Old Age Not An Unpleasant Smell!
Do You Agree That You Can Smell Age Asks Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington.
A study has shown that you can forget trying to disguise the advancing years with Botox and hair dye – your age is an open secret to anyone with a good sense of smell.
Scientists collected armpit odour samples from three groups of donors aged 20-30, 45-55 and 75-95.
Donors were asked to sleep for five nights in T-shirts containing underarm pads which were cut up and placed in glass jars.
41 volunteer evaluators aged 20-30 were given samples to sniff and were able to distinguish between young, middle aged and elderly individuals by body odour. They had to decide which sample was from the older donor and to rate the intensity and pleasantness of each odour.
Evaluators were able to discriminate between the three age categories, the American researchers reported in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE.
But contrary to popular perception, the ‘old person smell’ was rated less intense and unpleasant than other age groups.
Dr Lundstrom said: ‘Elderly people have a discernible underarm odour that younger people consider to be fairly neutral and not very unpleasant. This was surprising given the popular conception of old age odour as disagreeable.’
Body odours originate from a "complex interaction" between skin gland secretions and bacterial activity, the researchers wrote.
Skin gland composition and secretion were said to change in "age-dependent manner throughout development".
A unique "old person smell" is recognised across human cultures. In Japanese it even has a special name, kareishu.
No point trying to be younger than you are then as everyone with a sense of smell will catch you out says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.