Exotic Pheromones and Concentrates

December 26, 2010 | jim

The effect of pheromones on physiology and their affect on behavior has been scientifically detailed in species from yeasts to non-human primates. In no species does the affect on behavior of the different mixtures of pheromones depend on the use of supraphysiological amounts.

A supraphysiological amount is one to which an organism would never be naturally exposed.  For example, organisms are never naturally exposed to concentrations of pheromones that are one thousand to one million times the amount produced by other organisms of the same species. However, supraphysiological amounts have been used in experiments on men and women, and products are marketed with claims that they contain the highest concentration of human pheromones.

The original experiments with the pheromones of moths did not use 1000 to 1,000,000 times the amount of bombykol, which affected the behavior of males from miles away. So, what is the basis for manufacturer’s claims that their products include the highest concentration of however many unspecified human pheromones they claim to include?

It should be clear that such claims are based on common marketing practices that promote the “more-is-better” concept. Shall we all buy into the super-sizing of products that supposedly contain human pheromones? At what point does this excess become as toxic as the food industry’s promotions have become to our health via increased obesity?

We are not going to eat pheromones, but consider this: What effect could be expected on a male moth exposed to one million times the natural exposure to a female’s pheromones? I doubt he would fly upwind to find her. He would probably attempt to avoid contact — even if she was the best looking female of all. Conceptually, if not yet scientifically shown, men who have used excessive amounts of products that contain androstenone could expect a similar response from women.

It should be obvious that moderation, in all things, is the key to success. But that’s not good marketing, is it? I mention this because marketers are now attempting to sell “concentrates,” like concentrated androstenol for $300-$400 per gram. I’m not sure whether this refers to one gram of androstenol diluted in an alcohol solution, or if so, how much diluent would be used.

One gram equates well with my mention of 1000 times more than what is required to elicit an affect. In this case, however, the affect we demonstrated was on women’s flirtatious behavior (and self reported level of attraction) during a 15 minute interaction. I like to compare our time frame with that of the marketing claim for products sold by Winnifred Cutler: “…effective for 74% in 8 week published scientific study” Of course, her claim of effectiveness in 8 weeks was invalidated by researchers who reviewed her results and published their conclusions.

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James Vaughn Kohl

James Vaughn Kohl

James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones.