Does TikTok Viral Pheromone Perfume Oil Work? An honest review

Ever since I was 12 and slathered on Bath & Body Works’ $15 Japanese Cherry Blossom Mist, I’ve loved drawing attention to my scent. I’ve tried almost every scent, from musky vanillas to caramel accords, but never experienced the smell of my pheromones — which TikTok says might be the most irresistible scent for a potential romantic partner. But you don’t have to ditch your deodorant — the idea is to embrace an authentic, clean, “straight out of the shower” scent.

On TikTok, the hashtag #pheromoneperfume has over 54 million views, featuring content creators testing a pheromone perfume oil to attract their partner or crush. TikTok’s favorite product is Pure Instinct Pheromone Perfume Oil, which claims to be a “sex-attracting perfume oil.” According to the product description, the oil blends with your skin‘s pH, creating a “unique scent.” It blends a blend of popular key notes: honey, white musk, cinnamon, Australian mango and mandarin.

Pheromone perfumes like Pure Instinct contain pheromone compounds like androstenone, androstenol, androstadienone and estratetraenol, which have the potential to be found in the human body – however, their impact on humans is scientifically unknown. After using the perfume, some TikTokers find that their partners cling to it more than usual, while others report receive the attention of random people at a party. There are also those who claim it is a hoax.

Before trying this scent on my long distance boyfriend, I wanted to do my own research and talk to experts to understand the intricacies of the oil – and whether it might catch Chris Evans’ attention if I met him on my daily #hotgirlwalk. Let’s just say I didn’t expect the journey this experience took me.

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What are pheromones, exactly?

Imagine yourself and your BFF shopping at Trader Joe’s for all the pumpkin spice treats, and you come across someone who smells absolutely delicious. You both turn your head, immediately drawn to this person for no other reason than the fact that their aroma is intriguing. Pheromones are like that, but the smell is not a specific perfume or cologne; it is the natural smell of a person. “Pheromones are chemical secretions emitted from the body via scent that serve as a form of communication between animals — leading to a specific innate behavioral process,” sociologist and sexologist Sarah Melancon, Ph.D., told Elite Daily.

“During the mating season, many different species, especially animals, emit a specific scent that can attract a mate,” Melancon explains. Almost all species of animals – squid, mice, fish, rabbits, rats and bees, to name a few – have been scientifically proven to have pheromone molecules – but not yet humans. “Research on pheromones has generally been of poor quality and suffers from numerous methodological problems that make the results questionable at best,” says Melancon. Pheromone Perfume Oil claims to blend with your natural scent, triggering an aromatic reaction from those around you – but that’s not exactly what the science says.

“The pheromones used in perfumes are synthetic, and we don’t have any scientific research that proves humans react the same way to them. [as animals]says Nina Nguyen, sex educator and co-founder of, an LGBTQ+ platform that provides sexual health information.

Just believing the scent works may be enough to boost your self-confidence. “It’s highly likely that just wearing a pheromone-based perfume could lead to behaving nicer or flirting,” Melancon told Elite Daily. Nyugen adds, “A lot of people can fall into a placebo effect, believing their scent works so strongly that they start projecting confidence. … It could also be that specific scents go very well with their skin and pH, enhancing their natural body odor and making it more appealing. Perhaps it’s the placebo effect that TikTokers are obsessed with, not some magical concoction of love life.

Meguire Hennes

How did the pheromone perfume oil trend start?

Curiosity surrounding the Pure Instinct Pheromone Perfume Oil began on TikTok in October 2020, but the creators began conducting their own experiments around January 2021. They were applying the perfume oil at the gym to get asked for a date. you and their office to get a promotion, and one person even claimed the product helped them get a job offer.

As the trend grew in popularity, thousands of viewers filled the comment sections. “I wore it yesterday and the bakery guy flirted a lot!” one person said. Another gushed: “Bro I wore this around my boyfriend today and he COULDN’T stay away from me.” Some commenters were frustrated with the trend: “For the last time, pheromones have not been proven to be present or detected by humans, and if they were, you wouldn’t find them in any perfume.” , said one of them. “It didn’t work for me, but wasps now find me irresistible,” said another disappointed TikTok user.

Some reviewers also noticed that the creators who praised the product had associated themselves with the company or put a buy link in their bios, thus driving part of the sale. Despite its many followers, it’s safe to say that pheromone perfume also engenders a good deal of uncertainty.

Is Pure Instinct Pheromone Perfume Oil Worth the Hype?

At first, I was excited to liven up my scent, as I’ve worn my trusty Ariana Grande Cloud Eau de Parfum for years. My boyfriend and I tend to splurge on fragrances for each other. I knew he would smell the scent right away, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t affect his attraction to me. One of her love languages ​​is physical touch, so she’s already a very sensitive person – I didn’t think a magic scent could change that. I figured that, just like Nguyen explains, my natural scent would mix with the perfume oil, creating a unique smell, but not creating a miraculous love potion to uproot my love or sex life.

Right off the bat, I wasn’t a big fan of the smell myself. I usually wear perfumes that have more of a warm and sensual scent, so the intense mango the notes baffled me. The extremely fruity scent reminded me of a teenager who just found out that cologne exists. (OK, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean.) TikTok users suggested putting the perfume on my neck, wrist, behind my ears and collarbone, so That’s exactly what I did.

Even though I despised the aroma, I believe the scent boosted my confidence a bit. I usually feel a little nervous when I meet my boyfriend, either because we are in a very public place and I don’t want to express too much PDA, or because a family member or friend is with us , so our reactions are reduced in energy. But this time, I felt calm, euphoric and above all, sure of myself. I stood up a little straighter, my smile was a little brighter, my bangs did exactly what I wanted them to do that day – overall I felt very confident in my physical and mental self That day. As the day progressed and the placebo effect wore off, I just couldn’t fathom how strong the mango was. Instead of a fresh, “just walked through a lavender meadow” scent, my sister compared the smell to dog shampoo.

I now realize how much of an impact the placebo effect had. I could barely stand the smell, but somehow the scent made me feel like I had just soaped myself in the elixir of desire. And due to its popularity, I expected an exaggerated and extravagant reaction from my boyfriend. Even with all this scientific evidence that the perfume is a hoax, I was still looking for the product – I really wanted my boyfriend to have an out of body experience, just like many TikTokers have claimed.

Sure enough, he automatically noticed the smell, asking me if I was using a new laundry detergent—not exactly the sultry “Oh my god, I’m obsessed with you” reaction I was looking for. “You smell good! I don’t know if you smell like you,” my partner said. I told him I was trying the trend, which led him to say, “I don’t need to a special scent to be drawn to you. Cue the aqueducts. Needless to say, I never used the product again.

In the end, it seems Pure Instinct is right another scent. Pheromone scented oils aren’t harmful, so if you want to try them, go for it – maybe don’t expect to find the love of your life in a Target and have passionate, life-changing sex in the checkout aisle.


Sarah Melancon, Ph.D., sociologist and sexologist

Nina Nguyen, sex educator and co-founder of, an LGBTQ+ platform that provides sexual health information

Referenced studies:

Hare, RM, Schlatter, S., Rhodes, G. & Simmons, LW (2017). Putative sex-specific human pheromones do not affect gender perception, attractiveness ratings, or infidelity judgments of opposite-sex faces. Royal Society Open Science, 4(3), 160831.

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