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What Type of Smells Bother You?

By March 8, 2008

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An older discussion about scent sensitivity includes a testimonial post from liljoad. This thread was originally posted with this forum poll: What Type of Smeller Do You Have? back in 2001.

I think we're over due for a new poll. So, here it is. What Type of Smells Bother You?

... liljoad says:

I smell things that no one else smells. Once I smelled a dead rat under the house three days before my boyfriend finally admitted something was going on. But the thing that bothers me the most is laundry detergent. I have to move train cars, get out of elevators, change seats in the theatre, bus, anywhere where there are people. I step back from people I want to talk to because of their cologne, perfume and more than ever, the scent of their laundry detergent. Have I changed or has detergent gotten stronger? I'd rather smell human sweat than laundry detergent, it makes me sick. People used to smell like people, now it's just chemicals. Magazines smell like perfume. I rush out of bathrooms, shrieking as I'm being sprayed by those automatic air fresheners, I can't stay long enoug to even wash my hands. That's another problem, the toxic smell of hand soap, I stopped washing my hands with that long ago, now I carry around a little bottle of Dr. Bronner's lavender soap. I love natural smells, flowers, fruit, even essential oils I'm fine with. It's the chemicals that drive me crazy, and they literally make me feel crazy... read full post

Favorite Scents

Maybe I should create a second poll asking what your favorite scents are. Mine are rose water (bath water with rose petals afloat, freshly squeezed lemon, warm cinnamon buns right out of the oven, and hot buttered popcorn. Share your favorite scents in the comment area.
September 4, 2007 at 10:08 am
(1) Lori says:

I love the smell of bacon cooking. I can smell it a long ways away. I too have a very sensitive nose, but the one thing that sends me into an asthma attack is pinesol cleaner.

I love roses, lemon and Vanilla. Vanilla is an aphrodisiac for me, it puts me in the mood. Oh and I love the smell of horses. There is nothing in this world like a good whiff of a horse, it is so earthy.

September 4, 2007 at 10:38 am
(2) Tom Schulte says:

I’d like to see the smells poll reversed. In other words, What smells do you like with the same choices. I love the smell of cut grass and burning leaves.

September 4, 2007 at 11:45 am
(3) Teri says:

I like the smell of a man (who baths) after he has been working hard – I love the smell of the forest anytime of year

September 4, 2007 at 12:05 pm
(4) marg says:

I love the smell of old-fashioned roses…lilacs…sandalwood incense. Burning leaves in fall, burning hickory wood in winter. And lately I’ve adopted the “green” custom of hanging my clothes out to dry. I ADORE the way they smell when I “harvest” them! Thanks for asking.

September 4, 2007 at 12:31 pm
(5) manjeet says:

Jasmine,,sandalwood,lavender just turn me on :-) and i work hard to burn these incenses in my house, i love the smell of earth after a rain shower, petrol:-)

September 4, 2007 at 12:56 pm
(6) denyseeglass says:

Sage, patchouli, cypress, pine, gardenia, cinnamon.

September 4, 2007 at 4:02 pm
(7) nannamoon says:

I like the scent of new babies, vanilla & Egyptian Jasmine essential oils.
I have a very sensitive nose and smell mildew before anyone else can and I mostly despise perfume and cigarette smoke.

September 6, 2007 at 11:21 am
(8) Sharon Cerio-Bernstein says:

Over the years I have developed sensitivity to synthetic scents, which is great since now I only use essential oils and encourage others too as well. I love the smell of butter and garlic together, fresh mown grass, horse stalls. I also love the blend of patchouli, lavender and orange. Sandalwood, frankincense, lemongrass, amber are all wonderful. The smell of my mother, the smell of my husband.
Create a wonderful day!

September 8, 2007 at 8:13 am
(9) Donna says:

I love the smell of (now, you are probably going to think this very strange… but…) permanant magic markers! Hmmmm….

September 8, 2007 at 9:48 am
(10) Lorry says:

I love the smell of applewood burning in a fireplace, the smell of lilacs, or lavender.
My Vanderbuilt cologne and the smell of my grankids.

March 7, 2008 at 9:47 pm
(11) Nel says:

My sense of smell has gotten so sensitive that any of the above, after just five minutes, will give me a splitting headache that ruins the rest of my day. I have a headache almost everyday. My neighbors love to have open pit fires and it comes into my house, even if I put on the AC. I am so sick all of the time that I can hardly stand it. My husband is so frustrated he has no idea what to do or how to deal. I have gone to all kinds of doctors (paid for out of pocket) and no one knows what it is. In 2004, one put me on Topomax thinking it was indeed migraines and I felt nauseous all of the time AND had a splitting headache. Plus everything tasted like ashes. Everyone who wears perfume or washes their clothes in regular products is an assasin to my day and they have no idea. A smoker might as well hit me in the head with a hammer. Make-up is definitely out. All shampoos, creams, and household products must be scent free. I hate this and can find no cure. At least five years now, but I try to keep on going. At least at night the headaches ease up, but by about 10 AM it’s back.

