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Do You Think 'Old Person Smell' Is Real?

Living 2012/06/01 19:00:00
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We can still remember the funny smell our grandpa had ... kind of like a pair of slightly stinky socks. Turns out, it wasn't all in our head! A new study shows that elderly people have a distinct scent... old person smell, to be exact.



In the study, published this week in the journal PLoS ONE, participants were able to differentiate the armpit smell (ew) of people 75 and older. "The results of this study support the cross-culturally popular concept of an 'old person odor,'" the study says, according to LiveScience.

However, the old folks didn't necessarily smell bad. Elderly people were said to smell less unpleasant and to have less of an intense stink than young people (20 to 30 years old) and middle-aged people (45 to 55 years old). Men, in fact, were found to have the foulest, most intense smell in middle age, while women were found to have a weaker smell than men (no big surprise there). Do you think old people have a distinct smell?
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Top Opinion

  • DeborahLakeHelen 2012/06/02 04:48:35
    No
    DeborahLakeHelen
    +10
    Not particularly. I take care of elderly people for a living, and the only ones I've encountered that have an odor are those who need a bath.

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  • SimmeringArtist 2012/07/10 22:58:33
    Yes
    SimmeringArtist
    my grandma smells like baby powder and lotion and my grandpa smells like grass
  • mustangluver 2012/06/08 17:23:47
    Yes
    mustangluver
    But what causes it, is as some ppl age, they slow down on cleaning the house and themselves and urine and poop leaks..that's why so many have someone that goes in and cleans the house and them. Aging is a bitch. You'll get your shot at it...
  • Jan Haskell 2012/06/07 20:40:31
    No
    Jan Haskell
    +1
    My grandma always smelled like lavender, and my grandpa smelled like "Old Spice" cologne until the day he died .... nearly 90. Now I'm an "old person" myself ... no complaints yet.
  • Dave Ruble 2012/06/07 00:37:54
    Yes
    Dave Ruble
    I'm old. I smell.
  • gonzo 2012/06/06 16:47:31
    Yes
    gonzo
    everybody smells... young women usually smell like too much make-up and cigarettes. Young guys smell like whatever macho juice they smear on after they bathe. There is nothing wrong with people having odor. It only means they exist.
  • kiki 2012/06/06 02:52:32
    Yes
    kiki
    We all have our own scents oldness smells like oldness I smell like me and you smell like you. We are a smelly group
  • Mark Twain 2012/06/06 01:31:48
    Yes
    Mark Twain
    People near death have a strange odor. Could this be my imagination? I have experienced it.
  • Ardwin_Viesheight 2012/06/05 21:21:02
    Yes
    Ardwin_Viesheight
    lol of course its real. can a smell just be in my imagination? O.o
  • KatherineKnight250 2012/06/05 19:11:35
    Yes
    KatherineKnight250
    Yes it's real. Just get into a bus.
  • PeterHenderson 2012/06/05 18:35:07
    Yes
    PeterHenderson
    The study suggests they do but that it is better than a young person smell. I smell the worst when I am nervous. I suspect nervous persperation is more offensve than athletic perspiration. If old people smell funny it is mostly a result of their taking a lot of medicines. Perhaps there is also the psychological associations people build up when they visit nursing homes that smell of medicine, disinfectant, and sometimes pee. Neither of my parents ever had an old person smell that I noticed.
  • PeterHe... PeterHe... 2012/06/05 18:40:23
    PeterHenderson
    +1
    In a way the question is offensive. In Ireland some of the Protestant kids will say the Catholics smell bad and vice versa. Is there a black smell or a Puerto Rican smell? Maybe there is if they eat distinctly different diets. But there's an insensitivity here, as if one had asked, "Do you think there's a menstruating woman smell?" and published the results.
  • David (oYo) 2012/06/05 10:31:53
  • Mike 2012/06/05 08:52:31
    Yes
    Mike
    Yes, it is due to biology.
  • Tasinahri 2012/06/05 08:23:11
    Yes
    Tasinahri
    +1
    Both my dad and grandpa smell like firewood :D
  • Red Rage 2012/06/05 07:01:38
    Yes
    Red Rage
    Old people smell like DEATH.
  • M'lud Red Rage 2012/06/05 16:27:01
    M'lud
    Is that you, Stewie?
  • PeterHe... Red Rage 2012/06/05 18:22:54
    PeterHenderson
    +2
    As an older person I hope you are wrong. Maybe what you are saying is that old people remind you of DEATH. Rock stars remind me of DEATH since every time you turn around one of them is choking on his own vomit or overdosing. What is the smell of DEATH, anyway? A lot of old people smell like medicine because they take a lot of it.
  • LADY LI... PeterHe... 2012/07/16 08:23:51
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  • El Prez Red Rage 2012/06/05 18:55:50
