• File image of a pair at a pheromone party. (AP)
Researchers from WA argue that pheromones, which animals rely on to attract mates, may not exist in humans, after a study found they didn't influence behaviour.
Source:
AAP
8 Mar - 3:58 PM  UPDATED 8 Mar - 10:03 PM

Pheromones linked to animal attraction may not exist in humans, WA researchers have found.

Many animals rely on pheromones to attract mates, with the science even creating a pheromone perfume industry based on attracting the opposite sex.

However after testing close to 100 people, a team from The University of Western Australia found pheromones had no impact on their behaviour when rating attractiveness and gender perception.

Participants undertook the same tasks over two consecutive days and were exposed to a pheromone on one day and then a control scent.

Lead researcher Professor Leigh Simmons said fascination with pheromones led people to believe they existed, but more research was needed for a final answer.

The results of the study are backed by Mark Elgar from the University of Melbourne's School of BioSciences, who says a pheromone chemical hasn't been identified in humans.

"To characterise something as a pheromone you really need to conduct an experiment in which the release of that pheromone generates some change in behaviour that in some way benefits the individual that would be releasing the pheromone," he told AAP.

"My understanding is that we haven't actually captured smells from humans that could be identified as a pheromone in that particular way that we identify pheromones for other animals."

Despite this, he says that a "love spark", or chemistry between two people seems to be quite specific for each relationship.

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