The scent of seduction

Pheromones are nature's little way of saying

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It may seem creepy at first to lean over and take a whiff of the hottie sitting next to you, but just think of the possibilities! The smell of another can evoke strong feelings of attraction and desire. There is a signature scent we all carry, enticing some and not others, all because of pheromones.

Taken from the Greek word pherein meaning "to carry" and hormon meaning "to excite," pheromones are chemicals that send messages between bodies, no long-distance fees required. This can translate into sexual attraction or avoidance depending on who sends the signal to whom.

These scents are sent by apocrine glands, found in hairy areas such as the underarms or genitals and we detect it through our vomeronasal organ, in our nose. In the 80s, Dr. Winnifred Cutler discovered and learned how to isolate male human pheromones and the positive effect these pheromones can have on women's health, including increased fertility and regulated menstrual cycles.

There are sexual benefits as well. The right pheromones can cast a spell over another, creating an amazing chemistry, but they have to be the right pheromones!

I preformed an experiment with students at my college involving two-day-old t-shirts and facial photos. The females are asked to rate the males' photos based on physical attraction, and after the males wear the same t-shirt for two days, the females are asked to smell the shirts and rate the smell without knowing which picture belongs to what t-shirt. The results showed some women who find one man physically attractive think he smells repulsive and others are dead on with the ranking of both the face and the scent; the laws of attraction prove themselves to be possible and, more importantly, powerful.

Furthermore, the best part about discovering and isolating pheromones is that companies know how to make it accessible to the public and are able to market it. Most online searches on pheromones point to companies selling related products, and these, combined with the release of your own chemicals, can create a potent concoction. You can apply the pheromones on their own or combine them with your favorite cologne or perfume to really wake up the senses. These products help to focus attention on the signature scent we all possess, drawing in the best people suited for you, although pheromones can't detect whether or not they'll call you the next day.

If you don't want to change the smell of the $100 bottle of perfume/cologne you can take steps to naturally increase the release of pheromones. Working up to a dose of 30-45 milligrams a day of a zinc and/or amino acid supplement will help to increase testosterone levels (Girls, don't worry, you will not acquire a deep voice or anything). Testosterone has a great effect on pheromone production. Along with a healthy diet and lots of water, exercise promotes more testosterone in the body. That gym membership can do more than just make you look good. Get sweaty and let your little airborne sex soldiers work for you.

You can't help but smile when the intoxicating aroma of another fills the air and can put you in a sexual trance. So next time you catch a glimpse of a hottie who interests you, get a bit closer and take a good whiff. You might like what your senses take in.

Got a sexy question for Leslie-ann? Send it to sexpert@gauntlet.ucalgary.ca