Friday, April 21, 2017

Getting Old Stinks

World’s first – We developed technology to prevent “Nonenal” (component for a body odor in older people)
Shiseido successfully developed completely new technology that prevents body odor in the middle-aged and old people through joint research with Takasago International Corporation. Now we are in the aging society, more people are bothered by “body odor unique to middle-aged and old people”. Shiseido focused on the change in the body odor caused by aging and discovered “nonenal” which is an odor component that is found in many middle-aged and older people and the level of which increases with age. -source: Shiseido

Although, this isn’t the first time this has hit the news:
It Stinks: The Smell of Aging: Japanese researcher's discovery that older men emit a pungent body odor hit a nerve with the populace. Now companies have jumped in with products to mask the offending scent. July 14, 1999. Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times.

“Shoji Nakamura, whose million-dollar nose is reputedly able to distinguish among some 2,000 different odors, says he first noticed a distinctive smell among middle-aged and older men in 1987 and spent the next decade thinking about it.

"I'm very interested in body odor," he says.

“Now, after painstaking research, Shiseido has acted on Nakamura's evident insight. This September, the company will unveil what it says is the world's first product line of shampoos, powders and air fresheners designed to block, cover and otherwise obscure the unique smell of growing old.”
-source: latimes

Perhaps I belabor this point, but once again I can’t resist. There is something quite different between the skin of Asians and that of Caucasians. White people have more body odor, because they have more of the glands that produce body odor hiding under their skin.

Aside, they also smell like cheese, according to the Vietnamese soldiers who could sniff them out of the jungle. They also smell “like wet dogs,” according to Google’s predictive search algorithm circa 2014 – you can no longer test this; the script must’ve changed; personally I think it was a very typical semantic conflation between wet dog, which is a very specific smell, and wet hot dogs, which actually has something to do with cheese, or at least I’m willing to bet. I’m not an expert here, only an enthusiast.

And to complete the run, the first result for “why do ____ people smell like” went like this:
Why do white people smell like wet dog?
Why do black people smell like crayons?
Why don’t Asian people smell? (I swear, it would rearrange your question to produce this)
And when it came to ‘Indian people,’ the question would get so rearranged that it just isn’t worth adding it to the list. Again, the scripts have changed since, and in 2017 there is no way in hell Google would allow that to happen. Sorry, wish I screenshotted that little piece of anthropological gold.

Back to the point; I bring this up about Asian people having less body odor because it makes it seem more obvious that a Japanese man would be trying to quell old-people odor and not simply (armpit) body odor. Anyway, thanks Shiseido, for reminding me of my inevitable end.

[After some further research]
Then again, in total contrary, check out this study by  Johan Lundstrom, a neuropsychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia (Monell is one of the premier institutes for olfactory research). They had a whole bunch of people put handkerchiefs under their arms overnight, and then, after cutting-up and mixing the samples of similar people, they put the smell samples in corresponding jars for willing participants to investigate.

Conclusion: "It turned out that the underarm odor of 75-to-95-year-olds was judged to be less intense and far more pleasant than the scent of either young or middle-aged adults. The most intense — and perhaps not coincidentally, the most unpleasant — odor came from 45-to-55-year-old men. Women in that age group, on the other hand, produced the most pleasant smell of everyone who wore the underarm pads.

"On the whole, men generally smelled worse than women, but that distinction disappeared in old age, the researchers found.

"As you grow older, you smell more and more like a woman," Lundstrom said. That is due to changes in men's hormone levels as they age. "It's almost as if you're going back to what happened before puberty." source: latimes

Anyway, totally to the contrary of the things mentioned via Shiseido. But, kind of reinforcing the Asian body odor/Asian smell scientist theory.

-image source: Shiseido

More Old Folks Stuff –

Limbic Signal, 2016

Limbic Signal, 2016

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