I wore pheromone perfume on a date

Are pheromones the love potion of modern times?

Modern dating can be such a drag. There’s the endless loop of beatings, awkward little conversations, depressing first dates… The hard truth is that looking for love requires vulnerability – you have to put your heart into it and risk it being rejected.

What if it wasn’t? Wouldn’t it be great if every cutie you met fell at your feet in lust, effortlessly?


We like curious people. Don’t be shy, come to our Beauty section to learn more.


Perfumes with pheromones are the new favorite seduction trick of Internet users. Lather up in Pure Instinct, a unisex “pheromone-infused essential oil perfume” and you’ll become (allegedly) irresistible to anyone who smells it. At a very affordable price of $32.99, it’s no wonder it’s been making waves.

Now, I’ve written about the slippery nature of human pheromones in the past. While I have to admit that the science behind this product looks pretty grim, I’m not here to kill the vibe of the pheromone frenzy. In addition, there are many phenomena that science does not yet fully understand (such as the deep sea and mushrooms).

The reviews, which are over 50,000, are mostly positive. Fans tell tales of delighted fiancés, generous clients and hard-working dogs. On the other side, reviewers call it useless, slimy and reminiscent of a cheap air freshener. But whatever, you know what I had to do.

When the little rollerball arrived in my mailbox, I opened it with glee. It had a sweet, fruity scent with a slight base note of chemical cleaner. It reminded me of something from my childhood. I didn’t hate it but I felt like if I smelled it for too long it would give me a headache. Luckily I had agreed to wear it on my skin for a week!

Suddenly I realized what it reminded me of. It smelled like watermelon Ring Pop candy. It was advertised as unisex, which made me wonder. If I met a man who smelled like candy, would I cringe to take his clothes off? It seemed unlikely.

I was working from home the day it arrived, so after liberally applying the product, I took my laptop to a nearby cafe to be among the people. As I sat on the sunny terrace, I was immediately swarmed by bees. Ok, maybe not swarmed – but a few bees took great interest in me. I saw that as a good sign.

That night when I met a friend for tapas, I felt like I was hiding an exciting little secret. If he worked so hard on bees, what could it do to a real human? We chatted over sangria until the restaurant emptied. When we headed to a second place for more drinks, I got sloppy. I told him about pheromones.

After he finally stopped laughing, I made him feel my wrist. “Good?” I asked. He said it was fine, but the results were inconclusive. It was getting late, so he walked me home and we said goodbye.

The next morning I woke up to a text message from my friend. “I feel like someone should sign a consent form before smelling that pheromone crap,” he wrote. “Made me act. You can quote that.

I didn’t ask for more details, but my confidence grew. Which was good, because I had a first date that night. I would usually be a little nervous before meeting someone for the first time, but the pheromones made me feel like I couldn’t lose. I doused them and rushed for the door.

The man in question, whom I had met on ‘the applications’, turned out to be rather charming. We had hotpot and it made me laugh. He was fun and interesting. But as the night wore on, I started to question the pheromones. Maybe it wasn’t just that tube of oil that made this guy like me. Maybe we just got along, or whatever.

So, being the terrible scientist that I am, I told him too. I think he was confused at first, but he understood quite well the fact that he was being used as a guinea pig without knowing it. I didn’t go home that night – but I may have seen him again the next day. With his face next to mine, he said, “I don’t know if it’s the pheromones, but you smell good.” Hey, I’ll take it.

The rest of the week passed fairly normally. At one point I was aggressively approached by a man at the station who asked if I had a boyfriend. But was it unusual? As any woman who frequents train stations knows, not really.

Of course, my attempt to test the effectiveness of pheromones was fraught with scientific pitfalls. To all STEM people reading this, I’m sorry – I’m sure someone else has dug into the search.

As far as I know, the product might be just as potent as the love potions I made as a kid from lavender twigs and puddle water. But I’m sure if you find something that makes you feel hot and fun, don’t question it. Call it manifestation, call it placebo effect, call it what you want. But if it does the job, do we really care how it does it?

Learn more about other types of pheromone perfumes here.

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