Science

The science behind pheromones

perfumeDid you know that the 21st of March was National Fragrance Day? No, me neither. Do you care? No, me neither. We really are great at creating random days for specific things, aren’t we? Why does such a mundane day exist? Well, it’s another ploy for those companies to market perfumes, cologne and all things that smell floral and fragrant. This got me thinking about how I dislike perfumes because I happen to be allergic to certain basic chemical components (no official tests done, I’m still alive though).  So, let’s get this straight. I love wonderful smells. We as humans associate scents/smells with certain events or moments in our lives, as well as people. It’s just a shame I happen to end up with a light headache and itchy nose even as I walk through Duty Free’s perfume section. Crazy, I know. I still spritz vanilla scent all over me before heading out because that thankfully, doesn’t cause harm to my health. In reality though, how much do we as humans rely on using these perfume or cologne products to emit a pleasant scent?

Well, most of the perfumes sold in shops actually contain pheromones. They are chemical messages passed within many insect and mammal species, conveying information and triggering responses from the opposite sex. They’re not simply for mating and courtship purposes though.  They play a role in flagging approaching danger, territorial marking, battles for dominance, mother-infant recognition and menstrual synchrony in women. Human pheromones have been discovered by research conducted by biologist Winifred Cutler. However, she is leader of the Athena institute and basically sells pheromone products.

In our day-to-day lives, how important are pheromones? Sales professionals have found that there’s an increase in people buying their products, professionals on the whole have received some sort of acknowledgment leading to promotions, and of course personally, you get to attract members of the opposite sex. So I leave you to muse. Do you take that extra step to purchase these chemicals or do you let your personality and natural body scent do the talking?

Advertisements