferences for male odors. Hum Immunol. 2010;71:100-3 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results indicate that OR alleles in the genes surveyed are not in linkage disequilibrium with HLA variation and do not explain the previous findings of HLA-associated odor preference. ..
  11. Hummer T, McClintock M. Putative human pheromone androstadienone attunes the mind specifically to emotional information. Horm Behav. 2009;55:548-59 pubmed publisher
  12. Keller M, Baum M, Brock O, Brennan P, Bakker J. The main and the accessory olfactory systems interact in the control of mate recognition and sexual behavior. Behav Brain Res. 2009;200:268-76 pubmed
  13. Ciumas C, Lindén Hirschberg A, Savic I. High fetal testosterone and sexually dimorphic cerebral networks in females. Cereb Cortex. 2009;19:1167-74 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, we find no evidence for masculinization of the limbic circuits in women with high fetal testosterone. ..
  14. Ishimaru T. [Recent clinical trends in smell disorder]. No To Shinkei. 2005;57:659-66 pubmed
  15. Pause B, Krauel K, Schrader C, Sojka B, Westphal E, Müller Ruchholtz W, et al. The human brain is a detector of chemosensorily transmitted HLA-class I-similarity in same- and opposite-sex relations. Proc Biol Sci. 2006;273:471-8 pubmed
    ..Such HLA-related chemosignals may contribute to female and male mate choice as well as to male competitive behaviour. ..
  16. Matchock R, Susman E. Family composition and menarcheal age: anti-inbreeding strategies. Am J Hum Biol. 2006;18:481-91 pubmed
    ..The present findings advance the literature as they are suggestive of putative human pheromones that modulate sexual maturation to promote gene survival and prevent inbreeding, as occurs in rodents and ..
  17. Wang Z, Nudelman A, Storm D. Are pheromones detected through the main olfactory epithelium?. Mol Neurobiol. 2007;35:317-23 pubmed
    ..These recent discoveries suggest the provocative hypothesis that human pheromones may signal through the MOE.
  18. Asahina K, Benton R. Smell and taste on a high: symposium on chemical senses: from genes to perception. EMBO Rep. 2007;8:634-8 pubmed
  19. Wyart C, Webster W, Chen J, Wilson S, McClary A, Khan R, et al. Smelling a single component of male sweat alters levels of cortisol in women. J Neurosci. 2007;27:1261-5 pubmed
    ..Critically, this study identified a single component of sweat, androstadienone, as capable of exerting such influence. This result points to a potential role for synthetic human chemosignals in clinical applications. ..
  20. Miller M. Human pheromones. Harv Ment Health Lett. 2006;23:8 pubmed
  21. Li W, Fan S. [Progress in the olfactory system]. Sheng Li Ke Xue Jin Zhan. 2006;37:83-96 pubmed
  22. Schaal B, Coureaud G, Doucet S, Delaunay El Allam M, Moncomble A, Montigny D, et al. Mammary olfactory signalisation in females and odor processing in neonates: ways evolved by rabbits and humans. Behav Brain Res. 2009;200:346-58 pubmed