31 May 2012

Research shows old people smell nicer

4:04 pm on 31 May 2012

Researchers in the United States say old people do have a particular smell - and it is nicer than the scent of younger people.

An experiment has been conducted that shows humans, like other animals, can detect social information, such as how old others are, by their scent.

Young, middle aged and and old volunteers were monitored by researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, AFP reports.

They washed nightly with odourless soap and shampoo, had to avoid spicy foods, cigarettes and alcohol and sleep alone in their T-shirts for five consecutive nights.

Research team leader Johan Lundstrom said the smell of the T-shirts was then evaluated.

Dr Lundstrom said the participants were able to discriminate between the three age categories and found there really was a distinct 'old person' smell - but it was less intense and less unpleasant than that of middle-aged and young individuals.