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Fun Facts: Teenagers Yet To Master Their Sense Of Smell; Can't Recognize Smell Of Sweat

Update Date: Jan 24, 2017 09:40 AM EST
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Teenagers are said to be poor when it comes to picking up distinct smell of sweat, soap and even to smoke. A study reveals that teens need to be accustomed to certain odors for them to fully recognize it.

A study published in the journal Chemical Senses, the researchers focused on the sense of smell per age group. The researchers from the Aarhus University in Denmark tested 410 participants under 50. Daily Mail mentioned that majority of the participants were able to recognize distinct smells such as coffee, petrol, and fish. There is some smell, however, that varies per age group.

It was mentioned that adults can distinctly recognize the smell of bread, herbs, and lemons. 172 participants aging 18 and below however failed to determine more distinct odors. One out of seven participants under 18 failed to recognize the smell of sweat and ten percent couldn't identify the smell of tobacco smoke. The younger participants were also "out smelled" by adults when it comes to detecting the scent of smoke.

"Our findings in adolescents are in line with the hypothesis that children may lack odor-specific knowledge which accumulates throughout life," Lead author Alexander Fjaelstad stated. "Though odors are potent triggers of autobiographical memories from as far back as the first decade of life - and in a way closely linked to memory - the ability to name odors is an acquired skill that takes years to master.

Though the younger participants may find it hard to recognize the smell of sweat, soap and cigarette smoke, there were, however, able to recognize the smell of coke, candy floss, ketchup, marshmallows, Mars bars and fruit gums.

The researchers came to the conclusion that teenagers lack odor-specific knowledge as they are yet to practice their keen sense of smell. The researchers then noted that they would be able to develop their sense of smell as they age.

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