Parosmia - things smelling different

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IvanV
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Parosmia - things smelling different

Post by IvanV » Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:21 am

Parosmia is the symptom of things smelling odd, typically rather unpleasant. Anosmia, loss of smell, is well-known as a common Covid and long Covid symptom. But apparently, I have just learned, so is parosmia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parosmia

Can it be selective? I ask because there is precisely one thing that has consistently smelled very odd to me for the last 6 months or so. We've had tests done on it, but they can't find anything. So I'm wondering whether it might be my odour perception. I have a variety of other more common long Covid symtoms. But my enjoyment of food and wine has not been affected.

I have previously had selective changes of odour perception in a different situation. In particular, at high altitude (3000m-4000m, livable high altitude), some foodstuffs smell odd to me. The last time I went on a high altitude trek, I became convinced the cooking oil had gone rancid, because all food cooked in it had this rancid taste to me. But it smelled perfectly normal when we came back to a lower altitude. Similarly, various foods smelled bad when I spent 3 months cycling and trekking at high altitude in Bolivia and Peru, especially tinned fish which I'm normally very happy to eat. But I suspected this was around appetite suppression which is a common altitude symptom.

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Martin_B
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Re: Parosmia - things smelling different

Post by Martin_B » Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:48 am

I know that my sense of smell is slightly screwed. I can't smell some of the more delicate floral scents; there is a perfume which some women wear which smells to me like sh.t (literally, it smells like they've shat themselves). I presume that this isn't the actual perfume scent, as it'd be decidedly niche.
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shpalman
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Re: Parosmia - things smelling different

Post by shpalman » Sat Jun 26, 2021 9:20 am

Martin_B wrote:
Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:48 am
I know that my sense of smell is slightly screwed. I can't smell some of the more delicate floral scents; there is a perfume which some women wear which smells to me like sh.t (literally, it smells like they've shat themselves). I presume that this isn't the actual perfume scent, as it'd be decidedly niche.
Could most likely be "indolic" jasmine.
molto tricky

nezumi
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Re: Parosmia - things smelling different

Post by nezumi » Sat Jun 26, 2021 9:36 am

I distinctly recall a period in my life - I was about 8 and it lasted about 6 months where literally EVERYTHING smelled like salami. I'm sure it was just an early manifestation of my allergies but it was awful. I didn't eat salami for years.
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individualmember
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Re: Parosmia - things smelling different

Post by individualmember » Sun Jun 27, 2021 11:41 am

I had that a while back. Turned out to be due to a cyst in my sinus. Took bl..dy ages (like several weeks) to get a diagnosis but was quickly dealt with once it was identified.

IvanV
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Re: Parosmia - things smelling different

Post by IvanV » Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:13 pm

After more than 6 months, I've finally tracked down the source of the funny smell. So I now know it was something smelling funny, not parosmia.

My difficulty in working it out was that the thing I thought smelled funny actually didn't, it was something else. But I got fixed with the idea that the smell came from where I thought it did the first time. After some months, I noticed a "second" funny smell, but I was still fruitlessly looking for a cause for the "first" smell. It took me more months to wake up to other possibilities, and then it was relatively easily pinned down.

It's kind of a parable for how people can get stuck with wrong perceptions, or can carry on making the same mistake despite the evidence of an unsatisfactory outcome. I feel a bit embarrassed it took me over 6 months to work this out.

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