Perfumes To Make You Smell Younger -- Do We Really Need Special Prescription Scents? {The 5th Sense in the News}

A Grotesque Old Woman by Quentin Metsys

According to Datamonitor, the seniors represent the next segment of the market to be conquered, especially where fragrances are concerned, as they reportedly develop a body odor that signals their age and contributes to making them look and feel their real age to others, i.e., old.

Anti-age scents oriented for seniors would be able to make them smell younger. Some people will think it's just a new gimmick set up to create new anxieties and make you shell out money to assuage them.

Your only problem with this view might be that you would be hard-pressed to pinpoint an universal old-people smell like you could for that of a flower (with some nuances). When you walk on the street, do you get characteristic wafts?

"Skin care is already a strong category for the demographic, particularly anti-aging, but other sectors including hair care are less well developed.

But according to Datamonitor's Matthew Adams, it is the fragrance and deodorant categories that hold good growth potential among the older generation.

"Researchers in Japan have identified why we begin to develop a different natural personal scent as we age and this could lead to all sorts of new products to make people smell and feel both younger and more confident," he told CosmeticsDesign."...


George Preti however, a researcher from the Monell Chemical Senses Center at Philadelphia, thinks there is a problem with the research data and he has set out to explore the issue further (see after the jump). He thinks that the Japanese data used is not applicable to other cultures automatically as a diet rich in seafood might explain the phenomenon locally,

According to George Preti,

"There were some differences between older and younger volunteers. For instance, over-40s gave off more dimethylsulphone, which comes from the metabolism of sulphur-containing amino acids. However, this compound does not have a strong smell. What's more, there was none of the foul-smelling chemical found by the Shiseido team (British Journal of Dermatology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08748.x).

Why should older Americans smell better than ageing Japanese? "I attribute it to diet," says Preti, who notes that the typical Japanese diet contains much more seafood. This would cause a build-up of unsaturated fatty acids over time, which can be oxidised to 2-nonenal and related compounds. The Japanese team also found that older people's skin produced more lipid peroxides, which would accelerate this oxidation."


And then there is the problem of control/olfactory perception by young vs. old people, as again, reportedly, the sense of smell becomes less acute with time.

Older people may just have more diseases in general or be less self-attentive.

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