What are the Different Types of Male Pheromones?

Synthia L. Rose

Androstenone, androstenol, and androsterone are three types of male pheromones. All pheromone sprays, colognes, and perfumes are based on combinations of these three basic male pheromones. Scientists claims men use pheromones to attract mates, repel rivals, mark territory, and even to commit acts of aggression. These male pheromones are externally secreted hormones that are often classified as androgen steroids.

Small amounts of some male pheromones are used in certain brands of colognes.
Small amounts of some male pheromones are used in certain brands of colognes.

Casually referred to as “anone,” androstenone is found in the urine and perspiration of men, like all male pheromones. It reportedly smells either like urine or like fresh vanilla, depending on the smeller’s olfactory genes. Not everyone can smell anone. Only those with certain genetics and specific androstenone odor receptors can perceive this pheromone and react to it. Studies show it can attract both women and men who like men.

Pheromones might be used before going out to a club or event in the hopes of attracting a partner.
Pheromones might be used before going out to a club or event in the hopes of attracting a partner.

Androstenol is mostly found in women, but men have this pheromone in small quantities as well. It is known for prompting social interaction. Some studies show this male pheromone can be implicated in male fighting and other forms of violence. This pheromone is used in colognes for both men and women.

Pheromones may be used to commit acts of aggression.
Pheromones may be used to commit acts of aggression.

The most popular male pheromone is androsterone, known as "arone" for short. This ectohormone, known for escalating masculine appeal and dominance, smells like a cross between camphor and musk. Researchers say roughly 65 percent of the human population can smell this male pheromone. While most are positively stimulated by arone, others are repelled by it. This propensity for repulsion can occasionally leave men and women with the sense that social interaction between the sexes has been unfulfilling and even antagonizing.

Smaller amounts of the arone male pheromone are usually used in sprays and perfumes compared to anone. Arone is seen as necessary for creating heightened tension between the sexes. Both pheromones are often mixed with other oils such as banana oil in commercial products.

The body produces its own male pheromones through apocrine glands in the pubic region and under the arms. Many men, however, desire higher amounts of pheromones to make them more competitive in attracting companionship. When this is desired, laboratory-made synthetic versions of arone, anone, and androstenol can be purchased.

Some researchers remain skeptical about whether or not human beings actually make and respond to pheromones. Nearly all other mammals secrete and use pheromones. For decades, however, scientists did not believe humans had the proper olfactory genes for these scented hormones, which are derived from testosterone. Isolated research, however, has reportedly located a gene in humans that causes parts of the nose and olfactory system to be able to recognize and receive the chemical messages sent by pheromones. Once the messages are received, the human body responds to pheromones with emotional, behavior, physiological, and psychological changes.

Androstenone, a male pheromone, is found in the perspiration of men.
Androstenone, a male pheromone, is found in the perspiration of men.

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Discussion Comments


I saw a TV program about this recently and the doctor who was invited had some very interesting things to say. He said that whether a woman's brain can identify a male pheromone or not depends on genetics. The doctor's argument was that, the more different a male's genes are to a woman's, the more likely she is to get affected by his pheromones.

Apparently, this is a natural inclination in humans to prevent attraction between people who are closely related such as siblings. In order to reduce the likelihood of genetic disorders in future generations, our brain notices and gets attracted to individuals with genes different than ours. That's why one woman responds to pheromones in a man while another woman does not.

Isn't this very cool and interesting? I think it's amazing.


@discographer-- You might belong to the group that gets repelled by androsterone rather than attracted. But I also agree with you that the synthetic male pheromones used in colognes and perfumes can be overwhelming. Some people do use too much and the scent is too strong. Pheromones are actually not scents and they can't be smelled but you know what I mean.


I don't know how others feel about this topic. But I personally find colognes and perfumes with pheromones repulsive. I do believe they are effective because when someone who has used pheromone cologne passes by me, I do have a different reaction to it. I can tell that the cologne has pheromones. But for some reason the effect it has on me is not positive. I find it overwhelming and bothersome.

I don't know if it's because some men spray way too much of the cologne which makes the scent very strong or if I dislike the scent of male pheromones in general.

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