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Phantosmia: olfactory hallucination

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ellen, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    An olfactory hallucination (phantosmia) makes you detect smells that aren't really present in your environment.

    The odors detected in phantosmia vary from person to person and may be foul or pleasant. They can occur in one or both nostrils. The phantom smell may seem to always be present or it may come and go.

    I seem to be experiencing this for the last month. I had a breast biopsy, which fortunately was free of cancer. The minor wounds from the procedure were treated with a medical salve and bandaged. I can still smell the medical salve over a month later. I have googled this and know it can be the result of various medical conditions. But with my history and knowledge of TMS, I'm wondering if this could be related somehow.

    Anyone else ever experienced this?
  2. Sita

    Sita Well known member

    Yes, once in a while it happens to me. I smell grass or flowers that are not there. I mean nowhere in sight. I might be in the desert at that moment. My husband has a very fine sense of smell, like a dog. And I always ask him if it smells like x or y at that moment. He says "No, it's just your weird non-existing smell again".

    I don't have an explanation for this. At least it's always a pleasant smell.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
    Ellen likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I definitely experience this, Ellen. I have always had a very sensitive sense of smell, detecting very faint gas or exhaust or cigarette odors when I'm indoors, even though I can't identify an obvious source close by and no one else can smell them. Are they real or not? Other times, especially at night, I will feel like my sense of smell is just not right - but I can't put my finger on what it is I think I'm smelling.

    Like you, a particularly noticeable smell from a known source will linger in my senses for several days after the source is gone. And like Sita, I can detect the faintest whiff of things on the wind that don't seem to be nearby - again, not sensed by anyone else.

    If a lingering scent bothers me for too many days, I'll do a neti pot cleanse - which might be a placebo, but I believe in the power of the placebo!
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