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Androstenone less unpleasant
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jvkohl
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Post: #1
Androstenone less unpleasant
10-18-2011 8:20 AM

Pleasantness of the Odor of Androstenone as a Function of Sexual Intercourse Experience in Women and Men

Of 187 women who could detect the odor of androstenone, 12 had no sexual experience.

"...women who had experienced sexual intercourse with at least one partner rated the odor of androstenone as less unpleasant than did women without this experience."

These results (above) suggest to me that use of androstenone in fragrance products is not a good idea. My idea of a pheromone-enhanced fragrance product incorporates a mixture of androstenol and androsterone. Our results show that this mixture increases observed flirtatious behavior in women and also increases their self-reported ratings of attraction to the man wearing it.

James V. Kohl
Clinical Laboratory Scientist (ASCLS)
Medical Laboratory Scientist (ASCP)
Medical Technologist (AMT)
Author/Creator: The Scent of Eros
10-18-2011 8:20 AM
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Rattlesnake
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Post: #2
RE: Androstenone less unpleasant
10-18-2011 10:39 AM

Surely the study proves that Androstenone would be less effect for products targeting sexually inexperienced women? Or that products containing Androstenone would be less effective for virgins than women who have had sex? Furthermore, given the resulting association between sexual intercourse and Androstenone (implied from the line you've provided but not explicitly stated) could there be a use of Androstenone for creating an association between the wearer and the cognitive memory of sex?

Unfortunately my institution shibboleth (or however it is spelled) login doesn't grant me access to the full article as it says its restricted and secured for subscribers only. So I can't really judge the study. I'd be interested to know if the researchers simply gave the test subjects a cloth doused in Androstenone and measured the reactions or whether a male was sprayed and sniffed. Given that a popular piece of anecdotal advise is that "you can't spray pheromones to a lampost and expect women to hump it". Implying the need for a natural association between smell and object in order to elicit an response, hence would the study lead to a different conclusion had the Androstenone been applied to a male. That is, if it wasn't done so in the study.

Interesting stuff nonetheless and its good to see Androstenone being researched, I'm sure the insights will be enlightening.
10-18-2011 10:39 AM
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jvkohl
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RE: Androstenone less unpleasant
10-18-2011 9:15 PM

I think this study simply adds to the evidence that androstenone is not likely to be an effective human pheromone. In their "limitations" section, the authors write "...we analyzed data only from participants who perceived an odor from androstenone and, even if the concentration of this lab stimulus was higher than androstenone perceived in natural contexts, the natural concentration may be sufficient to serve as a conditioned stimulus, because even weak, unnoticed olfactory stimuli can induce conditioned hedonic responses in humans..."

There are other limitations, also, but this statement alone indicates the results have little real world meaning.

Regarding stimulus presentation: "Briefly, the participants reported the perceived intensity, pleasantness, and identity of a set of six scratch-and-sniff odor stimuli (androstenone, chocolate, cinnamon, lemon, isovaleric acid, and turpentine)."

James V. Kohl
Clinical Laboratory Scientist (ASCLS)
Medical Laboratory Scientist (ASCP)
Medical Technologist (AMT)
Author/Creator: The Scent of Eros
10-18-2011 9:15 PM
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Rattlesnake
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Post: #4
RE: Androstenone less unpleasant
10-21-2011 10:42 AM

"...we analyzed data only from participants who perceived an odor from androstenone and, even if the concentration of this lab stimulus was higher than androstenone perceived in natural contexts, the natural concentration may be sufficient to serve as a conditioned stimulus, because even weak, unnoticed olfactory stimuli can induce conditioned hedonic responses in humans..."

Are they suggesting they used far higher concentrations of none than that would be naturally found on a human male? Did they just admit that it might have been more effective to have used a nominal or lower concentration? The law of diminishing returns may apply here, the anecdotal evidence certainly claims that higher levels of none have been known to repulse women than to induce arousal. Of course, the flip side of that could be that at lower levels they are less likely to be repulsed and hence the perception that its actually working better (rather than being more acceptable/tolerable).

"Briefly, the participants reported the perceived intensity, pleasantness, and identity of a set of six scratch-and-sniff odor stimuli (androstenone, chocolate, cinnamon, lemon, isovaleric acid, and turpentine)."

Is there any literature on testing Androstenone using a similar methodology to the study you performed in using a male accomplice to wear the pheromones rather than scratch and sniff based testing. The testing methodology you have used and detailed in your poster presentation would (in my mind) present a fairer evaluation on the effects of a pheromonal stimulus.
10-21-2011 10:42 AM
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jvkohl
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RE: Androstenone less unpleasant
10-21-2011 9:17 PM

(10-21-2011 10:42 AM)Rattlesnake Wrote:  "...we analyzed data only from participants who perceived an odor from androstenone and, even if the concentration of this lab stimulus was higher than androstenone perceived in natural contexts, the natural concentration may be sufficient to serve as a conditioned stimulus, because even weak, unnoticed olfactory stimuli can induce conditioned hedonic responses in humans..."

Are they suggesting they used far higher concentrations of none than that would be naturally found on a human male?
Yes; this is typical. If you want to be sure to elicit a response, you use higher concentrations.

(10-21-2011 10:42 AM)Rattlesnake Wrote:  Did they just admit that it might have been more effective to have used a nominal or lower concentration?

Yes, and I think they need to re-evaluate use of standardized scratch and sniff cards, as opposed to their own mixture.

(10-21-2011 10:42 AM)Rattlesnake Wrote:  "Briefly, the participants reported the perceived intensity, pleasantness, and identity of a set of six scratch-and-sniff odor stimuli (androstenone, chocolate, cinnamon, lemon, isovaleric acid, and turpentine)."

Is there any literature on testing Androstenone using a similar methodology to the study you performed in using a male accomplice to wear the pheromones rather than scratch and sniff based testing. The testing methodology you have used and detailed in your poster presentation would (in my mind) present a fairer evaluation on the effects of a pheromonal stimulus.

Colleagues are attempting replication of our results, although they are probably not closely following our study design, but to my knowledge no one is working with androstenone using a similar methodology. No reason they should work with androstenone so far as I'm concerned. On the other hand, we have received many compliments on our design and its execution. Perhaps others would like to reinvent the wheel in this regard.I don't know of any other way to address the species-specific aspect of human pheromones without incorporation of androsterone.

James V. Kohl
Clinical Laboratory Scientist (ASCLS)
Medical Laboratory Scientist (ASCP)
Medical Technologist (AMT)
Author/Creator: The Scent of Eros
10-21-2011 9:17 PM
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