Stench is in Nose of Beholder

Body odor perceived differently based on genetics, study shows
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2007 4:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – Good news for men with a nasty smell wafting under their arms: Scientists can prove why it's not so bad to everyone. A report published in Nature says that male sweat can invoke scents from urine to vanilla, thanks to tiny differences in a single receptor gene. How it reacts to a sex steroid in men spells the difference between a quick hello and a candlelit dinner.

story continues below

Scientists have long known that perceptions of the steroid androstenone vary, but couldn’t explain why. The knew it worked wonders in pigs - facilitating "the courtship behavior in females" - and Reuters reports that Duke University researchers look forward to doing further studies on human sexual behavior.

(Read more science stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.