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January 26, 2005, By Andy Coghlan
A mystery chemical that young women deploy as a sex attractant pheromone seems to work for post-menopausal women too.
Joan Friebely of Harvard University, US, and Susan Rako, a private physician in Newton, Massachusetts, US, have studied 44 post-menopausal women. Half added Athena Pheromone 10:13 (click for product details), originally isolated from a woman's armpit sweat, to their perfume while half added a dummy compound. Neither the women nor the researchers knew who was in each group until the results were in.
In diaries kept by the women for six weeks, 41% of pheromone users reported more petting, kissing and affection with partners compared with 14% receiving the placebo. Overall, 68% of pheromone users reported increases in at least one of four "intimate socio-sexual behaviours" such as formal dates and sex, as against 41% on the placebo.
But the pheromone's discoverer, biologist Winnifred Cutler, is keeping its identity secret until patents have been granted to Cutler's Athena Institute for Women's Wellness Research in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, US. --
Friebely and Rako say they have no financial interest in the product. Journal reference: The Journal of Sex Research (vol 41, p 372)
Wed Jan 26, 2005 02:40 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - A mystery chemical isolated from the sweat of young women seems to act as a romance booster for their older counterparts.
When the researchers added the compound, (Athena) Pheromone 10:13, to a perfume and gave it to older women, it made their partners more affectionate.
"In diaries kept by the women for 6 weeks, 41 percent of pheromone users reported more petting, kissing and affection with partners," New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.
Pheromones are airborne chemicals secreted from the body and recognized by their smell. Humans and animals emit pheromones.
Joan Friebely of Harvard University and Susan Rako, a doctor from Newton, Massachusetts, studied the behavior of 44 post-menopausal women (click for more menopause research). Half were given a perfume with the compound while the remainder used a fragrance with a placebo or dummy chemical.
Only 14 percent of women using the perfume with the placebo reported an increase in affection from their partners.
Biologist Winnifred Cutler, the discoverer of the mystery pheromone, is keeping the identify of the compound a secret until patents have been granted to her organization, the Athena Institute for Women's Wellness Research in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, according to the magazine.
Scent 'restores youthful allure' A mystery chemical signal that young women give off appears to work for post-menopausal women too.
A Harvard University researcher added the pheromone to the perfume of older women and found it had a positive effect on their romantic lives.
New Scientist magazine reports they had more dates or affection from their partners if they used the treated scent rather than a dummy version.
Pheromones are natural scent signals (click for more on pheromones) which alter animal behaviour. In the animal kingdom they are widely used to attract mates, but controversy surrounds their effect on humans.
Joan Friebely, of Harvard University, and Susan Rako, a private doctor in Newton, Massachusetts, studied 44 post-menopausal women.
Half were given perfume with added Athena Pheromone 10:13, originally isolated from a woman's armpit sweat. The rest used untreated perfume. The women were then asked to keep diaries for six weeks.
The study, also published in the Journal of Sex Behaviour, said 41% of pheromone users reported more kissing and affection from their partners, compared with 14% who had the dummy perfume.
In addition, 68% of pheromone users reported increases in one of four "intimate socio-sexual behaviours", such as formal dates and intercourse, compared with 41% on the placebo dose.
However, Winnifred Cutler (click for bio), who discovered the pheromone, has said she will keep its true identity secret until patents have been granted to her Women's Wellness Research Centre, in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.
Other researchers say until they know what the pheromone is, its use cannot be confirmed.
END OF EXCERPT
COMMENT FROM ATHENA INSTITUTE: Both Athena Pheromone 10:13tm for women and Athena Pheromone 10Xtm for men are cosmetics that can increase your attractiveness to the opposite sex. Neither product is an “aphrodisiac.”