It certainly sounds striking or curious to read that it is the “Old smell‘. As derogatory as it may seem, it is real and has to do with the hormonal changes people go through over the years.
According to chemist José María Antón, who has been researching biotechnology for the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) for years, this occurs “as a result of increased production of lipids on the surface of the skin.”
Scientists have found that this aroma begins after the age of 30 and is mainly due to two molecules that are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as 2-nonenal and isovaleric acid. It is created by the oxidative breakdown of unsaturated fatty acids and also influences epidermal balance and regeneration.
Antón expressed that 2-nonenal smells really bad, “so much so that when we open a capsule with this molecule in the laboratory, everything stinks.” “With this discovery we know that the concentration of lipids present on the surface of the skin is about begins to decline to pre-pubertal levels by the age of 80. “That means that when we’re 80, we can smell a lot like we did when we were kids,” he concluded.
It must be taken into account that this is a natural change in the body and has nothing to do with poor personal hygiene. Unlike sweat, this odor is more difficult to eliminate because lipids do not dissolve with water. Some companies are working on this and have launched special perfumes to neutralize the molecule that produces this characteristic smell.