|Amanda Palmer spread her pheromone|
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 and Susan Rako, a private physician in Newton, Massachusetts, have studied 44 post-menopausal women. Half added Athena Pheromone 10:13, 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 per cent of pheromone users reported more petting, kissing and affection with partners compared with 14 per cent receiving the placebo. Overall, 68 per cent of pheromone users reported increases in at least one of four “intimate socio-sexual behaviors” such as formal dates and sex, as against 41 per cent 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. “It’s still a mystery substance being applied to individuals at unknown concentrations,” says George Preti of the Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.