Analysis of the Uniqueness and Persistence of Human Scent Book

Furton, Kenneth, Curran, Allison M, Rabin, Scott I. (2005). Analysis of the Uniqueness and Persistence of Human Scent .

cited authors

  • Furton, Kenneth; Curran, Allison M; Rabin, Scott I



  • The method described was found to be an effective and reliable means for extracting, separating, and analyzing human odor. It showed that human scent is a combination of various compounds that differ in ratio from person to person, along with some compounds that are unique to certain people. The preliminary studies show that the compound ratio patterns produced in a person's scent are reproducible over time. Although there was some variation in odor in the same person, the ratio pattern was still distinguishable among people, with significantly greater variation in the ratios of components observed among people tested than that found for one person. In addition to the ratio of common chemicals, the presence of different compounds varied among subjects. There was a relatively long persistence of the human-scent compounds in a controlled environment, with measurable amounts still present nearly 3 months after being deposited on sterile gauze. Two unrelated, 24-year-old males were evaluated in this study. They were required to use fragrance-free soap and to discontinue using deodorants, lotions, and perfumes for 48 hours before sampling, so as to minimize the influence to these odors. There was no attempt to control the diet of the two subjects. Each subject exercised outdoors for 1 hour wearing a tank top in order to eliminate compounds in clothing. Each subject then sampled himself, using a sterile gauze pad to wipe the armpit area, collecting his sweat. Samples were stored in 10 ml vials at room temperature for 24 hours before extraction was conducted by means of solid phase microextraction. 7 tables and 31 references

publication date

  • January 1, 2005