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An update ...

Oh, I had such plans for this blog, back in the when.  I had spoken to a number of perfumers who had suffered similar (and some very different, but still olfactory-related) conditions and I was going to make this blog more of a resource for smell-dysfunction sufferers, than a diary of my own condition. But then I think my life as a parosmic kind of took over, and I simply found it all too difficult to write about. The last two and a half years, since that fateful cold, have been dark, surreal and difficult, but not entirely without hope. However, if you're one of the readers who wrote to me me over the last 30 months or so, and were one of the ones I was unable to respond to because I was so wrapped up in my own situation, then please accept my heartfelt apologies. I'm sorry. I am very sorry. I didn't respond, not because I was ignoring those messages, or even because I didn't want to respond, but it was simply that it was too painful to relive my own situation ove
Recent posts

A Parosmic at the (An)Osmotheque

Did you hear the one about the parosmic who went to the perfume museum?* A trip to the Osmotheque perfume museum in Versailles seemed like a dream come true when I’d booked it through Odette Toilette in April last year.   Billed as an opportunity to smell classic fragrances dating back as far as the 1800’s (in faithfully recreated “original” formulations), plus an opportunity to talk through the history of those fragrances with master perfumer Thomas Fontaine of Jean Patou, it was a trip genuinely not to be missed.   I booked gladly, and forgot all about it for the best part of the year. Come November and the time to travel, however, the trip seemed more like a cruel joke put out by the universe. Having lost my sense of smell completely in the meantime, only to have it (partially) recover, and then discover that all smells were now completely distorted, being both disgusting and nauseating, a trip to a perfume museum under the circumstances seemed rather perverse, not to m

On depression, “coping”, and puking in the shower.

I was interviewed in the Guardian the week before last (you might have read it, I’m the lady who smells sewage ), and the feedback I’ve had from that piece has been absolutely fantastic.   There was a great interaction with the people who commented, I * nearly * got on the telly about it, and then I had to spend a few days battling with both my conscience, and the Daily Mail, who want to take pictures of me looking sad whilst holding a bottle of perfume in the name of awareness raising. In the end, my conscience won out, and   I will not be looking sad in the Daily Mail any time soon, you may (or indeed, may not!) be pleased to hear. Sorry mum!   I’ve also had a million emails to respond to, and I’m slowly working my way through them, each one, whether it has been a message of support, or the sharing of a tale similar, or even the offer of some well-meant (if occasionally slightly wonky, medically-speaking) advice, or just some kind words from an expert in a related field has

Anosmia Awareness Day: 27 February 2015

This Friday, 27th February is Anosmia Awareness Day.  Ordinarily, this is a date that would probably have passed without too much comment at Lippie Mansions, but this year is different. Very different.   Most people think not being able to smell is just a little thing, but please let me tell you that it is not. When I lost my sense of smell last year, I had literally no idea just how devastating a condition it would be, and just how much my life would be changed as a result of the cold that caused my olfactory nerve to die.  I've had to give up reviewing perfumes, and beauty blogging has had to take a bit of a back seat to learning to deal with my condition. There are so many things I can't eat, there are activities I simply can't do, for example, I can't go to a coffee shop, I can't stand near someone who has been smoking.  I've had to avoid eating out. I can't drink wine, I can't just go to a sandwich shop and pick something up for lunc

The Uninvited ...

Allegedly, I fart.   Only very occasionally, and obviously it is only ever the very merest toot that smells (faintly) of sunshine, lollipops and violets.   I had it checked. Most of the time, it is easy to discern that a little … um … gas needs to pass, and we can make arrangements to do what comes naturally in a manner that neither disturbs nor offends our fellow companions.   But there’s one situation that anosmics/parosmics/dysosmics fear above all others: The Unexpected Trump. We all know the ones, you’re taken unawares and, almost before you’ve even registered that you have to … go … it has already gone .   Gone out into the ether, potentially polluting your immediate atmosphere with methane, sulphur and all the other ingredients that combine to make that particularly unmistakeable aroma. But, imagine that’s happened in the office – and this has, of course, NEVER HAPPENED – and you have no way of knowing how bad (or not) what you’ve just unleashed actually smells.

How to manage/survive your parosmia.

First of all, let me say I've been overwhelmed with the response to this tiny blog!  I've had emails from all over the world, and I've been very touched by some of the stories my readers have shared with me. Thank you so much for getting in touch, and I'm very glad some of you have found my blog posts helpful.  There are lots more posts coming now I've had my Christmas break, I promise! With that in mind, today I'm going to attempt to answer the question I've been asked most in the emails, which has been "Have you found anything that helps?" Well, yes, I have.  A few, anyway, and I mention them here in the hopes that they'll help some of you, too.   I remember well the first time I saw my ENT surgeon and asked him if there was anything I could do to relieve my symptoms, as it was an incredibly bad day.  He just gave a mini-shrug and said "I'm sorry".  The simple fact is that there hasn't been much research into parosmic trig

What is Parosmia?

So, I'm a couple of posts into the blog, and I realise that I haven't said what parosmia actually is.  Silly me. Here's the lowdown on a couple of olfactory conditions, and my experience of them. Incidentally, conditions affecting the olfactory nerve are generally grouped together under the term Dysosmia.  Therefore dysosmias include (but are not limited to) the following: Anosmia : This is a complete inability to smell, and is probably the best-known (and certainly the best-researched) form of dysosmia. Causes can include head injuries, viruses including colds and flu, and chronic sinus disease, but a great many cases of anosmia are idiopathic, having no discernible cause whatsoever.  In the early stages, anosmia can often be mistaken for a taste disorder as the first symptom that a lot of people really notice is their food not being as flavourful as usual.  However, true taste disorders are rare, and I'll deal with this in another post.  Perfume people often claim