Most of us probably take our sense of smell for granted. In our industry we’re using it consciously every day, but may still not be quite aware of just how much of our spatial awareness and safety it governs.
Sense of smell has been thought of as a little bit banal; too ‘animal’ by society, and there hasn’t been much support for people suffering from smell and taste disorders (perhaps because those who suffer from them can still work, whereas blind or deaf people might not be able to).
Now, Fifth Sense, a charity founded in 2012, has announced it will be running a national Anosmia Awareness Day on the 28th of February 2015. You can help by using the hashtag #LongLostSmell on Twitter (or any platform which supports hashtags) and letting them know what smell you would miss the most if you became anosmic.
There are specific anosmias (many people can’t smell some synthetic musks, for example, which is why it’s a good idea to do a musk blend for your basenotes to increase the likelihood of at least one of them being picked up). Total anosmia, however, is a devastating medical condition – and it will destroy your sense of taste, too. Most of what we think of as taste is actually smell (aromas float retronasally through the back of the throat, and we smell them through the nose as food enters the mouth).
Not only that, but a total loss of smell will be a major health risk. You would not be able to detect a gas leak, smell smoke, smell bad meat…
This is not a rare genetic disorder or something that could never happen to you. A head injury, car accident or a bad cold could damage your nerves enough to render you totally anosmic.
Please support the work Fifth Sense is doing and read more about the Anosmia Awareness Day on the Fifth Sense blog. Use the hashtag #LongLostSmell – and also consider making a donation.