Old People Smell

Just when one thinks they know all the humbling and embarrassing things that happen as one ages, along comes the indignity of Old People Smell.
You know what I'm talking about. Not nursing home smell but your granny's house ( or your granny), not wanting to get hugged by the great aunties or have to sit next to Grandpa.
Recent studies have shown ( I can't seem to copy a link but just Google "Old People Smell") that it starts at 40 and there's not much that can be done. It seems that a good 40th birthday gift is scented candles and a decade's supply of air freshener. The article I read says that it's just a byproduct of body breakdown and hygiene, home cleanliness, pets, regular fresh laundry, etc. don't help.
Now, I'm there! In the trenches, determined to fight OPS. I need your suggestions.
I remember older women of my life that seemed to adopt a signature smell...rose, gardenia, baby powder, lavender, BenGay. The old men reeked of Vicks Vapor Rub or Old Spice. What have been successful smells with the oldsters in your life? Should I invest in clean smelling products, strew the lavender and rose petals? What works short of taking up smoking?

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

55 Comments

  • replied 3 years ago

    Oh my god!  No-one told me about this and I'm now over 50!!  I've been smelling "old" for 10 years and may not have known this?  I have to go lie down. This is too much.  Wait, I need to spray myself and the house with something first.  Joy, this is terrible news.  

  • jackiec replied 3 years ago

    LOL, Joy!!! OPS indeed! Lavender reminds me of my grandma, I think she had a lot of lavender scented soaps in her apartment. There definitely is a particular smell and I believe I am familiar with it. In fact, I quite often smell it depending on who I'm sitting behind in church....

    Ok no real solutions here. But I'm laughing out loud, and off to double check my OPS and make sure it's not too bad. Maybe an extra spritz of Young Person Smell on my way out the door :)

  • Diana replied 3 years ago

    The thing I associate most strongly with "old lady" smell is the combination of musky floral perfume (often rose) with a slight smell of ... poop, to be frank.  So I'd caution against using perfumes and scents to cover up underlying issues.  You strike me as someone who keeps very good hygiene so I don't think you should worry!

    Incidentally, there was a particular fragrance (not going to name it in case I offend anyone) that was very popular among young women when I was in college that always reminded me of "old lady smell." 

    ETA: I think "clean", fresh smells like lavender or citrus are the best bet, personally.

  • replied 3 years ago

    40? That seems quite premature. And not just because I'm 43. ;)

  • rachylou replied 3 years ago

    What? Are you telling me my cells are just sitting there rotting in my body? I thought the body got rid of stuff like that. What is exfoliation all about then? Lol.

    My grandparents' houses never smelled. I think it's because on my mom's side, they were big city apartment dwellers. All the rooms got lived in because their place wasn't so big; you know, the air kept circulating in all the rooms. On my dad's side, I think it's because they had tall airy rooms, the doors and windows were always open, and lots of people coming and going.

    No stale air basically.

    I think you should get some foul Chinese medicinal herbs and boil them. Those gardenias and lavenders don't do it, but nothing is stronger than those foul medicinal herbs. And at least I do associate them with "clean" and "healthy." Weird, but not old.

  • Echo replied 3 years ago

    Yikes. The odd thing is that since I reached 40, it seems my skin smells more skin-like, if that makes any sense. I used to wash bras and shapewear every three to four wears (unless I was exercising, of course), and I am often washing them after each wear now because while they don't smell like body odor or sweat, they smell like SOMETHING that I don't like. 

    OMG - I have OPS! I want to scrub both myself and my home with bleach now.

  • Windchime replied 3 years ago

    Young People's Smell--I just about spit out my drink, Jackiec!

    Hmmm...my aging (in their 80's) parents definitely have (had in mom's case) a certain smell, but in their case it's their home and car that have a noticeable musty smell. I notice when I spend time in their house that my clothing picks up the same odor. I remember the same kind of smell in my grandparents' home and car. My grandpa lost his sense of smell as he became older; I'm sure that didn't help matters.

    I've already resolved to continue opening the windows in my home on a regular basis as I age. And I hope DS and close friends will let me know if I or my house develop OPS down the road!

