German scientists find that teens smell uniquely of cheese, urine and goat once they hit puberty

German researchers have confirmed what has been right under our noses all along: that teenagers tend to smell “rather unpleasant.”

Notes of sweat, urine, cheese and goat were present in samples collected from post-pubescent teens, compared to essences of lilac and raspberry from babies, a team of six researchers in Erlangen, Germany found.

As kids hit puberty, their scents take a dramatic turn as their sweat glands kick in, which likely serves evolutionary and communication purposes, they found.

Researchers found that teens emitted two compounds that the younger ones did not because they’d entered puberty and their sweat glands had become active. Satjawat –

“Did you ever hold a baby in your arms and noticed a pleasant odor followed by the urge to hold it closer and cuddle even more?,” the six-woman team wrote in a news release about the study. “Or on the contrary, entered a teenager’s room and smelled a rather unpleasant scent deciding to give them the privacy that teenagers usually request?”

It wasn’t only the pits for the older group — their body odor also hinted musk and sandalwood.

In the teen spirit of science, the team sewed cotton patches into the armpits of t-shirts and body suits for 18 tots up to 3 years old and 18 teens, ages 14 to 18 years, which the kids, selected from Dresden, Germany, all wore overnight.

Their goal was to investigate differences in body odor of infants and older children, they wrote, and how those contribute to social communication. It may help “shed light on body odors influencing social interactions and relationships within families.”

Researchers compared the smells of teens to infants and toddlers and found that children’s body odor takes a smelly turn once puberty begins. Yurii Klymko –

The unique compounds that were found in the teens but not the babies are produced by sweat glands that do not activate until puberty, the scientists explained.

The experiment was conducted by Helene Loos, Diana Owsienko and Lisa Goppelt, chairs of aroma and smell research at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and Katharina Hierl, Laura Schäfer and Ilona Croy from the Department of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics at the Technical University of Dresden.

The samples were comparatively analyzed through “instrumental detection” and a good old-fashioned sniff test.

Scientists found that the underarm sweat from teens had more compounds associated with scents like cheese and goat musk. SHOTPRIME STUDIO –

Participants were asked to stay away from scented hygiene products and detergent, and foods like onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus and cabbage. Researchers reported no opposition to the dietary condition from participants.

The pleasant scents of babies are rewarding to mothers and probably facilitate parental affection, the study stated.

The scent of teens, on the other hand, can make it harder for parents to identify them, and even cause an aversion, which may be a mode of detachment as a child becomes more independent.

The study confirmed that sexual maturation of children comes with changes in BO and may help inform future studies that look at the response of parents toward the specific odors.

The discovery could potentially help develop deodorants that mask those particular smells.

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