A pheromone can be defined as a chemical that triggers a behavioral response in members of the same species. Some examples of these responses include alarm, social, territorial, and sexual. Insect's use of pheromones have been fairly well researched, although the use of pheromones is also present among vertebrates and plants.
The discovery of the vomeronasal organ (VNO) in humans has sparked the interest among scientists. The VNO was first discovered in rats and was found to detect pheromones. Although the function of the VNO is still mysterious in humans, the sensory neurons found within the VNO are found to detect chemical compounds that are often large and non-volatile. The topic of weather the VNO in humans is functional remains controversial as studies have shown the VNO to recede during fetal development. However, experiments involving measuring the electrical impulses of the VNO upon introducing different chemicals found on the skin do show that the VNO does indeed respond to these "pheromones", with estratetraenol and androstadienone triggering the strongest response.
The use of pheromones are increasing in popularity in the market today. There are different pheromones found to produce different responses in humans, some of which include the following:
Androstadienone is a sexual pheromone found in minute amounts in the sweat of men, although it can be found in lesser amounts in females. This pheromone has been found to sent a rush of electrical activity in the brains of heterosexual females and homosexual males. Homosexual females and heterosexual males just treat the chemical as common odor.
Estratetraenol is supposedly the female equivalent of androstadienone, but little research has been done on this pheromone. It is a very rare pheromone to find, and can be very expensive among commercial producers.
Copulins are sexual pheromones found exclusively in females, as it is produced in vaginal secretions during ovulation. The group of pheromones found in copulins have little effect on their own, but when combined, they have been found to raise the testosterone level of males by up to 150%, which increases the desire of males to copulate. Males typically find females who produce more copulins to be more attractive than those who don't produce as much.
alpha-Androstenol is a pheromone that is creates a more friendly atmosphere. It is more of a social pheromone rather than a sexual pheromone, and can be worn by both sexes. Alpha-Androstenol can help the wearer become more approachable and stimulate a chatty atmosphere, but the beta isomer of Androstenol helps create more romantic feelings.