  • Meredith replied 3 years ago

    Well this thread title certainly screams "click me!" This article might offer some hope, apparently according to a scientific study OP smell is different, but not necessarily offensive.

    http://www.scientificamerican......son-smell/

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    Regular airing is a great solution. Unfortunately I live in a climate that is either very cold or very hot most of the year. The few weeks in spring and fall when windows should be thrown open is heavy seasonal allergy time and keeping away from pollen means closing things up. Maybe we need to move back to Southern California with wonderful weather year round and far from ragweed and Kansas tree pollens

  • DonnaF replied 3 years ago

    My 90 year old mom's house has a tendency to smell musty and moldy, esp. after she had massive rain leaks about 15 years ago.  She also sometimes gets a really bad case of Old People Breath.  I think it is from a combo of reduced saliva and lack of flossing which enables bacteria to flourish in her mouth.  Several months back, she had a week or more of food covered dishes soaking in water for who knows how long, and it pretty much smelled like Old People Halitosis.  

  • karymk replied 3 years ago

    Joy, Oh no! Can one smell OPS on oneself?

    To me, old people smell is that of creamed corn!!! Seriously.  My grandmothers had cream corn breath, my husband's grandmother too.  Kind of sickly sweet carbs.  I remember when I was a kid we used to visit my great grandma in the senior care place, it smelled like creamed corn. Over Christmas we had a visit from Grandpa from Norway and sure enough, at 78, he smells like creamed corn!!! So I did go out and get him some Old Spice.  I wonder if it has to do with dentures or dental care?

    This laugh was my meds of the day, so thanks!

  • Linda replied 3 years ago

    Oh gosh!  Me too, I'm 60 now and you mean to tell me I've smelt or, er, smelled, for decades already??  Ugh.  Maybe I WILL have to start pouring on the perfume.  Hehe, kidding.

    I agree that some of this is the home -- our STUFF gets older as well as our bodies, and I remember my Mom's place, even though she had no pets, cleaned carefully, and so on, had a particular "home" kind of odor, not an incense aroma and not any Glade smell or anything.  I wonder if this huge market in freshening indoor air, will have any impact on the odors of homes?  Or whether people with heightened sensitivity and allergies, will be more, or less, prone to detect and object?

    Funny, I recall my Dad's mother's apartment, in Brockton, MA, having a characteristic smell too, but I do not recall it as offensive.  She is also the relative I recall as having a signature perfume scent (Lanvin's Arpege) and my only relative who wore a lot of nail polish (clear).  She had worked in retail, before she married my granddad.

    I can, vaguely, remember not wanting to be hugged or kissed by elderly relatives, but I think some of it was their weight or body shape, or other characteristics than smell. 

    I suppose it stands to reason, though, that with hormonal changes, and possibly with health status too, aging probably doesn't lead to skin that smells like newborn baby skin does!!

  • shiny replied 3 years ago

    The article I read says that it's just a byproduct of body breakdown and hygiene, home cleanliness, pets, regular fresh laundry, etc. don't help.

    Scent -- whether we pick up on it or not -- is how we humans determine one's fertility and acceptability as a potential sexual or long-term partner for purposes of child-rearing. So it makes perfect sense that as we age our scent changes. I believe I read the same study and it said that young people are particularly adept at picking up OPS -- they associate with their grandparents. Note these are the same young college students that participated in the armpit sweat studies in which it was shown that women in fertile part of their cycles thought sweaty male armpit odor was attractive, and when not fertile were utterly repulsed. 

    The good news is that when you are older your sense of smell is way less acute, so everyone smells just fine!

    I remember older women of my life that seemed to adopt a signature smell...rose, gardenia, baby powder, lavender, BenGay.

    Roses remind me of my childhood (my parents grew roses in our backyard). Gardenia reminds me of junior prom (my date brought me a gardenia corsage). Baby powder reminds me of my kids when they were babies. Lavender reminds me of sleepless nights when I adopted a lavender scented pillow because it was supposed to help insomnia. Ben Gay reminds me of sports injuries!
     
    The old men reeked of Vicks Vapor Rub or Old Spice.

    Vicks reminds me of being sick as a child. Old Spice -- oh! LOVE that scent! Reminds me of my father. 

    What have been successful smells with the oldsters in your life?

    You mean my parents, grandparents, or my hubby (who's just 2 years older than me)? 



  • CocoLion replied 3 years ago

    http://gizmodo.com/science-con.....1472502978

    Another article.  This one made me feel much better about having OPS!

