Researchers led by Yukari Takeuchi at University of Tokyo are examining 4-ethyloctanal, a component present in the male goat odor which smells like citrus through which they tend to attract the females.
They presented this volatile odour component to female goats undergoing real-time brain scans. The scent immediately acted on the female goats' brains to turn their reproductive systems on.
"We are tempted to speculate that this is a clever reproductive strategy of the male goat to alter behaviour and activity of the reproduction centre in the female for mating by a single molecule," Takeuchi was quoted as saying in a press release.
In 4-ethyloctanal, researchers identified a novel chemical that had never been demonstrated in nature before.
According to the researchers, there is reason to think the findings could apply even to humans.
Humans also release pheromones so it makes one wonder what as-of-yet undiscovered compounds might be present in the hair of men, added Takeuchi.