I’ve been a fan of the Realm colognes since I tried the original Realm for Men in 1997. They contain synthesized human pheromones (or at least chemicals billed as such), and the original Realm cologne has been around since 1993. They also make women’s colognes as well.
The promise of pheromones, scents that promote attraction, intrigued me, since at the time I often struggled to get dates. My girlfriend at the time absolutely loved the scent. I think in the end, she liked how I smelled more than she liked me! As Realm eventually became harder to find in stores, I stopped using it.
In 2010, I tried Realm for Men again, and I didn’t like it as much as I used to. I think they may have played around with the formula, because not only was it not manufactured by Erox, the original manufacturer anymore, it also smelled more fruity.
Since I already had purchased a bottle, I started mixing it with Curve cologne, and the combination ended up smelling pretty good. A former student described the scent as “manly flowers.” Hmm, well, I guess that’s a compliment, right?
Bored with that particular combo, in 2013 I decided to try another scent in the same family, Inner Realm released in 2011. I was impressed with that so much, I immediately began using it daily.
Inner Realm is summery, slightly fruity, as well as crisp and masculine. It’s a great scent that always gets me insane compliments. In fact, I’ve had women come up to me just to smell me, and even request to keep bottles of it. One even asked me to spray it on a piece of paper so she could smell it later. I stocked up on it, since I thought it was discontinued.
Jonathan recently decided to try Realm Intense, which was released in 2015. I honestly was hesitant only because I liked Inner Realm so much, I couldn’t imagine I would like a new scent even better.
However, I was wrong. I took one whiff of Realm Intense, and I was hooked.
I waited patiently for Jonathan’s to arrive the night it was due to arrive, since I was visiting him that night. For some reason UPS took forever, but I patiently held vigil. Once it arrived, I sprayed some on each forearm, and then went out for the night. I must have looked crazy smelling my arms in public, but I honestly liked the scent so much I couldn’t stop smelling it.
Realm Intense is…well…very intense. It’s a strong scent, and 1-2 sprays usually lasts for a few hours. It’s an eau de toilette, while Inner Realm and Realm For Men are only categorized as eau de cologne. On the cologne scent scale, Realm Intense is stronger.
Anything more than a few sprays and, to quote my high school friend’s dad, you’ll smell like “a French whore.” It can be overwhelming if you overdo it.
Realm Intense is more of a cold weather cologne, as well as one that is appropriate for more formal events or for evening wear, which is how I wear it. I still use Inner Realm in warmer weather.
Its manufacturer describes it as featuring “an enticing blend of bergamot and basil with masculine woods and a warm mix of tonka bean, amber and patchouli.” It is fresh and aquatic, as well as woodsy and earthy.
Let’s talk pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals that, when smelled, trigger a social and/or sexual response in animals. Like I said earlier, there is a lot of debate about whether humans actually produce and respond to pheromones. However, it’s clear other animals do.
If there are human pheromones, scientists aren’t even sure which chemicals function as pheromones.
Realm Intense contains two chemicals that are thought to be human pheromones, estratetraenol (EST) and androstadienone. Of note, Inner Realm only contains androstadienone, whereas it’s speculated that Realm For Men only includes estratetraenol. I say “speculated” because the ingredient list simply states “pheromones.”
Based on some research, estratetraenol combined with androstadienone resulted in women’s mood improving. Estratetraenol alone causes a hypothalamic reaction in men, and a response in the amygdala in women, showing that it has a different effect depending on the person’s sex.
This chemical’s effect on men seems to be primarily in relaxing the wearer and boosting confidence. This alone likely won’t make a guy more attractive to women, which is one criticism leveled at the original Realm formula. However, a recent study of rodents found that males were more desirable to other females if they had the scent of a “hot” female on them, so it’s possible (but highly speculative) this pheromone could have that effect on human women.
Research has shown that androstadienone modulates emotional activity in men and women, and it altered the mood of women when administered by male researchers – but not female ones. This suggests sex specific effects. Also, after being exposed to androstadienone, women rated men as more attractive. It also seems to make people more emotionally aware. This chemical may possibly have that “love potion” effect guys are looking for, although the research is far from conclusively endorsing this.
Regardless of the pheromones, the smell is amazing. So far, even after using it about 5 times, I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on the scent, with random people complimenting me on it. The combination of an amazing scent and two complementary pheromones make this cologne a winner.
And, since it’s not super common, it’s not likely a lot of other people are wearing it.
The price is pretty good, especially considering the quality. Depending on where you get it, you can get the 3.4 ounce bottle for under $50, and in some cases, even under $30.