Many websites specializing in the sale of cosmetics and perfumes post articles about the miraculous properties of pheromones. Some of them note that perfumes with human pheromones are banned in Russia and Europe, so they offer products containing pig pheromones: supposedly they have the same effect on humans. Perfumes with pheromones are a fairly popular product on the largest marketplaces.

Faktyoxla Lab. has tried to investigate whether such claims are true.

Pheromones are scents that animals use to send out signals to other animals. These scents can be used to mark territory, identify each other, or attract a mate, says Kerry Hughes, MSc, an ethnobotanist and clinical herbalist in private practice and author of the Botanicals With Benefits series.

Animals produce pheromones using scent glands found all over the body, including the mouth, paws, or anus. They may urinate or rub their bodies on trees to mark their territory, or sniff each other's rear ends to identify family or a mate.

"We can see examples of this throughout the animal kingdom — in dogs, cats, horses, and so on," says Pamela Regan, PhD, a psychology professor who studies sexual and romantic attraction at California State University, Los Angeles.

Many animals pick up pheromones using receptors in their nostrils called the vomeronasal organ. Humans have this organ as well, but researchers still aren't sure whether we actually use it, or if we give off any pheromones to sense.

Pheromone perfumes may also contain artificial versions of musk from animals like civet cats, beavers, pigs, and musk deer, Regan says. 

However, perfume fragrances aren't regulated by the FDA beyond ensuring that they're safe for humans, so companies don't need to disclose their ingredients.

"If they just say it has pheromones, but there is no information on any company materials, then it seems even more suspect," Hughes says.

Humans have plenty of odor-producing glands in our armpits, nipples, and genital areas. But what's unclear is whether those odors contain pheromones.

One older study from 2004 suggests it could be a possibility. The researcher found that compounds like androstenone, which acts as a pheromone for pigs, are also present in human sweat and urine.

"So, we know that humans give off body odor and that human bodies excrete substances that pigs find sexually stimulating," Regan says.

But whether humans find androstenone, or other compound secretions, sexually stimulating is the main question that has yet to be answered.

Experts don't know for sure if we can detect pheromones, but our sense of smell may offer a clue.

"Scientists have found that human infants, children, and adults are able to discriminate between other individuals on the basis of olfactory cues - we can tell each other apart using our noses," Regan says.

This indicates that we give off and pick up scents from each other that act in the same way as animals use pheromones.

If human pheromones exist - and that's a big "if" - then it's possible that spritzing yourself with a pheromone perfume may actually make you more attractive, according to limited research.

For example, a small 2008 study looked at how the hormone androstadienone affects women's feelings of attraction. The study set up a speed dating trial in which some women had androstadienone applied to their upper lips, while others had a non-hormone solution.

The results showed that the women with androstadienone rated the men they met as more attractive, while the untreated women gave lower ratings.

This result shows a slightly different picture — in this case, pheromones made the wearer more attracted to others, rather than attracting other people to them.

However, other experts have noted that more research is still needed to understand if human pheromones enhance your attractiveness and "there is little proof in the form of controlled clinical trials that this is the case," Hughes says. In fact, many studies supporting human pheromones are small and may show false positives.

Human attraction is also more complex than other mammals - "we don't require the presence of a particular hormone or chemical secretion to feel desire, want sex, or become attracted to another member of the species," Regan says.

This means that even if pheromone perfumes work, they may not be enough to change a person's attraction to you.

So far, we don't have much evidence that wearing a pheromone perfume can make you more attractive to others. Humans may give off and sense pheromones, but more research is needed before we can determine exactly how this works.