Are Synthetic Pheromones Different Than Natural Ones?

First coming onto the market as far back as 1996, synthetic pheromones have been assisting in the romantic pursuits of bachelors and bachelorettes near and far. As science progresses, discoveries are being made in the realm of psychobiology as it pertains to sexual attraction in humans. Pheromones took the forefront of these scientific studies, and still remain a highly relied upon component to explain the behavior and development of sexual attractions between not only animals, but humans as well.

These naturally produced chemicals are found in our sweat, and stimulate a positive reaction in suitable romantic candidates of the opposite sex, eliciting and forming the foundation for a sexual attraction. With the discovery of the importance of natural pheromones that regulate our bodily urges of not only hunger and thirst, but also sexual arousal, cologne and perfume companies coined an entirely new experience: a synthetic pheromone – or love drug – in a pleasantly-scented spray form.

But if our bodies produce these pheromones naturally, why do you people pay for them, you may ask? And how are synthetic pheromones different from natural ones? The similarities between natural and synthetic pheromones are numerous. Here are just a few of them.

Pheromones: How They’re Created and How They Really Work

Our bodies secrete pheromones externally, and they go to work by causing a change in the reproductive – or sexual – behavior of another person. Synthetic pheromones are used to enhance this naturally occurring chemical to be more apparent, although unconsciously, to the opposite sex through their olfactory sensors. By mimicking the chemicals like lactic and acetic acids found in natural pheromones, synthetic pheromones render the same response in the sexual behavior of others as natural pheromones do.

Studies have repeatedly shown that a man or woman wearing a synthetic pheromone product, which is representative of their naturally occurring pheromones, will experience a higher response in sexual attraction to him or her by others in their nearby vicinity. According to one study conducted by Psychology Professor Norma McCoy at San Francisco State University, 74 percent of those with the synthetic pheromone perfume experienced a heightened level of sociosexual behaviors, including kissing, sexual touching, and sexual intercourse. The women who wore the synthetic pheromones were asked on formal dates at a higher than average rate, and other studies show the same to be true for men wearing synthetic pheromones.

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The Olfactory Sensors and Nerve Zero

Our olfactory sensors are representative and responsible for one of our senses – our sense of smell. Our sense of smell does play a large role in our survival as a species, such a smelling the smoke of a dangerous fire or smelling the nutrients of required sustenance, but its importance in attracting a mate for reproduction has become clear in recent studies. With the discovery of pheromones and the studies involving the use of synthetic pheromones, the olfactory sensors have been discovered as the communication measure for sexual attraction.

Synthetic pheromones work the same way: members of the opposite sex, or homosexual members of the same sex, sense the chemical through their olfactory sensors which send a message to their brain through a highly-debated nerve: nerve zero. German scientist Gustav Fritsch first discovered nerve zero in the brain of a shark in 1878, and this nerve was later discovered in the human brain in 1913.

Nerve zero is one of 13 cranial nerves that enter the brain directly without first passing through the spinal cord. Nerve zero is very closely connected – and just ahead of – nerve one, which is responsible for translating messages from the olfactory sensors. Therefore, nerve zero is the perfect means of communication for a response that is translated from our sense of smell by natural and synthetic pheromones alike.

Created from the same components and eliciting the same response, synthetic pheromones only differ from natural pheromones in one category: where they come from. And since where they come from goes undetected by the opposite sex, synthetic pheromones play a valid role in assisting with attracting a suitable romantic candidate for many men and women around the world.