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Pheromone-based fragrances

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Sense of Smell Institute, the research and education arm of the Fragrance Foundation, releases white paper -- "Human Pheromones: What's Purported, What's Supported" -- discounting currently marketed products containing fragrance materials for alleged pheromonal effects. Certain steroid molecules including androstadienone and estratetraenol "have been declared to be human pheromones based upon the false premise that humans have a functional vomeronasal organ, which they don't," University of Pennsylvania researchers say. "Consequently, selling and marketing of these fragrance materials as pheromonal products is not based upon valid information." In fact, "there are no published, scientifically-constructed, bioassay-guided studies that have lead investigators through the complex maze of compounds found on the human body to one or more elements that possess pheromonal activity," they add. They note, however, that human body odors do contain substances that alter mood and endocrine function; a company willing to make the investment to isolate such compounds could have the makings for a product of "tremendous potential," the authors say. Androstadienone is the central ingredient in Henkel's Dial for Men Magnetic body wash for young men seeking women and in got2b magnetik hair gel, marketed by Henkel's Schwarzkopf division (1"The Rose Sheet" July 13, 2009)
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