Pheromones in Perfumery

What are Pheromones in Perfume?

Pheromones are chemical compounds that are naturally produced by all animals, including humans. These substances are released externally, and are primarily believed to be present in sweat in certain areas of the body (especially the groin and armpits). Although there is still much to learn about how pheromones work, what we do know is that the biological purpose of pheromones is to serve as a means of communication with other members within the same species. In humans, scientists have suggested that pheromones may play an essential role in sexual attraction.

Some perfumes are formulated with small amounts of pheromones, based on the theory that the chemical compounds may have an alluring effect on members of the opposite sex. In other words, though the idea has not yet been proven, pheromones in perfume could be a “secret ingredient” for attracting potential partners.

Beyond this, pheromones also have a practical use in perfumery. When added to a perfume’s formula, they can serve as a carrier for the fragrance, enhancing the overall scent.

Origin of Pheromones in Perfume:

In the 1970s, not long after scientists coined the term “pheromones,” the idea of using pheromones in perfumes emerged. As more people learned of the theory that pheromones might influence human behavior, it sparked a wave of ideas about how to use these chemicals as an ingredient in personal care products - all with the goal of attracting a sexual partner. 

Decades later, we still don’t know very much about the true potential of pheromones. However, that hasn’t stopped a number of brands from including pheromones in the formulation of their perfumes and other personal care products.


From what scientists have discovered so far, it seems like pheromones exist as a medium for communication among members of the same species. Unlike conscious forms of communication (like verbal and non-verbal cues), pheromones may work by triggering physiological responses that can range from attraction to aggression.

Ingredient Type:

The pheromones used in perfumes are classified as synthetic chemicals, because they are lab-created rather than derived from natural sources. You may not see pheromones listed on a perfume’s ingredient label, simply because they are used in such small amounts.

What Do Pheromones Smell Like?

Pheromones - both those used in perfume and those naturally produced by the body - are typically undetectable to the human nose. So, pheromones will not significantly affect the actual scent profile of a perfume. In other words, you won’t be able to “smell” the pheromones in your perfume.

Variations of Pheromones in Perfumery:

There are different types of pheromones, both in nature and the world of perfumery. The most common variations used in perfumes and other personal care products include Epi-androsterone, Alpha-androstano, androstenol, androstenone, and androstadienone.

What Fragrance Family are Pheromones in?

Pheromones are not included in any fragrance family, because they have no distinctive scent.

Phlur Fragrances Containing Pheromones:

At this time PHLUR fragrances do not contain Pheromones.

EXPLORE MORE: Ingredients



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