I Tried TikTok’s Favorite Pheromone Oil & Was Surprised By The Results

Rachel Khona
5 min readDec 20, 2022


Ever since I tried a sample of Thierry Angel’s Mugler, I’ve been hooked on the intoxicating old-school fragrance. And it’s not because I love the thickly sweet, vanilla-bergamot-jasmine concoction. I love Angel because men are drawn to me like cats to a laser when I wear it. I’ve been stopped at bars, parties, the dentist’s office-even walking down the street. And my BF never hesitates to turn into a complete horndog when I wear it. So I did not think it was humanely possible for anything to top this man-eating scent. Until I saw Pure Instinct’s Pheromone Oil on TikTok.

This product went viral in 2021 and 2022 (the hashtag #pureinstinctpheromone has nearly 20 million views) thanks to scores of creators raved about the magnetizing qualities of this apparently magical elixir. Some claim it helped them attract everyone from the random person at Target to their spouse. Pheromones are chemicals secreted externally — found in urine, sweat, and breast milk, for example — that can affect the behavior of others. Effects include but are not limited to causing sexual arousal. In other words, pheromones are the part of one’s natural scent that shout to the world, “I am ready to bone!”

While it’s been well-documented that animals are releasing all kinds of communicative scents (see: dogs sniffing each other’s butts), the existence of human pheromones and whether they work is still up for debate. Who do I trust more, scientists or people on TikTok? Could this oil turn me into a man-attracting magnet? Most importantly, would my boyfriend be overcome with wild desire every time he sees me? Time to find out.

What Is Pure Instinct’s Pheromone Oil?

Pure Instinct launched this fragrance in 1985, dubbing it “The Original.” It features top notes of mango and mandarin, a heart of honey and cinnamon, and a base of white musk.

Fast Facts

  • Price: $16.95 (originally $23.95)
  • Best for: All genders; anyone looking to experiment with the powers of attraction
  • My rating: 2.5
  • Brand: Pure Instincts
  • Size: 10.2 milliliters
  • Features: Cruelty-free, vegan, made in the United States

How To Use The Oil

The brand suggests dabbing it on your collarbones, wrists, and behind your ears to maximize the scent’s potential.

What Do The Reviews Say?

Reviewers on Amazon raved about the oil, leading me to wonder where it’s been my whole life. “Spoiler alert… It’s raining men up in here,” one wrote. Another one said, “Just incredible to think that it has been several years without any sexual activity….The very first day I put it on, he was like a dog smelling food with his nose up in the air trying to figure out where it was coming from.”

More than 65,000 people have reviewed this product on Amazon and it has a four-star average rating, making it a #1 bestseller in the Women’s Cologne category.

How I Used The Oil

Though the oil can be combined with your own perfume, I decided that for scientific purposes, I needed to try it solo to make sure it works with no extra help from my beloved Angel. With a fruity mango musk scent, the fragrance was pleasant enough and not too overpowering. However, it’s nothing that I would normally opt for. After slathering it on my neck and wrists, I felt less like a sex goddess and more like a fruity daiquiri. I threw on some sweats and put my hair in a scrunchie; I wasn’t going to give the oil a leg up in any way. Nonetheless, a light wind will make my boyfriend horny, so the bar is pretty low.

Though he did notice I smelled different, asking me if I was wearing a new lotion, he didn’t seem to care. Not exactly the “I need to ravage you right now” carnal vibe I was going for. Maybe it takes some time? I thought. As we sat around watching Interview with the Vampire, I secretly waited for the pheromones to draw him into my web of seduction. “Dude, Lestat is nuts,” he said. “Want some more popcorn?” No! I wanted to shout. I want you to be my sex minion! While we eventually did the deed, I can safely say it had nothing to do with the pheromone oil.

I was disappointed, but it was too soon to write off the oil. Perhaps we just needed a change of environment. We had dinner reservations the following night, so I dolled myself up with the plan of ensnaring him into my seduction trap. This wasn’t just about sex. It was about animal instincts! Hunger! Passion! On my first attempt, he’d had all the excitement I have while being stuck in traffic. I prayed to Meg Thee Stallion, hoping this time would be different.

The Final Results

“You look amazing,” he said enthusiastically. I eyed him suspiciously, the way my dog looks at the neighbor’s cat. Was it my new dress or Pure Instinct’s pheromone oil? While my boyfriend was lovely and attentive all evening, he didn’t behave markedly different than he did on any other day. No secret bathroom sex. No dramatically clearing the salmon off the table so we could hop on top of it. However, given his ever-present horniness, a pheromone oil that actually worked might send him over the edge, like one of those old-timey cartoons where the eyeballs bug out at the mere sight of a woman. So maybe, in this case, the lackluster results are a good thing.

In the end, it looks like my regular perfume did a better job attracting people than the pheromone oil. It seems the elixir is more of a placebo than a love potion. Maybe it just didn’t work with my body chemistry, or perhaps my boyfriend’s sexual rabidity is as far up the scale as it can go. After all, we have done some pretty wild things. No pheromone oil needed.

Originally published at https://www.bustle.com on December 20, 2022.



Rachel Khona

Humor Writer @ Playboy, Allure, Marie Claire, The New York Times, Cosmo, WashPo. Follow IG: @rachelkhona