The Hidden Science of Sexual Attraction , Pheromones

Richard was a healthy young man who was not at all handsome. He surely did not have an attractive figure, gait or look. But his ability to attract women seemed to be fantastic and amazing. During and after parties he was chased by beautiful rich women, trying to lure him in all possible ways. In fact, many were crazy to have his company. There were plenty of handsome, highly attractive and fashionable young guys in the party trying to attract beautiful ladies. But they were not very successful. Richard, though he was not physically attractive, became the centre of attraction of many fashionable ladies. He really utilized his opportunities and had illicit relations with many. Some fell prey in his love trap and were cheated.

Finally, Richard was caught by the police for swindling and extracting large amounts of money from a number of rich women. He was jailed for many months. Hearing his story, the jailor was inquisitive to know his secrets of attracting so many educated rich women. So he deliberately maintained a friendly relationship with Richard. In a free chat with the jailor, one day he revealed the secret. It was his sweat which did the magic. He deliberately kept a kerchief under his armpit during parties and when he was talking to or dancing with a lady, he used to take out his kerchief, wet with his armpit sweat and wiped his face and deliberately brought near to the nose of the lady. He even wiped the sweat on her face with his kerchief during dancing. It worked wonders and the women were tantalized subconsciously. He became irresistible to many and they fell prey to the crafty young womanizer.

Richard was not aware of the reason or science behind this phenomenon. But he accidentally or intuitively got the idea that women were getting intensely attracted to him when he was wet with sweat after a dance and he started using his sweat power cunningly as a password to their passion.

The Amazing Science of Pheromones

Now science has proved that men and women are attracted to each other not by the five senses alone but by selective chemical messengers excreted by several areas of the body including skin, sweat glands, saliva, urine, genital fluids etc. These chemicals are called pheromones and they arouse signals of sexual desire or sexual readiness and deepest emotions in the opposite sex. A man’s armpit sweat is a high potential source of pheromones and plays a crucial role in arousing sexual desire in women spontaneously and instantaneously. This was the secret Richard deliberately used to attract women he met in the dance floor, even though he was unaware of the science behind this. The presence of pheromones in animals and the chemical communication between them were already known. But the pheromone phenomenon in humans was not known to the scientific world. It was Dr. David L Berliner, an anatomy professor of the University of Utah School Of Medicine in Salt Lake City who first proved the presence of pheromones and the pheromone receiving VNO in humans.

Pheromones are not mere smells, they are odourless and invisible, but you are influenced by them subconsciously. They are chemical communication in the subliminal level. Pheromones are received and processed by tiny organs inside the base of each nostril, the vomeronasal organ or VNO. When the VNO receives the pheromones, the message will be sent to the hypothalamus immediately and the hypothalamus acts to elicit the designated response in the individual according to the pheromone message. Thus the pheromones emanating from a man arouse sexual attraction and desire in the woman and vice versa and this is happening subconsciously. The most potent pheromone centers are found located in the armpits, groin and the nasal sulcus (the area between the base of nostrils and upper lip)

Some researchers call the pheromone communication as a sixth sense since it is not happening at the conscious level. Some scientists believe that this sixth sense kicks in first, even before the sense of smell, when two people meet. According to Louis Monte–Bloch, a famous pheromone researcher, ‘underlying all your impression of the person you meet first is your immediate subconscious impression of his / her pheromones’. When a man and women meet at a party, there will be an exchange of their pheromones, since they are physically near. The VNOs of both man and woman send information to their hypothalamus and the information is processed subconsciously and registers as the immediate response which can be mutual attraction or repulsion. The further relationship will be based on this.

Researchers have found that the females are attracted to the pheromones of the males with dissimilar immune system genes and vice versa. There can be pheromonal attraction or repulsion when a man and woman meet, based in this. It is found that siblings and closely related family members have similar immune system genes and hence naturally they are not sexually attracted to each other.

Some Historical examples of pheromone attraction

During Shakespeare’s time, there was a popular practice for a woman to tuck a sliced piece of apple under her armpit and she would offer this ‘love apple’ soaked in her perspiration to the suitor of her choice. When he sniffs the apple laded with her powerful pheromones he would be sexually aroused and attracted to her strongly.

