For generations, the young have complained about the smell of old people. Well now researchers have confirmed that old people do have a distinct smell. However, they have also concluded that young people smell worse. Moreover, the old person smell is considered neutral. The study was published online in the journal PLoS ONE by researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.
The research itself tested the commitment of the academics to science: after having the suspects bathe regularly with odorless soap, they collected their oily secretions from the apocrine glands (found in hairy part of the body). As bad as the collecting team duty was, the worse team were the ones tasked with sniffing the excretions and rating them.
Women, I have good (and probably not surprising) news. You smell better. The worst smelling were young and middle-aged men.