“Body Odor” Ranking | Which groups of people smell better?

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Everyone has their own body odor, but if you divide people by age and gender, and compare the body odor of people of different ages and genders, which age group do you think smells the best?

Too long to read

Middle-aged women have the most pleasant body odor, and middle-aged men have the least favorable body odor.

“Older taste” is age-related, but more likely to be related to disease, hygiene, diet, etc..

Some people may be confused. I have always heard people say that the “old man’s smell” smells bad. Why is the result different?

To say “old man’s taste”, we must start with body odor.


Body odor, where did it come from?

Body odors come mostly from the skin and mouth.

There are differences between men and women

Sweat and sebaceous glands expel sweat and lipids onto the skin, where bacteria, Decomposition and oxidation, some volatile substances are formed, which may be odorless or have a more pronounced odor; this odor may be pleasant or objectionable.

In general, due to hormones, men have a higher concentration of sebum on the surface of their skin than women, making them more prone to strong, unpleasant body odors.

Diet Effects

The mouth is related to the food you eat, or the hygiene of the mouth itself.

If you eat high-sulfur foods, such as garlic, onions, broccoli, red meat, etc., the unpleasant odor is not only released through the breath, but also It is secreted by sweat and turns you into a walking humanoid “garlic”.

With poor oral hygiene, bad breath can also contribute to body odor.

For details, see previous articles:

How to improve and solve the problem of bad breath?

To prevent bad breath, cleaning these two parts is very important!

Now that you know what’s going on with body odor, let’s take a look at how this Body odor rankings for different age groups are rated~


Who smells the best?

There are really scholars who have done research on this.

Researchers recruited 41 donors, divided into 6 groups by age and gender, and collected their natural body odor on the same criteria.

Male group, Female group

Youth: 20-30; Middle: 45-55; Senior : 75-95 years old

Donors in both the youth and middle age groups were healthy and drug-free. Donors in the elderly group use drugs to treat hypertension, hyperlipidemia and other diseases, but none of these drugs change body odor [1].

How can I avoid outside odors?

In order to avoid being disturbed by external odors and collect the natural body odor of donors, the researchers set many conditions in great detail:

Pre-clean with unscented detergentT-shirt and nursing pads( under the T-shirt to collect body odor), while donors were asked to wash their sheets and towels with the same detergent.

five nights in a row sleep alone at home.

every day use unscented shampoo and soap to wash your hair and bathe before going to bed to avoid Interference with exogenous odor compounds.

Wear the T-shirt while sleeping and put the T-shirt during the day in an airtight, odorless plastic bag to protect it from external pollution.

Additionally, donors were free from alcohol, smoking, spicy and other foods known to affect body odor throughout the odor collection period.

What was the result?

Once the body odors were collected, the researchers asked 41 young assessors, aged 20-30, to identify which age group of donors the body odors came from, and to assess the The pleasantness of these scents was scored.

Most raters were able to accurately identify body odor in older age groups, but were less accurate in other age groups.

The rate of body odor pleasantness by age group, from high to low, the raters reported:

Middle-aged women (most agreeable)>Older men>Young women>Older women >Young male>Middle-aged male (least popular)

Assessors rated the stimulus intensity of body odor in donors of different ages. Image from reference [1]

Researchers believe there are some substances in body odor that can help people locate their age[2].

However, compared to the “old man’s taste” which is often associated with negative impressions such as bad smell, the “old man’s taste” in this study was more neutral. What’s the matter?


Old man, does it really smell bad?

Physically, body odor changes with age, but it doesn’t necessarily get worse[2].

But many times, some people’s body odor does become less pleasant as they age, to the point of creating the “old man smells bad” stereotype, which Of course there are physiological reasons, but more likely to be related to hygiene, diet, and disease.

Physiologically unpleasant body odor

The flavor is derived from oxidation of skin lipids.

With age, the natural antioxidant capacity of the skin decreases, and the amount of lipid peroxides in the lipids on the skin surface also increases , the proportion of ω-7 monounsaturated fatty acids increases sharply with age, up to 6 times [3].

where 2-nonenalis an unsaturated aldehyde produced by the oxidative breakdown of omega-7 monounsaturated fatty acids, only detected on the skin surface of people over 40 years of age, and it is said to taste Unpleasant greasy and grassy smell[3].

2-nonenal content on the skin surface of people of different ages. From reference [3]

Other lipid peroxides also accelerate the formation of 2-nonenal.

Therefore, 2-nonenal is believed to be a cause of poor body odor in the 40-70 year oldspoor body odor[3].

However, in studies of body odor measurement at different ages, older adults were 75-95 years old. The researchers noted that with age, lipid concentrations on the surface of the skin begin to decline to prepubertal levels, returning to childhood levels around age 80[1].

In studies of body odor assessment at different ages, there was no significant difference in the composition of body odor between older men and women, possibly because their skin chemistry characteristics that produce body odor have become similar[1].

This may also be the reason why middle-aged men in the 45-55 age group have the most unpleasant body odor, 2-nonenal has appeared, but skin lipid secretion has not decreased.

Bad body odor caused by living habits and diseases

In a study of body odor assessment at different ages, when the elderly pay attention to their own cleaning, household hygiene, and avoid foods that cause bad body odor, their body odor is considered to be the same as young and middle-aged people. is neutral.

The so-called “bad smell of old people” is often caused by bad living habits, diet and disease.

“Old man smell” does have physiological reasons. If you don’t take frequent baths and change clothes and bedding, and some elderly people don’t like to open windows for ventilation, the accumulated 2-nonenal Persistent around him and at home will make others feel an unpleasant “old man smell”.

In addition to 2-nonenal, some diseases can also cause the body to produce odor, such as diabetic ketoacidosis patients because of the metabolism of ketone bodies, which smells like There’s a rotten apple flavor. Some kidney diseases will smell urine or ammonia because toxic substances such as urea nitrogen and creatinine cannot be smoothly excreted from the body.

Elderly people who do not pay attention to oral hygiene can also cause bad breath due to bacterial growth.

Drinking and smoking can both lead to unpleasant body odor.


What can I do to improve body odor?

Whether you are helping your elders or yourself, pay attention to the following points to help improve body odor:

Pay attention to personal hygiene, brush your teeth in the morning and evening, take a bath frequently, use body soap appropriately (if you are afraid of dry skin, apply some lotion after bathing), change clothes frequently .

Exercise more, control body weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, if you have underlying diseases, you must standardize treatment to avoid abnormalities caused by diseases appreciate.

Keep the home environment hygienic, clean it frequently, and wash the bedding regularly, preferably once a week or so.

More open windows for ventilation.

Many elderly people do not realize that their body odor is not good because of their insufficiency of smell, and they need the kind help of younger generations.


[1]Mitro S, Gordon AR, Olsson MJ, Lundström JN. The smell of age: perception and discrimination of body odors of different ages. PLoS One. 2012;7(5): e38110.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038110

[2]Do We Smell Our Age?https:https://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20120530/do-we-smell-our-age

[3]Haze S, Gozu Y, Nakamura S, et al. 2-Nonenal newly found in human body odor tends to increase with aging. J Invest Dermatol. 2001;116(4):520-524. doi:10.1046/j.0022-202x.2001.01287.x