The Air Up There: Skin VOCs

In 2001, Japanese researchers reported that after the age of 40, some individuals develop a malodor known as “aging odor,” attributed to the presence of unsaturated C9, 2-nonenal. George Preti, PhD, a member of Monell Chemical Senses Center and an adjunct professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, was interested by this report and began to conduct research of his own. His work1 analyzed the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from human skin; however, instead of sampling VOCs from the axillae (underarms) considered the primary source of human body odor, his team sampled from non-axillary skin, including the upper back and forearms, that also emits volatile metabolites.

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