Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Aroma Incredibellous – I smell….you stink!

Aroma Incredibellous – I smell….you stink!

There’s a layer of warm air that immediately surrounds our body.

It is called the human thermal plume. This plume originates at the top of your feet, swirls and rises, gathering speed and increasing in volume, staying with you as you move through the day and ascending the length of your torso until it flows from the top of your head.

As the air moves up and away from you, dead cells (also known as rafts), body secretions and bacteria that were present on your skin's surface can also be carried upward. The warm air currents carry these loaded rafts into the surrounding area depositing your odour in the environment.

Human body odour consists of various odour components. Studies examining the volatile components have detected the presence of fatty acids, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, esters, ethers, hydrocarbons, and other substances in body odour(1,2).

Odour individuality can be due to the slight differences in the overall composition of this mix(3).


  1. Bernier UR, Kline DL, Barnard DR, Schreck CE & Yost RA. Analysis of human skin emanations by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. 2. Identification of volatile compounds that are candidate attractants for the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). Anal Chem (2000) 72: 747–756
  2. Ellin RI, Farrand RL & Oberst FW et al. An apparatus for the detection and quantitation of volatile human effluents. J Chromatogr (1974) 100: 137–152.
  3. Nicolaides N. Skin lipids: their biochemical uniqueness. Science (1974) 186: 19–26.
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