The famous French novelist Joris-Karl Huysman wrote; ‘The odour emanating from a women’s underarms easily uncaged the animal in man’. Even though the science of pheromones was unknown to him, he might have experienced or observed the power of the underarm sweat of a woman to arouse a man.

French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte’s letters to his wife, Josephine, from the waterfront became popular later. In one of his letters to her, he wrote; ‘I am coming home, please do not wash”. It is now believed that it was an instruction to his wife not to take bath since he liked so much his lover’s natural pheromone laded odour which aroused him sexually.
Louis XIV, the French king (1643-1715) was against the routine of taking bath. It was not a secret that he preferred his women to be perfumed by nature and he did not allow them to lose their natural body odour. He was more lustful to smellier women. The unwashed sweat of women laded with female pheromones might have sexually intoxicated him. He also used to maintain his own pheromones by abstaining from taking bath, to be more attractive to his women.

It was not a secret that Queen Elizabeth I, was taking her bath only once in a month, to maintain her natural scent which she thought wildly attracted men. In the middle ages, there was a custom that the man would wipe his brow after dancing and present it to his lady as a token of love and this strongly attracted her to him.

Research findings

Some researchers are of the opinion that the sexiest part of a man may be his armpits, with an abundance of the pheromone-producing apocrine glands. Dr. Winnifred Cutler, a well-known pheromone researcher and author, found that male pheromones affected the menstrual cycles of females. In order to make the irregular menstrual cycles regular and to enhance fertility, she recommends that a woman should inhale the scent of her man’s armpit sweat or sleep with her nose near to his armpit. This will make the man’s pheromones to reach the woman’s pheromone receptors in her VNO easily.
It has also been found in a study by Martha Clintock that women who lived together experienced synchronized periods. The exchange of their pheromones caused to accelerate or decelerate ovulation in each woman so that they were all ovulating in unison. The irregular menstrual periods of a woman can simply be corrected by living together with other healthy women.

The Hidden Power of Kiss

Several researchers have shown that couples who kiss frequently have a stronger relationship and more passionate sex lives than their non-kissing peers. This has got a pheromone relation. It is understood that the narrow strip of skin between the nose and the top lip (nasal sulcus) produces a large number of pheromones. Since the pheromone receiving VNO lies just inside the nose, the VNOs of the partners come very close during a kiss and each receives a large number of pheromones of the partner. Thus they become more passionate and aroused.

Dr. Janice Kiecolt- Glaser of Ohio State University College of Medicine found that couples who kissed and cuddled on a consistent basis had stronger immune systems compared to the couples who did not engage in kissing consistently. Researchers advise couples to strengthen their relations and immune system by consistent passionate kisses. That will also enhance their health and happiness.

The Magic Power of Nipple Pheromone

The science of pheromones can now very well explain the secret of the bond between the newborn baby and the mother. Minutes after birth the baby instinctively turn his head to his mother’s nipples for sucking milk. Infant follows the odours and pheromones emanating from his mother’s nipples. In an experiment, when mothers washed only one breast with soap and water before nursing, the babies reached for the unwashed breast. This shows the hidden power of the nipple pheromones in the bonding of mother and child. This also shows that the bottle feeding for babies cannot be an alternative for breastfeeding since it may affect the emotional development of the child. When a baby is fed from his mother’s breasts, he is exposed to the pheromones from her nipples and areola and also from her armpit. Pheromonal communication has an important role in the strong bonding of mother and child.

The hidden secret of an irrational obsession of young men with women’s breasts and nipples is now explained by the science of pheromones. The strong nipple pheromones attract them and tie them to women emotionally.


Pheromones are commonly used by the perfume industry. Perfumes are marketed based on their capability to appeal to the opposite sex. So manufacturers make separate perfumes for men and women. The women’s perfume contains pheromones which attract men and vice versa. But centuries ago, the great philosopher Plutarch said; ‘A man in love is full of perfumes and sweet odours’.