    El Prez
    +2
    And you smell like FOOL!!!
  • LADY LI... El Prez 2012/07/16 08:23:01
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  • bennett.dunn1 2012/06/05 04:50:23
    Yes
    bennett.dunn1
    I think they do, but I also think if they cared enough about it, they could do something. I also imagine that once you reach a certain age you probably start to care less about it,, just as old people sometimes start to shuffle, and don't care that they do
  • Reporter22 2012/06/05 04:11:01
    Yes
    Reporter22
    +2
    To me, i smell timeless wisdom and experience
  • FlyGalsMom Reporter22 2012/06/05 05:10:19
    FlyGalsMom
    +1
    Amen~~ There is something to be said about "Been there ~Done that and Age is indeed wisdom~ hence the saying "Youth is wasted on the young" LOL
  • maya brooks 2012/06/05 04:03:25
    Yes
    maya brooks
    My Grandmother had that smell of hers all over the House . When we get older ,our insides start to decay and if we dont move much , we become toxic fart-machines. If we stay active and have a good Diet, we can avoid
    a lot of that stinky stuff .
  • IndianFace.German 2012/06/05 03:33:16
    Yes
    IndianFace.German
    +1
    Yes and most of the time it smells good... Well my grandparents do anyway.
  • locoheaven 2012/06/05 02:42:00
    Yes
    locoheaven
    The traditional old person spell exists I insist
  • JeanLouiseCollins 2012/06/05 02:41:24
    Yes
    JeanLouiseCollins
    +2
    I am a practitioner of Classical 5 Element Acupuncture and guess what everyone smells.
    It is part of my diagnosis.stomach/spleen smells like toe jam..liver /gallbladder like rancid dish towel..colon/lung like pungent..bladder/kidney like putrid..heart/small intestine burned like a hot rock on the beach or hot iron.When you get older the organs do too and the imbalance is more obvious. .Best place to smell is between the shoulder blades where soap perfume etc less apt to interfere.So even if you are not old YOU SMELL!!!!!
  • 2qwik4u JeanLou... 2012/06/05 19:32:31
    2qwik4u
    And brain matter smells like almonds.
  • JeanLou... 2qwik4u 2012/06/10 13:06:16
    JeanLouiseCollins
    I bet you are right. But how do you know?
  • 2qwik4u JeanLou... 2012/07/06 01:16:07
    2qwik4u
    +1
    I work as a morgue assistant
  • Rob 2012/06/04 23:52:52
    Yes
    Rob
    +1
    Heck yeah it's real! I lived next door to an old guy in an apartment building for years. He and his place always had...'that smell'. It's incomparable to anything except to call it stagnant and perhaps earthy.
  • merslix. 2012/06/04 23:49:54
    Yes
    merslix.
    +1
    yeah, it is... but it's not like it's bad.
    it just smells like baby cream/powder.
  • rockingamer 2012/06/04 23:46:38
    Yes
    rockingamer
    My grandma smelled pretty bad. Although probably worse now that she's dead. lol There's a customer at the store I work that comes in who always smells like baby powder though. Can't stand that smell.
  • Dori 2012/06/04 23:31:24
    No
    Dori
    +3
    Have you ever smelled a Middle or High School Gym locker? Gag, verp, I'll take an old person any day. My Grandma smelled like cinnamon and apples and fresh baked cookies.
  • hottrodscars 2012/06/04 23:05:42
    Yes
    hottrodscars
    They lots of times smell like Ben Gay or Icy Hot.
  • Jimbo 2012/06/04 23:02:05
    No
    Jimbo
    My 86 year old aunt does not smell.
    My grandparents smelled like moth balls.
  • Noor 2012/06/04 22:50:03
    No
    Noor
    +2
    I have had lots to do with old folks and the only time they might smell is, as with any one else, they do not wash. As for not washing as much as other people, that is bunkum where I live.

    My Mom at 94 smelled fresh and of her favourite perfume. Even on her death bed she smelled better than most but then, we took great care of her.

    What really makes people stink is what they put into their bodies. A vegetarian will smell much less offensive than a heavy flesh eater. And their sweat is not so oily and evaporates faster as well. No rotting carcass in the intestines to make a stink.

    A Pakistani will smell different from a Greek simply due to the spices used to cook the meats that permeate the cells of their bodies.
  • J 2012/06/04 21:26:56
    Yes
    J
    +3
    But as with most everything else, there are exceptions. My 94 year old granma does NOT smell like most of the older people I have been around. But, she is one of those old people who still drives, works out in her yard, cooks her own food, and can even get away with wearing skinny jeans and a leather jacket and not look foolish. Now, my other grandmother... different story.
  • sokoyah 2012/06/04 21:18:10
    Yes
    sokoyah
    +1
    Because many feel they don't need to bathe as often as they did when they were young.
  • Noor sokoyah 2012/06/04 22:44:28
    Noor
    +2
    Stupid comment, absolutely stupid.
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