Still, after decades of research, the story in humans is not quite so clear.Rather than positing that single, pheromone-esque compounds strike us like Cupid's arrow, investigators now suggest that a suite of chemicals emitted from our bodies subliminally sways potential partnerings.
Research published last year pointed to secretions from the areolar gland "bumps" on mother's nipples as the source of the behavior-modifying, odorous molecules that cue a baby to find its food source.
Other results over the years have hinted at pheromones altering adults' moods. U.'s Pause, meanwhile, has demonstrated that humans can sense alarm scents in anxious or fearful people's perspiration.
For example, sows, upon smelling a pheromone in boars' saliva, assume a mating stance, even if researchers plug the pigs' VNOs.
In humans, a 2011 study showed that when volunteers were exposed to androstadienone, all their brains showed a reaction, even if they lacked VNOs or had their VNOs blocked.
Wysocki and his colleagues are currently seeking National Institutes of Health grants to find out just what the "magic bullet—or bullets—are in male body odor" that elicit female responses, he says.