simaje via Flickr

simaje via Flickr

“Grandpa smells old!” my six year old boy blurts out after he hugs his grandparents. Kids have a way of mortifying us don’t they?

Blessedly, my father did not hear that rude, however accurate statement since there were other family members he was in the process of greeting and hugging.

Often, I am reminded by my kids and patients that there are certain smells and odors that are concerning to them but that are rarely brought up. I am talking about body odors (BO) and vaginal odors (VO) here.

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It is well known that babies’ sense of smell is heightened to track their mom’s scent since vision takes a while to sharpen after birth and that kids in general are more sensitive to smells overall.

There are some scents like MUSK (the liquidly discharge animals mark their territories with) and hormonal scents that are more sensed, then smelled, as they stimulate us on the pheromone (hormone) level. An example would be girls in the same dorm room cycling their menses at the same time, more than on the traditional olfactory nasal level.

Recent studies show (Lundstrom) that many can sense the older persons scent off underarm pads and even discriminate which pads were used by men and which by women, though no one used skin products, special soaps or fragrances.

Conclusion, there are unique changes to older human sweat and BO that people can distinguish beyond the Bengay liniment or nursing home smell.

Though older folks scent was not marked as negative or bad compared to middle aged men, most of Americans associate older age negatively.

Is it the lack of hormones or some other toxin that builds up in older people we can sense or smell? Those are some theories. We all know some elders however that are much younger and healthier than their chronological ages and we all wish we could be like them at their age.

Here are the best known ways to keep from looking and even smelling “old”

1. Take care of your teeth and gums

2. Drink plenty of water

3. Eat Healthy

4. Get plenty of sleep

5. Be very active and exercise daily

6. Stay engaged in people and life

7. Shower often and use mild fragrances that work with your natural scent, not mask it

8. Stop smoking or chewing tobacco-it’s never too late

There you have it!

About the author

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Dr. Carol

Dr. Carol- doctor, wife, mom and maker PB&J!
One of my passions is to help people Embrace change, Try new things and be BOLD for a healthier and balanced life!


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