Of Onion and Edam

I’ve always made silly comments about women actually smelling like onion – and yesterday, I thought I’d googled it in case somebody else also had the same opinion. Lo and behold, some scientists in Switzerland actually researched this and yes, women do smell like onion! Hahaha. 😀 Apparently, men smell like cheese. I don’t think I do. Depending on the cologne that I wear on the day, I definitely don’t smell cheesy. Haha.

So, if you’re a female and you don’t believe in perfumes, please stay away from me as I don’t like the smell of onion that much. Urgh. :sick: *laugh*

This article is taken from The Telegraph, 29 January 2009.

Men smell of cheese; women smell of onion
Men smell of cheese while women smell of onions, new research claims, after tests were conducted on the two sexes’ armpits.

By Chris Irvine
Published: 12:49AM GMT 29 Jan 2009

Scientists at Firmenich, a company in Geneva that researches flavours and smells for the food and perfume industry, took samples of armpit sweat from 24 men and 25 women after they had spent time in a sauna or 15 minutes on an exercise bike.

When the samples were analysed, the team found those from women contained high amounts of an odourless sulphur-containing compound, according to New Scientist magazine.

When this mixed with bacteria usually found under the arm, it was transformed into a chemical called thiol, well known for its onion-like smell.

Men however sweat in a different way – scientists found high levels of an odourless fatty acid which released a cheesy smell when exposed to enzymes produced by bacteria in the armpits.

Christian Starkenmann, who led the study, said: “Men smell of cheese, and women of grapefruit or onion.”

A team of independent testers recruited by the scientists also found the smell from women’s armpits was more unpleasant.

It is thought the study could be used to develop deodorants aimed specifically at men or women.

Not all scientists are convinced the experiment can be repeated outside Switzerland however as people have different diets and genes elsewhere in the world.

Professor Tim Jacob, who researches the science of smell at Cardiff University, said: “Other factors include what you eat, what you wash with, what you wear and what genes you inherit.”

Last month it was reported that a woman can subconsciously tell when a man is sexually attracted to her by the smell of his sweat.

According to researchers from Rice University in Texas, men sweat different according to what mood they are in and women’s brains can pick up if a man is interested in her.


Published by fuzz

I've finally relented to the lures of blogging - and for those who care, well, I'm a self-confessed geek who's a wanderer at heart, who thinks and analyses too much, and who's trying hard to hold on to his 7-year old inner persona.

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