Androstadienone (A1)
  • The pheromone molecule androstadienone is also commonly referred to as A1 or dienone. The scientific literature sometimes refers to it as AND (but good luck searching pubmed for that).

    Androstadienone is a steroid metabolized from testosterone, which does not exhibit any known androgenic activity. It is found in the sweat and semen of human males.
    • Most common chemical name: androsta-4,16,-dien-3-one
    • Molecular Weight: 270.408 g/mol
    • CAS Number: 4075-07-4

    Androstadienone is the best-studied of the putative pheromones. It has been shown to increase cortisol levels in women who smell it, even if the odor is not consciously detected. It has been shown to modulate emotional activity in both women and men. Another study found that A1 altered mood in heterosexual women when administered by a male experimenter, but not when administered by a female experimenter, suggesting that social context may play a role in the functioning of this chemosignal. Its widespread effects on brain functioning "suggests that the neurological effects of androstadienone cannot be conceptualized strictly in terms of olfactory perception and categorization," lending credence to the argument that it acts as a pheromone. Women have also been found to rate men as more attractive after being exposed to androstadienone.

    Androstadienone has been shown to attune the mind specifically to emotional information, guiding psychological resources to specifically engage stimuli with emotional significance, without altering attention to social or general cognitive information.

    While some studies show no gender difference in the response to this pheromone, many other have found substantial differences. For example, this study found that androstadienone improved mood only in women, and only in conditions where the women were not experiencing any pain. The presence of androstadienone actually increased reported pain intensity in this study.

    Summary of Pheromone Effects From Field Reports

    Androstadienone is one of the most widely-used pheromones in commercial products, having been introduced to the general perfume market in the popular Realm for Men cologne. It has also been included in a variety of personal hygiene products, such as Dial Magnetic body wash.

    Most users report a strong positive effect on mood in women, but only a handful of male users have reported a positive self-effect. Often, men using A1 report dose-dependent mood-lowering effects. One pheromone product manufacturer, Androtics, stopped selling androstadienone and products containing androstadienone, claiming that it was being used by women to create depression in men. Others argue that depressive responses to A1 are rare. Androstadienone is present in most products from True Pheromones, and is the basis for Alpha Dream's social comfort product Certo.

    When worn by men, Androstadienone is widely reported to put women at ease and induce a "calm, content, safe feeling." Some users have called A1 the "love pheromone,"  with thoughts of the wearer seeming to linger in the minds of women who have been exposed.

    Many women report relief from the symptoms of PMS when exposed to A1, and use it for this purpose. It is commonly noted that androstadienone's effects on women are strongest during menstruation.

    It has frequently been noted that men tend to avoid the wearer of androstadienone, particularly in doses >25mcg.

    Where to buy Androstadienone

  • It has also been widely noted that A1 has different positive and negative effects depending on which supplier you buy it from.

    For me, the Love Scent chemset stuff was the first kind I ever bought, and I thought I was lucky to not have a negative depressive-type reaction to A1 like some other people report.

    Then I started using products which contain A1 from Alpha Dream -- Certo, Cohesion, LAID Brand. After using these for a little while, I started getting a bad depression when I wear them. For me I seem to get more sensitive to it the more I am exposed.

    I have some A1 from True Pheromones on hand but I haven't really tested it yet.

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  • dbot February 2013