The famous sex therapists Masters and Johnson recommended using products containing pheromones for speedy correction of sexual dysfunctions. Pheromones are used for correcting irregular menstrual cycles and the fertility problems of women.

Summing up

Pheromones are actually invisible chemical messages each person emits mainly through the skin. While the olfactory system processes ordinary airborne smells, the VNO receives these chemical signals and send to the brain for processing. You respond to people you meet based on the pheromone communication you receive from them. This happens on a subliminal level and hence it is called ‘the sixth sense’.

The new science of pheromones reveals the importance of physical proximity and physical contacts in our lives, especially between couples. Kissing plays a very crucial role in maintaining a passionate relationship between partners since the VNOs of both come closer and exchange of a large quantity pheromones is made easier during kissing. Moreover, consistent passionate kisses can make them more healthy since their immune system is strengthened by this.

The science of pheromones reveals the importance of breastfeeding in the emotional development of the baby since it establishes a strong pheromonal bond between the baby and mother. The pheromone science has got several medical as well as commercial applications. It is used to correct women’s irregular menstrual cycles and fertility problems. Sex therapists use products containing ideal pheromones for the speedy recovery from sexual dysfunctions.

Serious scientific research is going on the world over about this new science of pheromones and its effect on human health, attraction and relations. Anyhow, awareness about these invisible odorless chemicals can help you understand the amazing secrets of sexual attraction and repulsion. It can also inspire you to improve your own communication, behavior, relations and health.

About the Author: 

john muzhuthettu

DrJOHN MUZHUTHETTU is a Human Resource Consultant, National Trainer and Counselor. Formerly he was the Deputy Chief Engineer, Kerala State Electricity Board and is still working as an external faculty of HRD Programmes of KSEB. He is also a faculty of Department of Management Studies, Mar Augusthinose College, Ramapuram, under M.G.University, Kerala. He is the PG course co-ordinator of MHRM.

He is a columnist in several Magazines, like ‘Business Deepika’, ‘Creative Business’, ‘Donbosco’ etc. His articles have been published in many magazines and journals. His several speeches have been aired by All India Radio. His interviews on various subjects have been telecasted by Power Vision TV. He is the author of five best-selling books:

  1. ‘Stress-Manassasthra- Aathmeeya Pariharangel’. (Current Books, Thrissur) 4th Edition
  2. Vijayiyude Vyakthithwam (Current Books, Thrissur)
  3. Jeevitham Santhushtamakan, Nithya Yauvanam Nedan.(css,Thiruvalla)2ndEdition
  4. Emotional Intelligence-Jeevithavijayathinu (CSS, Thiruvalla)
  5. Vijayarahsyangal (Current Books, Thrissur)

As a trainer, he has conducted more than a thousand  seminars and workshops for teachers, parents, students, executives and others, on several subjects like Stress Management, Time Management, Personality Development, Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual intelligence for Excellence, Communicative Skills, Assertiveness, Motivation, Study Skills, Effective Parenting, Counselling Skills etc. He is an external training faculty of Power Engineers Training and Research Centre of KSEB. He is an external faculty of IMG Cochin. He is also the Secretary of Upasana Cultural Centre, Thodupuzha.

Read More from Dr. John Muzhuthettu:





Image Credits: Jenia M Via under the Creative Commons Legal Code


  1. Scientists were actually clueless about this magic stuff in humans for a long time in history. The new findings are very exciting and interesting. Dr John’s efforts to bring this new knowledge for our readers crisp and sharp through that opening story is commendable and appreciable. Human body odor influences romance and sexual craving as it does in animals.
    In a civilized society we cannot rub kerchiefs each other and yet in our limited scope we humans too announce sexual availability through pheromones, similar to the pheromones produced by the male musk deer. The elephants in mating season also produce certain aroma as we read in Wilber Smith adventure books. It must be the chemical equivalent of the peacock’s plumage and what the bulls sniff around when he is excited.

  2. Dear Dr. John

    I happend to go through your article , and was inspiring , the science branch Pheromones was unknown to me .
    The manufactures of perfum anyhow knew it earlier.

    Thank you for the new information