January 22, 2011 at 11:08 am
(12) Karen says:

Nel, have you found anything to help? I am in the same situation as you are and can’t even be around people who have used fabric softener on their cloths. This is so frustrating! I desparately need a solution!

January 30, 2011 at 12:05 pm
(13) A says:

Not sure it this is really a cure but. My younger brother has been dealing with smell hypersensitivity for years. One method he uses for going out in public with these smells is to chew gum or have some other mouth candy while he is around others. The smells still bother him but he seems to react less intensely to them. If you can find a product like this that doesn’t bother you it may help.

March 8, 2008 at 11:31 pm
(14) Laurie says:

My two favorite scents are fresh, cold air and damp dirt. I have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, and many of my memories are associated with a scent.

April 1, 2009 at 6:04 pm
(15) Deborah says:

lake water, rain, snow, woodsmoke, pine, lavender, almond, clothes dried in the wind, parsley, lemon, sage and cedar (smudging)

April 29, 2011 at 6:08 am
(16) hehehe says:

hehehehe twa lng

December 29, 2009 at 2:56 pm
(17) Ellie says:

To Nell:
I know exactly where youre coming from, I feel the very same way, except citrus and fresh flowers dont bother me. Coffee is the number one trigger for my migraines (they are migraines). I was also on Topomax, but I felt so spacey I couldnt stand it. I was on it about a year and that was the year I was in a bubble. I hated it. I am off now and controlling the headaches through chiropractic care. They said I have two or three vertebrae that keep slipping out of place in my neck and they are putting pressure or pinching the nerves that go through those vertebrae and cause the sensitivity to smells and headaches. An adjustment every two weeks ( bi-weekly at first) is what helps me. I can still get a migraine from a bad smell, but they are not daily any more, more like monthly. Please try to find a good chiropractor who specializes in migraines (even if you dont think you have them) and they may be able to help you. They helped me so much – my chiropractor is like a god to me. People have no idea how much this affects your life, how painful it is and how depressing it gets (I was on anti-depressants too because of all this). Unfortunately, I no longer have insurance and havent had an adjustment in like three months. I can’t afford it, but my husband massages my neck and pulls on it every night, and that helps some. If you can afford it, get adjusted, if not, find an insurance providor who will cover it. BCBS and United both cover sublixations of the spine (adjustments).

December 31, 2009 at 12:16 am
(18) Deborah Kay says:

I cannot tolerate perfumes from people, laundry, or candles. I’m getting worse as I get older. I was not always allergic as I am now. It seems our bodies defenses are shutting down and this is most likely an immunity issue.

March 26, 2010 at 11:49 pm
(19) Marie says:

To Nell: I have been sensitive all of my life, but, like others, it gets worse, or better, as I age. I realized long ago that scent was very important. My husband travels and I soon realized that I was fine until his scent wore off the bed clothes. Now, 20 years later, something has changed and I cannot stand his body ordor at night. I have done everything I can to get him to shower before bed, but to no avail. Any suggestions? I can also smell sugar from quite a distance. I like the smell of rain and lighting (thin it’s the ions in the air), air at the beach, dirt and fresh herbs. Go figure.

May 28, 2010 at 7:03 am
(20) Debby says:

Body odors. My Husbannd eats such spicy foods I swear it ozes out his pours. And then his gas and bowel movements are terrible. I wish he’d take Beano. I try to approach him about it gently as he is such a kind man, but he gets hurt. And I tell h it’s because I am so sensitve, but he still gets hurt. I am now awake at 5:30 am because his gas is so bad it has waken me up and I have no where to go as we are in a hotel room. PLEASE help. Many food smells make me sick to my stomach too. Corn beef hash, some Lean Cuisean meals, beer. Some factory smells such as refinery plants. I get very bad nauseua.

June 9, 2010 at 7:11 pm
(21) terrie says:

I’m appalled at the concept of MCS being considered psychological. It appears numerous people are inflicted with this (disability). It’s terrible to go to work and the office next door is being painted or new carpet installed (the glue) the intense odor gives me an immediate headache. Or worse I feel as though my lungs are being squeezed.

January 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm
(22) Zoe says:

They call me the bloodhound. Most perfume is out. Too much? Headache. I smelled a short in a plug that was in an enclosed area of our basement. I made my husband go with me as I track it down (sniffing it out) and he opened it and sure enough – that burning metal smell was as strong as could be… to me. They use me to hunt down leaks in the fuel line on our boat. I can taste diesel in food if it is stored on the boat. Very handy for dieting. I should have been an ice cream taster or wine taster for a living because I can discern most any nuance in food.

I cannot stand the smell of old books.

Oddly, I like strongly flavored and scented food.

Sometimes people make fun of me. It is a curse mostly. Except when it saves lives.

I am not a weirdo. I am not a paranoid, I am not depressed. I just smell everything.

June 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm
(23) gail harvey says:


April 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm
(24) Fred says:

I dislike the smell of sweets. If you have to pick a smell that you do not like, do not choose sweets. They are everywhere.

I guess the worst smell I can think of is burnt sugar.

September 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm
(25) dream pet link says:

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