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Men and women’s hands can be distinguished just from their scent

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A group of hands

The scent compounds given off by your hands can be used to detect gender

Ievgen Chabanov/Alamy

The analysis of scent compounds from a person’s hand can reveal whether they are a man or woman, which could help police work out what happened at a crime scene.

Human odour is a complex mixture of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) secreted from the body. These chemicals are a product of genetics, the environment and body secretions.

To see what information can be gleaned from them, Kenneth Furton at Florida International University and his colleagues …



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