Scientists Officially Determine Teenagers Can Smell Cheesy And 'Goatlike'

They can't help it, they're just kids!

Scientists have confirmed what many parents know too well with a new analysis of teens’ body odor.

A small study published in journal Communications Chemistry on Thursday examined the chemical differences between the smell of young children and adolescents, finding that kids who have gone through puberty emit higher levels of a compound which smells “cheesy, musty and ‘goatlike.’”

While researchers at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany also caught whiffs of perfume classics like sandalwood and musk in one biological compound common in teens, another compound added sweat and a urine-like, ammonia smell into the mix.

On the other end of the age spectrum, scientists found samples from children 3 and under possessed more of a substance associated with a flowery fragrance.

The paper’s co-author, Ilona Croy, said the difference between youngsters and teens probably has an evolutionary origin, telling Scientific American, “This makes a lot of sense because [baby odor] facilitates bonding between parents and children.”

For the experiment, which drew from a sample of 18 young children and 18 post-puberty adolescents, researchers analyzed the chemical compounds left on cotton patches sewn into the armpits of participants’ clothing and worn overnight.

(To eliminate outliers, the study asked subjects to not use scented hygiene products or eat pungent foods, like onions and garlic for the 48 hours before collection.)

The study did not make a qualitative assessment as to whether teens or children smell better, but researcher Diana Owsienko did tell The New York Times that adolescents’ chemistry “may contribute to a less pleasant body odor of teenagers.”

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