    According to this article OPS and MAS (middle age smell) are different, and change with gender.  And to those who think YPS (young person smell) is necessarily always better, I beg to differ.  Sniff a somewhat hyperactive 10 year old at the end of a long day … hair and body, not so nice smelling!  There's also a newborn smell which some people really love.  But I always felt that smelled like breast milk and a bit of vomit…

    I have noticed different smells coming from my dogs as they age.  A puppy smells great and doesn't have halitosis.  My 8 year old dogs need those expensive parsley-infused chew bones on a regular basis ($1 a piece even at Trader Joes).

  • shiny replied 3 years ago

    YES, Coco!!! 

    Ever chaperone a middle school dance?? 

    Phew!

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    This is absolutely killing me. Honestly -- best thread award for the month!!! 

    I need to go read all the links. But in the meantime, to piggyback on Denise's thread, my daughter and I are convinced that our cat has a smell. She thinks he smells like cooked rice. I think he smells like Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, but not as strongly as our old Siamese, who was a seal point. Max is a chocolate point and his smell is a little bit lighter, like his colouring. 

    Also, my MIL's "old people smell" was mothballs. Ugh. Horrible horrible horrible. 

  • Echo replied 3 years ago

    Oy, I have chaperoned middle school dances and the smell is atrocious! I always chalked it up to lack of hygiene and deodorant. But Coco is absolutely right that there is a characteristic smell for all ages and groups of humans. Infants have a certain odor, and my children always smelled mildly like wet dogs when they came in from playing outdoors when they were young. 

    But I do think that the characteristic smell of the homes of the elderly is due to the smell of the humans living in it and not simply aging furniture and stuff. Even with old furniture, the home of young people does NOT have that smell. Anyway, I think probably the key at any age is to not allow your personal odor to become too strong. Regular washing of the body and clothing, regular cleaning and airing out of the home, etc. all help make any smells milder and less noticeable.

  • Vicki replied 3 years ago

    Joy, you are right about this, and I hope I never offend.  But, it is a fact as the article above and the one here explains.

    Yes, I've noticed a "whiff" at certain times when shopping behind certain people and I just thought it was that they hadn't bathed, but your topic may explain the real reason.

    I laughed when Angie said she almost spilled her tea out of her mouth when she read your comments in the blog.

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    HILARIOUS. 

    Actually. Denise makes an excellent point. There is definitely a newborn smell and pre-teen smell that isn't so fab - at least, not to me - and Denise described that smell perfectly. I guess we all smell a particular way at different times of our lives. 

    You are probably less aware of how you smell as you get older because as Jennifer says, your sense of smell is far less acute. And that's why in my experience, older people cannot smell that their apartment is musty, or that the rubbish bin needs a wash, or that their clothes don't smell fresh anymore. It's not that easy to bathe daily anymore, and the list goes on. 

    Best bet is to ask someone younger whether you smell okay (since they have a better sense of smell). I will need to find someone to do that for us because we don't have kids who will tell us how it is. I will also be buying up Kenzo Flower at an alarming rate so that I can bathe in the stuff when I'm 80.   

    Joy, I'm pretty sure you are very sweet smelling. xo

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    There must be people who like the smell of creamed corn.
    I do believe that there is more to OPS than slightly unclean body, clothing or home. I can think of one example, a great older lady who bathed often twice a day and kept herself, her clothing and her small home immaculate, yet she still had the smell. She washed her clothing every night because of a very small closet, including her towels and loungewear, so no piles of dirty laundry. She always asked for White Shoulders scent for gifts and used it.

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    Angie, we must have cross posted :). I love the image of you at 80 bathing in Kenzo Flower.
    I am concerned myself because of double jeopardy. Diabetics are also said to have an unpleasant smell. It is probably somewhat sweet because of all that sugar in our blood. That plus OPS and I'm doomed. Maybe bathing in vinegar and baking soda will counteract it ;)

  • replied 3 years ago

    OMG. I'm 53, and my DDs already remind me (every chance they get) that I'm old. Please spare me the indignity of asking them if I smell okay!

    Seriously, I know the smell of which you speak. I think it's a combination of things, including being too old to bathe, brush teeth, etc. on a regular basis and clean house properly (including airing it out).

  • MsMaven replied 3 years ago

    I think this is a myth. People of any age with poor hygiene can smell bad or funny. My parents lived into their 90s and never had this smell. I wonder if the idea didn't arise in an earlier time when so many older people didn't believe in deodorant, frequent baths, or doctors.

    As I said on Angie's post on scents, as I get older I am more sensitive to scents. I have a friend who has several cats and I can hardly bear to be in her house at times. I have two indoor cats, and believe me, the instant I smell them I will toss the litter and clean the carpets. 

    If the drought doesn't stop soon, I expect people will start complaining about the "California scent."

    Now excuse me so I can go spray myself down with Chanel No. 5.

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    Joy, the fact that you are HYPER self aware of OPS means that you'll smell fab your whole life. 

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    Thank you, Angie. I hope. My sense of smell is still very keen. I'm going to stock up on Flower with you just to be sure.
    Ms Maven, I'm sure that all those things contribute to the problem and we each have our personal smell.

  • replied 3 years ago

    I remember the smell that hippies made back in the '70s because they didn't bathe. That was one thing about the '70s I hated. You could smell them combing from a mile away.

  • catgirl replied 3 years ago

    Ack, hilarious! To me OPS is the combined smell of hospitals and thrift stores! My grandmother, however, always wore a clean sparkling white cotton sari and smelled like freshly line-dried linens and comfort.

    I love the smell of puppies and newborns. Kona smells like fresh popcorn. My 11 year old smells like a gym - boy sweat and sneakers. The other day he cheerfully said to me, "Mom, I smell like taquitos!" Er, yuck. Thankfully he is the most adorable kid ever.

    Lavender, patchouli, musk and vanilla (candles or perfume, not the food) all make me severely queasy. Cinnamon calms me. Citrus scents are my favorite perfumes. Onions and garlic frying is the smell of heaven in my mind.

    Sorry, got off on a little tangent there!

  • Sveta replied 3 years ago

    This thread is a killer!
    I have a theory about this and going to live by it even if it is wrong :-)
    I think that keeping your body fairly active wards this "old" smell away. Of course you need to shower after you have been active at any age :-)
    I think it stands to reason because regular exercise helps your body to stay younger than you biological age. So I am going to continue hiking, lifting weights and dancing until I am a 100 years old!
    Suz, I have to go and smell my kitties now!

  • Elly replied 3 years ago

    My grandparents all smelled fabulous and my parents do too!

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    My dog smells like whatever she has been rolling in. Lately it has been snow but her paws smell like Fritos. Una, you may be on to something... Essence of frying onions and garlic trumps creamed corn.

  • Aziraphale replied 3 years ago

    This is a snort-coffee-through-the-nose funny thread. :-)

    I have never found that old people smell unpleasant. Or, rather, that old people in general smell unpleasant. Maybe some do? I hadn't noticed. My own grandparents smelled nice -- warm and comforting -- although I admit that I can't smell Benson and Hedges cigarettes without thinking of my granddad!  

    HOWEVER. The smell from decaying teeth is the GROSSEST THING EVER, and elderly people are more likely to have a decline in oral hygiene which leads to rotten teeth and the ensuing breath problems. (Having said that, halitosis in general can affect people of any age, and may or may not be related to tooth decay). And of course lots of elderly people take care of their teeth and don't have bad breath -- or else they have dentures! I've noticed that no teeth at all usually means no breath problems, either.

    Did you know that two of the volatile chemicals associated with bad breath are also chemicals emitted by a rotting corpse? That explains a few things. 

  • deb replied 3 years ago

    I always think of OPS as moth balls. Medication also changes the way we smell. I know some fragrances I can no longer wear because of my meds. And, there is no way I will ask my kids if I smell. I will some other persons child.  

  • catgirl replied 3 years ago

    By the way, my friend whose husband was severely ill at the Mayo Clinic said that one of the most common things people there noted was an association between ill health and the smell of creamed corn. Like the way animals can detect illness, apparently some people can too. Kind of freaky (and sorry for the association if you're a fan of creamed corn).

  • shevia replied 3 years ago

    I will put my daughters on early ops detection alert right away. I won't hire my son though - 12 year old boys don't always smell so nicely either.

  • MsMary replied 3 years ago

    I always thought 10-12 year old boys smell like dirt!  LOL  And teenage boys?  Ay yi yi!!

    Honestly, though, one of the reasons I'm probably not going to get a pet any time soon is that I don't want to deal with the smell.

    I always associate old-fashioned sweet perfumes with OPS. 

  • Gaylene replied 3 years ago

    Oh, h***, now I'm supposed to be worried about OPS as well as wrinkles, grey hair, sagging boobs and butt, weight gain--this aging certainly isn't for sissies.

    Honestly, I think every age is prone to smells that offend someone's nostrils. I never did get the raving about babies--true, my sons did smell good after being bathed, powdered, and cleanly diapered, but the aromas emitting from them pre-bath only a mother could stomach. Same goes for that eye-watering aroma of the middle-school Tweens, the searing smell of Axe on adolescent males, the mix of liberal amounts of cheap scent and perspiration on a party-going twenty-something, the overpowering smell of a colleague's signature scent that reminds me of rotten potatoes, and the lavender-induced coma from my best friend who earnestly tells me she only wears natural, essential oils.

    I do think a combination of less than stellar hygiene, teeth problems, certain medications, and some diseases can cause problems for people of any age. But I remember my grandmother smelling of Pond's cold cream and heliotrope, my grandfather of cedar woodchips and tomato plants, my mother of cinnamon and Chanel #5, and my father of Old Spice and leather. If that is OPS, I'll be happy to join them.

  • abc replied 3 years ago

    Best thread evah!!!!

    It kinda reminds me of the "resting b*tch face" thread over on off topic a while back.

    Thanks ylf for the comic relief!

  • Janet replied 3 years ago

    I haven't even read the responses yet because WHAT? I don't think people get smelly because they're older, I think it's people who start to slack on personal hygiene, no matter what age. My mom lived to 80 and never smelled bad a day I can remember. Yet, I know some young adults (not naming names, but let's just say that young men can sometimes be awful with this) who need to remember to DO THEIR LAUNDRY and brush their teeth.

    And smoking just makes it worse.

    :-)

  • Jeanie replied 3 years ago

    Oh dear, I'm glad I can't stand creamed corn!  I associate OPS with my grandmas very strong Estee Lauder perfume and powder and occasionally moth balls.  As a young person I remember thinking that she wore an old person's perfume because no one my age was wearing Estee Lauder anything.  Grandma was an amazing housekeeper who stayed up on the laundry and her house always smelled fresh (except the chest where she kept blankets in moth balls).  I think if you keep your house and clothes clean and stay away from outdated perfumes and ben gay you have a great start.  And yes teen-age boys are very stinky and have cooties IMO!

  • deb replied 3 years ago

    FYI, it is also called 'fetid geriatric syndrome'. Just wrong I say, just wrong.

  • Debbie replied 3 years ago

    This is hysterical but gives me something else to worry about. As if there wasn't enough!

  • Beth Ann replied 3 years ago

    Hmmmm...... so our kids are supposed to "tell us like it is" with regard to OPS?  Hmmmm......

    Not sure how I'd broach the subject with my folks, although it's not needed yet.  I do notice that they don't seem to be bothered by the slight mildewy odor in a kitchen rag, and their house is mustier due to some water problems in the basement.  Their sense of smell must be lessened somewhat.

    I'm very sure that my in-laws would not be receptive.  Telling it like it is can be dangerous, even when it has the best intentions!

    My plan?  Get rid of us much carpet as I can, replacing it with hard floors.  Reducing clutter, regular airing and cleaning and, for my body, regular bathing and scented lotion.

  • Echo replied 3 years ago

    It's funny that some people mention mothballs. I had never in my life smelled mothballs, and a friend in high school lent me a book. The book smelled GREAT; I must have spent as much time sniffing it as I did reading it. I finally asked my mum what it smelled like and she barely had to get near it before she declared, "Mothballs!" She and everyone else thought it smelled terrible, but I loved it. Interestingly, I also love the smell of gasoline when most people find that awful, too.

    This doesn't bode well for me noticing OPS on myself and remedying it quickly... (though I don't use mothballs myself)

  • Aziraphale replied 3 years ago

    Echo, I kind of like the smell of mothballs, too. I wouldn't wear it as a perfume or anything, but it's not what I'd call offensive -- more 'intriguing', I'd say. Like earwax removal drops or tea tree oil. Pungent but not yucky.

    Beth Ann, I have been on at my parents for their nasty-smelling dishrags for years. I don't think I would comment on body odour, if there was any, but their dishrags are unhygienic. I'm positive using them makes things dirtier, not cleaner! I've stopped even saying anything -- I just take the offending rag over to the wash, add any other towels that are kicking around, add bleach and start the machine. I think my parents honestly can't smell it -- I'm sure their sense of smell has diminished with age.

  • Lyn D. replied 3 years ago

    LOL :) !

  • replied 3 years ago

    OMG! This thread is hilarious! I guess there's no hope for me at 50 :P

    Incidentally, my MIL is 90 this year and neither she, nor her house smell.

  • Style Fan replied 3 years ago

    It seems to me that young people are trying to detect fertile partners and smell is one way of doing that.  I have noticed (I have a very sensitive nose) a certain smell from some women and I think it is when they are fertile.  I can also detect diabetics (a sweetish smell) and sometimes cancer. 

    So what if I have Old People Smell.  It just means I am not fertile.  Long past those days. 

    Just wait.  Soon there will be a product to mimic Young People Smell.  I thought there were perfumes that had pheromones in them to attract mates.  Something even better will be coming for us aging Baby Boomers. 

  • KikiG replied 3 years ago

    The early loss of sense of smell can also be a marker for Parkinson's.  My MIL had a cluster of seemingly unrelated symptoms, beginning in her late 40s/early 50s, that, eventually, fell into place  and made sense with a 70s Parkinson's dx.  We had a pact that I would tell her things she needed to know with respect to what things smelled like.  

  • texstyle replied 3 years ago

    Wow, I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry! I will say that I spend a great deal of time around old people as I live in a retirement zone. I can attest that not many of them (but some) have the OPS issue. So it's not a given, which should be some relief. Right? 

    That said, essential oil of orange and grapefruit are really nice... and in Diane G's other thread I mentioned the study about how grapefruit scents are supposed to make you look 8 years younger...

    I've been around a lot of younger people unfortunately who smell in a bad way. Not just men, but those come to mind first (many software engineers in fact have a known bad rap for this). One time we had to tell one of them of the issue. He left for lunch that day and came back with an arsenal full of deordarants, mouthwash, etc. It was really kind of sad. But it seemed to help the issue. I also met a man once who had no sense of smell so he had to rely on others to not only tell him, but to warn him of danger because like one time he left a can of turpentine open in his house (he was refinishing all the woodwork) and he was getting really sick from the fumes after a couple of days but didn't realize it until his parents stopped by!

  • replied 3 years ago

    Okay, I had to log into the desk top to make a comment on this! When researching health and nutrition, I read that what we eat over the long term course of our lives greatly impacts our body smells. One source said our bodies don't actually age, they just become more toxic. Eating refined, shelf stable food-like substances (instead of fresh vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts and seeds--things that are viable and would either rot or sprout) can place a heavy load on the digestive system and cleansing organs. Bowel transit times become longer and chronic constipation (very common with age and multiple medications) can result--causing halitosis that no amount of oral hygiene can fix. 

  • texstyle replied 3 years ago

    I think you are spot on Claire!

  • karymk replied 3 years ago

    Oh pleeeeez I'm peeing my pants from this convo and now I'm going to smell like OPP!!! 

  • replied 3 years ago

    After I told my youngest DD (soon to be 17) that OPS supposedly starts at age 40, she assured me I'm fine, so I'm good for now. Whew! (wiping brow and breathing a big sigh of relief)

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    Thanks to all who posted. I loved that you shared my disbelief that OPS starts at 40 and seems inevitable. Great stories, some solutions and, most of all, hope.

  • Michelle replied 3 years ago

    This thread is making me want to raise my arms skyward, inhale deeply and savour the sweet, youngsterlicious aroma of my 30-something body! :p
    In all seriousness, I will admit to being a believer in the OPS concept and positively dreading it for myself. I've experienced scents so powerful that I was nearly gagging at a recent funeral, but the clincher for me is the very subtle traces I detect on my mom. This is a woman who's home, wardrobe and person are absolutely immaculate. The house smells of her flowers, her clothes carry the familiar scent of the laundry detergent I grew up with, and 9.5 times out of 10 she smells like the lovely Canadian perfume she wears...But every now and again I can detect it. It smells like something decaying, and it always knocks me for a loop. Funnily enough I have yet to pick up on this on my equally clean but diabetic father. My parents are in the 70 ballpark, so I suppose you could call them olfactory triumphs if the fun truly begins at 40. :)
    Incidentally pungeant funeral dude was a good 10 years younger than my parents, so I do believe that personal routines can exaserbate the situation.

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