SEARCH

Entries in Scent (4)

Wednesday
May302012

‘Old People’s Odor’ Exists, But Not Unpleasant

Comstock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Elderly people do emit a characteristic odor, but it turns out they might actually smell better than younger people, according to a new study published online in PLoS ONE.

Researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia found that people could distinguish among the body odors of different age groups.

They asked 41 people to evaluate odors collected from the armpits of study participants from three different age groups -- people between the ages of 20 and 30; between 45 and 55; and between 75 and 95.

The evaluators rated the odors from the younger groups as more unpleasant than the odors from the elderly participants, and they also found that the older people’s odors were less intense.  The evaluators could also determine that odors came from old people, but could not correctly attribute the odors from the other groups.

These findings, said co-author Johan Lundstrom, confirm the popular belief of an “old people smell.”

“We do have an old people odor, but when taken out of the popular context, it doesn’t smell as bad,” said Lundstrom.

The study also found that younger men smelled worse than younger women, but among the participants older than 75, men and women smelled pretty much the same.

It’s not clear exactly what’s behind the ability to discriminate between the age groups and the sexes, the authors wrote.

“An older study found that there is one chemical that varies with age, but we don’t know if that’s the chemical people are picking out,” Lundstrom said.

It’s also possible that the loss of testosterone, changes in the skin, changes in the sweat glands or a combination of these factors play a role in why the sexes don’t smell much different at older ages.

There may be an advantage to being able to discern the smell of old age among animals.

For example, the authors wrote, “older male insects have a higher reproductive success than their younger competitors,” and “reproductive success is a highly sought-after trait.”

The authors also believe it’s likely that had the evaluators been aware that the odors came from elderly people, they may have rated them as more unpleasant.

Future research, they continued, will focus on identifying the mechanism behind age-related body odor discrimination.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct262011

Pill in the Works to Turn Sweat into Perfume

Paul Tearle/Thinkstock(AMSTERDAM, Netherlands) -- Those sweat stains could be the equivalent to a spritz of cologne if Lucy McRae's research pans out.

McRae, an artist based in the Netherlands, hopes to create Swallowable Parfum, a perfume that can be ingested through a capsule and emitted through perspiration.

The pill is still in the research phase with no scheduled release date as McRae works with a synthetic researcher, Sheref Mansy, to develop a prototype.

"My main aim is to provoke and make people think in a completely different way about how make-up can be [used] in the future," said McRae.

The 31-year-old was inspired to develop the line after watching a documentary on Ray Kurzweil, a computer engineer who won the National Medal of Technology and who has written numerous books about how machines will shape the future.

Rather than create a uniform scent, McRae envisions that each user's own scent would be amplified by the digestible perfume like a "base note."

George Preti, a scientist at the Monell Center which specializes in taste and smell, says pills that claim to change body odor similar to Swallowable Parfum are often not effective due to the body's digestion process.

"How much of what they do that will make it through the digestive process and [into] the blood remains to be seen," said Preti. "A lot of things will get taken apart in the acid in the stomach."

Since taking a daily dose of perfume isn't yet possible, McRae is staying with her scent of choice, Mona Di Orio, applied with a traditional spritz.

McRae's Swallowable Parfum is the latest in a trend of cosmetic companies attempting to reduce beauty regimens to pill form. In recent years companies such as Heliocare and Murad have released pills that claim to provide sun protection. However, these pills do not provide the same protection as traditional sunblock.

L'Oreal announced earlier this month that they're working on an "anti-grey" supplement that would keep hair from turning grey with age.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb012011

Dog Outperforms Lab Test at Detecting Cancer

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(FUKUOKA, Japan) -- With a little training, a dog can learn to heel.  But a new study adds to growing evidence that man's best friend can also learn to heal by detecting invisible signs of disease.

Marine, a specially-trained 8-year-old black Labrador retriever, detected colorectal cancer 91 percent of the time when sniffing patients' breath and 97 percent of the time when sniffing stool, according to a study published Jan. 31 in the British journal Gut.

She even beat the fecal occult blood test, the most economic and non-invasive screening for colorectal cancer, which positively predicts the presence of cancer only 10 percent of the time, according to lead author Dr. Hideto Sonoda, from Fukuoka Dental College Hospital in Japan, and colleagues.

This is not the first time dogs have successfully sniffed out malignancies.  The phenomenon has already been reported in skin, bladder, lung, breast and ovarian cancers.

"We shouldn't be shocked by this," said Dr. Marty Becker, a veterinarian at the North Idaho Animal Hospital and author of The Healing Power of Pets.  "We know dogs can detect accelerants, explosives, mold, peanuts -- even counterfeit CDs."

It's estimated that a dog's sense of smell is up to one million times better than that of a human, depending on the breed.

"It's like having an NFL stadium filled with yellow balls and one red ball," Becker said.  "That's the concentration of scent a trained dog could find."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov232010

What Scent Arouses Men Most? The Proof Is in the Pie

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Women know the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but new research indicates the way to a man's bedroom is through pumpkin pie.

Staffers at Chicago's Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Center tested 40 aromas on men ages 18 to 64 to determine which one aroused them the most, and the smell of pumpkin pie beat even women's fragrances.

"The number-one odor that enhanced penile blood flow was a combination of lavender and pumpkin pie." said the center's director, Dr. Alan Hirsch.

Hirsch says pumpkin pie was the single strongest stimulant of the 40 tested.

Dr. Hirsch says every food odor tested aroused the male participants.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio