View Full Version : Very strong sense of smell


cantfocuspocus
07-10-11, 07:23 PM
For as long as I can remember my mother would call me her "nose" because I could smell things no one else could, or the smell of somethings would just be more intense for me. There are 2 other people in my immediate family who have been diagnosed with ADD in addition to myself, and yet I'm the only one who has this intense sense of smell out of the the three ADDer's in my house!

For example if my dog has urinated in the house (even on his designated pee-pee pad for when we're out for long periods of time) I smell it the second I walk in the door and it won't leave me alone. My mom is very helpful and accommodating with this and immediately cleans up, but more often than not, she uses bleach, which is still incredibly harsh. I also feel as though when I smell things its almost like the smell "sticks" to my nose and thats all I smell for an extended period of time until I find something else.

A few questions:
1.Is this type of thing common for ADDer's?
2. Are there other ADDer's out there who feel this way?
3. This isn't SID, right?

pedalpounder
07-10-11, 08:48 PM
My guess is that a good or bad sense of smell has nothing to do with ADD. But the part where it bothers you and you have trouble letting go, that's an ADD trait.

Unmanagable
07-10-11, 09:18 PM
I don't recall many sensory experiences from my youth, except for the awful smell/taste of liver. I now have a couple areas of heightenened sensory levels that are to the point of being problematic in multiple environemts.

Such as:

Smell - I was a smoker for 22 yrs - quit 5 yrs ago cold turkey and my sense of smell increased BIG time - I can't tolerate scents I used to love - perfume, cologne, candles, cleaning products, etc. make my nose feel like it's going to spontaneously combust)

Hearing - I used to be able to sleep through anything, now, if a cricket pees in the next neighborhood, it wakes me up........and.....I can only tolerate one source of sound at a time - I get way too stimulated if there are multiple sources of sound at once - I can also hear high frequency stuff that others don't hear

Light - I have to be in total darkness to sleep - that used to not bother me either

Kaimei
07-10-11, 11:41 PM
It might be Sensory Input Disorder, in a mild form. A lot of people with ADHD will also have some kind of issue with sensory input/processing, but at varying levels.

Or, alternatively, you could just have an unusually strong sense of smell.

Somehow, despite being a smoker, I have a strong sense of smell - too sensitive, sometimes.

Simenora
07-11-11, 12:58 AM
oh yes it does. It is an early warning system, just like our fight/flight/freeze reaction. ADHDs dont have a deficit of attention, we pay attention to too many things. An intense sense of smell is related to that, just another way of paying attention.

My sense of smell is so oversensitive that if my teen doesn't bath for over a week as she is apt to do, I can barely stay in the same room with her.

StoicNate
07-11-11, 02:26 AM
I hate perfume. It makes me sneeze, same with any aerosol used in the bathroom.
I also hate the smell of bleach or any strong chemical smell. I feel like I'm suffocating in strong smells.

Lunacie
07-11-11, 11:30 AM
From 6% to 20% of the general population has Sensory Processing Disorder. (http://www.addadhdblog.com/sensory-integration-disorder/#726fd)
The percentage is greater in those who also have ADHD.
The majority of those who have Autism also have SPD.
And some people have Sensory Processing Disorder instead of ADHD.

Some people are overly sensitive in just one of the senses.
Others (like me) are overly sensitive in at least seven of the senses.

addcolin
07-30-11, 05:33 AM
With me my sense of smell is mostly gone, and comes back only a day or so a week. When it is here, it is so acute, it scares me, especially if I go to a shopping mall, amongst many people. I get overwhelmed by the different smells.

Fortune
07-30-11, 06:06 AM
I'm not sure that my sense of smell is more sensitive than other people's, but some things seem to provoke a much stronger reaction than others - and it seems like I am sensitive to some things (chemical smells) more than others. My niece once put on some lip gloss in the car and to me it smelled like she'd doused everyone in perfume, but no one else could smell it.

If the smell is intense enough, it's sort of like walking into a brick wall. At a book store once, two heavily perfumed people in rapid succession nearly triggered a panic attack. Very annoying.

sarek
07-30-11, 06:11 AM
I have pretty acute sensory procession, especially smell and hearing. But its not problematically so.
Maybe its some kind of situational awareness adaptation gone wild.

starry
01-21-13, 12:17 AM
Yea I'm super sensitive to smells.
My room mate doesn't use deodorant (says they cause cancer) and the smell of is sweat is so nauseating, especially after he works out.
He says he can't smell well, so he has no idea when he gets smelly and no smell ever bothers him since he can't smell it anyway.
I don't mind the smell of perfume, if I like the smell.
Very sensitive to chemical smells and bad smells in general. Don't like a lot of cooked food smells either.

Arei
01-21-13, 01:53 AM
Oh starry you are so brave, if I had your roommate I'd probably would have found a way to have him "accidentally" meet a terrible fate by now ;)

Even though I would've had access to another guaranteed job with no issue, I chose to leave my mom's house and come stay with my grandpa out in the boonies, where it's taken me 5 months to even find a part time gig, because my mom is so dirty, I cannot stand the smell. She leaves food to mold and rot, and she lets the dogs pee all over the house (and poop) and will let it sit forever before she cleans it up, and then just half-a** does it and it doesn't get the smell out. It was terrible before we got rid of the carpet. I was trying to get my own place, and finally had the job where I could afford to do it, but they let me go instead of hiring me on permanently and I just couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't go back to a job where I was being cussed and screamed at all day then come home to that mess, where my mother also would cuss and scream at me @_@ My mom also has a terrible sense of smell, and doesn't seem to notice how bad her house is.

I have always been extremely sensitive to smells. I cannot do BO or rotting food or anything that just smells sour and disgusting. I compulsively have to smell everything I touch, every article of clothing before I wear it because if it smells sour or smelly AT ALL, I cannot stand to wear it. I constantly smell my hands and wash them if they smell at all, it's more because of smell then germs (though I was a bad germaphobe for awhile). I annoyed my grandma to death, because for some reason washing things with Tide in her washing machine made everything smell awful and sour, like it had been sitting in the washing machine forever before being dried, but these were things that were being put in the dryer right after they finished washing. I've left stuff in the washing machine all day before and it doesn't smell sour even then, so I dunno what was going on there. My mom will let the towels sour, and I've gotten to go take a shower and smelled all my towels she had just washed, they would all smell sour and gross and awful and I'd immediately go and wash them again. She would scream at me, but I cannot stand to have those sour smelling things touch my body.

I also have to smell all of my food, no matter what it is, before eating, period. Mostly because I'm paranoid about being ill and smell things to make sure they don't smell rancid or anything. Even things like my phone (not too often) or purse or just random things I pick up and touch I have to smell too. Apparently this is something my dad does too, so I've been told, so maybe I come by it honestly and I'm not totally crazy P:

I bathe with strong scented soap and do a spritz of perfume or body spray (one, because I do respect those who are sensitive, allergic, or intolerant to heavy doses of spray) because I CANNOT stand to smell BO on myself. I know that some of it is paranoia, I start to smell myself and think that I smell awful and everyone can smell it, even though people constantly compliment me on how good I smell. That should be a little creepy, but it makes me feel better when I realize other people don't think I stink xD

I know a lot of people are wanting to forgo deodorant for health reasons, but NATURAL deodorant can help A BIT. It's not foolproof unless you just barely sweat, but it can help dull the smell down to a more tolerable level, and keep people 50 feet away from being instantly able to smell your pits when you move your arm. I sweat bad under my arms even when I am not hot or doing anything, so usually natural deodorant only helps me out in the winter. It does NOTHING when you exercise, you need to use regular deodorant atleast for the gym. I tried it once and I had the pits people could smell for miles.

There are natural or unscented soaps available, you can avoid some of the bad ingredients without having to forgo being clean and smelling decent. You DON'T have to douse yourself in perfumes and cologne to smell good either, being clean is enough. But deodorant cannot be passed on, ever.

And I know there's a ton of attention being raised to those with issues with strong scents and perfumes, and that's totally valid. But I think trying to ban people from wearing scents at ALL, as long as they aren't bathed in it and you can't smell it unless you get up in their personal space or it's faint when you go by them in passing, is really stupid. I've said it before I'd probably kick someone if they told me I couldn't wear a little perfume or body spray. If I have to smell your BO, you're going to smell my perfume.

Even though it closes my throat up something horrible, I'd rather walk through an Axe cloud then smell your BO. There are enough advances in modern science where you can totally eliminate or reduce your BO to reasonable bounds. I don't really get annoyed if I get a small whiff at the gym, but if someone comes into the room and stinks it all up immediately, I want to scream. Bad smells are like my ultimate pet peeve.

starry
01-21-13, 03:44 AM
OMG.....I can't imagine living in your mom's place lol!
Those poor dogs need walks btw, so they don't end up relieving themselves on the carpet. And potty training (if they do get 3 walks a day but are still doing business in the house).
Did your mom get hardwood floors/carpet again after the old carpets were removed?

Yea, the room mate is a stinky trip for sure, but it's his house so I can't complain too much. I did get him a deodorant a while back (which he only used once) and said I thought he'd like the smell of it and it was a little more natural than regular ones, but not completely -since natural would not work on his kind of sweat. His sweat is way too potent....UGH....so gross. Some people have unbelievably strong sweat glands. It's insane! Also he eats disgusting food all the time with a ton of barbeque sauce on everything.
He has an extremely fast metabolism and is addicted to working out, so he is in great shape, but I doubt he is healthy....He drinks OJ and makes shakes with real bananas, also puts iceberg lettuce in his sandwiches (no nutrition in that lettuce....it's just water), so those are the only fruit and veg he gets and that's maybe once a week only.
All he eats are (all fried) lunch meats, bacon, hamburger cheese, sandwiches with all that processed crap, hamburgers, ice cream, milk shakes.... He is a bite away from a cardiac arrest. He prides himself on not eating any fries, pasta and rice though. Not sure why, since he eats lots of bread. He thinks his diet is very healthy and often gives people diet advice lol.
I'm guessing the mixture of having ridiculously potent sweat glands and a nasty diet creates his killer (literally!) body odor.

I can't stand to get smelly, ever.....but even if I didn't use any deo, I don't smell as bad as he does. Even though I have more skin pigments than he does, making me more prone to sweating and having a stronger body odor, since I'm very light olive skinned, due to my French and Italian roots and he is very fair skinned, being 100% Swedish. I eat vegan though, so maybe that makes me less stinky....but even when I wasn't on a vegan diet, I never had terrible B.O.

I'm glad I have a good sense of smell, though. Even if it means suffering like I do ;)

I can't imagine being a horribly smelly person and not knowing about it. Yikes.
SO embarrassing in my view.

Yea, I would not give up the strong deodorants, since the natural ones don't do anything to stop smelly pits. Even if it means I might get cancer from it. I do my best not to use them after shaving my pits in the shower, since it makes it easier for the chemicals to get inside the body then, due to the freshly shaved skin. I wait 12 hours or so before using stick deo. That's the best I can do.

Flory
01-21-13, 03:52 AM
i cant stand more than one source of sound, at xmas myself mum and two brothers all had laptops out at th same time...i was going insane an had to isolate myself to the kitchen with mine as was so overwhelmed, i actually cant sleep unless the light is on oddly enough...i find some smells so comforting and others unbearable, i sleep with a comforter (yep 23 and i stil need a comforter) and i usually put olbas oil on it or a spray of Coco Chanel, i find it really soothing...im a perfume maniac

dogluver358
01-21-13, 11:51 AM
Yea I'm super sensitive to smells.
My room mate doesn't use deodorant (says they cause cancer) and the smell of is sweat is so nauseating, especially after he works out.
He says he can't smell well, so he has no idea when he gets smelly and no smell ever bothers him since he can't smell it anyway.
I don't mind the smell of perfume, if I like the smell.
Very sensitive to chemical smells and bad smells in general. Don't like a lot of cooked food smells either.


Has he tried using apple cider vinegar? It is natural and supposed to kill the bacteria on the skin that causes the smell. I think it's at least better than really sweaty BO. I can't stand that! My mom sometimes gets lazy and doesn't shower for days OR put deodorant on, and I can't stand to be near here. I can't imagine how bad he must smell if he's been sweating it out at the gym.

Lunacie
01-21-13, 12:46 PM
Oh starry you are so brave, if I had your roommate I'd probably would have found a way to have him "accidentally" meet a terrible fate by now ;)

Even though I would've had access to another guaranteed job with no issue, I chose to leave my mom's house and come stay with my grandpa out in the boonies, where it's taken me 5 months to even find a part time gig, because my mom is so dirty, I cannot stand the smell. She leaves food to mold and rot, and she lets the dogs pee all over the house (and poop) and will let it sit forever before she cleans it up, and then just half-a** does it and it doesn't get the smell out. It was terrible before we got rid of the carpet. I was trying to get my own place, and finally had the job where I could afford to do it, but they let me go instead of hiring me on permanently and I just couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't go back to a job where I was being cussed and screamed at all day then come home to that mess, where my mother also would cuss and scream at me @_@ My mom also has a terrible sense of smell, and doesn't seem to notice how bad her house is.

I have always been extremely sensitive to smells. I cannot do BO or rotting food or anything that just smells sour and disgusting. I compulsively have to smell everything I touch, every article of clothing before I wear it because if it smells sour or smelly AT ALL, I cannot stand to wear it. I constantly smell my hands and wash them if they smell at all, it's more because of smell then germs (though I was a bad germaphobe for awhile). I annoyed my grandma to death, because for some reason washing things with Tide in her washing machine made everything smell awful and sour, like it had been sitting in the washing machine forever before being dried, but these were things that were being put in the dryer right after they finished washing. I've left stuff in the washing machine all day before and it doesn't smell sour even then, so I dunno what was going on there. My mom will let the towels sour, and I've gotten to go take a shower and smelled all my towels she had just washed, they would all smell sour and gross and awful and I'd immediately go and wash them again. She would scream at me, but I cannot stand to have those sour smelling things touch my body.

I also have to smell all of my food, no matter what it is, before eating, period. Mostly because I'm paranoid about being ill and smell things to make sure they don't smell rancid or anything. Even things like my phone (not too often) or purse or just random things I pick up and touch I have to smell too. Apparently this is something my dad does too, so I've been told, so maybe I come by it honestly and I'm not totally crazy P:

I bathe with strong scented soap and do a spritz of perfume or body spray (one, because I do respect those who are sensitive, allergic, or intolerant to heavy doses of spray) because I CANNOT stand to smell BO on myself. I know that some of it is paranoia, I start to smell myself and think that I smell awful and everyone can smell it, even though people constantly compliment me on how good I smell. That should be a little creepy, but it makes me feel better when I realize other people don't think I stink xD

I know a lot of people are wanting to forgo deodorant for health reasons, but NATURAL deodorant can help A BIT. It's not foolproof unless you just barely sweat, but it can help dull the smell down to a more tolerable level, and keep people 50 feet away from being instantly able to smell your pits when you move your arm. I sweat bad under my arms even when I am not hot or doing anything, so usually natural deodorant only helps me out in the winter. It does NOTHING when you exercise, you need to use regular deodorant atleast for the gym. I tried it once and I had the pits people could smell for miles.

There are natural or unscented soaps available, you can avoid some of the bad ingredients without having to forgo being clean and smelling decent. You DON'T have to douse yourself in perfumes and cologne to smell good either, being clean is enough. But deodorant cannot be passed on, ever.

And I know there's a ton of attention being raised to those with issues with strong scents and perfumes, and that's totally valid. But I think trying to ban people from wearing scents at ALL, as long as they aren't bathed in it and you can't smell it unless you get up in their personal space or it's faint when you go by them in passing, is really stupid. I've said it before I'd probably kick someone if they told me I couldn't wear a little perfume or body spray. If I have to smell your BO, you're going to smell my perfume.

Even though it closes my throat up something horrible, I'd rather walk through an Axe cloud then smell your BO. There are enough advances in modern science where you can totally eliminate or reduce your BO to reasonable bounds. I don't really get annoyed if I get a small whiff at the gym, but if someone comes into the room and stinks it all up immediately, I want to scream. Bad smells are like my ultimate pet peeve.

I can understand finding BO and other smells too strong,

but for me using perfume or aftershave just adds anothr layer to the smell,

it doesn't make the first smell go away, eh?


It seems you're saying that you can smell those personal sweaty smells

from clear across the room sometimes because you are so senivitive to them,

but you think that perfume and other scents doesn't bother those of us

who are sensitive to them unless you get right up in our personal space.


Well, I can smell some perfumes from 20 feet away.

I hate having to change seats, sometimes more than once,

at a music concert at school because someone wearing perfume

came in and sat down two rows away from me, not what most

would consider personal space, eh?

But when the cloth mask I wear can't filter the stink I have to move.


Imagine spending nearly all your time in public wearing a face mask . . .



For me, it's not just a *pet peeve.* It's a very real health issue.

Imagine if those stinky BO smells gave you a migraine . . . or asthma . . .

I'm not bagging on you, just trying to explain what it's like for me.

starry
01-22-13, 05:07 AM
I can't imagine how bad he must smell if he's been sweating it out at the gym.

I wish he had gone to the gym. It's worse! He actually works out at home!

Yea, we have a lot of gym equipment in the house. From threadmill to workout station, weights... he has everything he needs in the living room and it gets pretty intense with the smell due to his sweating. He works out nearly every day. Luckily he travels a lot so he's only around a month, then is gone for the next two.
I use scented candles and burn scented oils, incense to try to cover his stink lol. Works somewhat.

He would never use apple cider vinegar. He doesn't like to try new things, get advice, hear about how smelly he is. It wouldn't go well at all - since he he has a quick temper.

Arei
01-26-13, 09:25 PM
It's taking way too long to try and load the quote/reply page so I'll just post it here.

There's a little thing called BATHING. You DON'T wear perfume and cologne to cover up your LACK OF PERSONAL HYGIENE. Perfume and cologne and body spray is just to give you a nice little scent, it's NOT meant to be used as a substitute to bathing or just good personal hygiene in particular.


And I am really sensitive to Axe or really heavy colognes in massive doses. It WILL close my throat up and cut off my airway. This usually happens when someone takes a can of Axe and sprays it in some kind of closed space, like a bus, or room, or just down the deodorant aisle of the store in attempt to use it like air freshener. Or literally someone who has held their finger down on the nozzle for 30 seconds while they shower in it.

Some stuff is pretty potent period, but a spray or two (no more) is not an overdose of any kind. Yeah there are plenty of people who are insensitive. And that sucks, they need to get kicked in the rear.

It's not pleasant at all, and honestly I have NO desire to smell someone's strong perfume or cologne clear across a room either. I try to not use overly noxious stuff

But I do know people who WILL have migraines and asthma attacks from strong sprays, but I've never set any of them off before. Not even in close quarters, like a hotel room. It's just adding a little scent, but it NEVER replaces a proper shower and just generally keeping yourself clean. And honestly, most people don't even need perfume or cologne as long as they shower on a daily basis.


Seriously you'd be amazed at how many people do not under the concept of bathing. There's people who bathe in perfume and cologne and then the other extreme where they just don't bathe or use deodorant or anything. I'm sorry, I know sometime's people don't like to wash their hair everyday, I used to hate it and I really still don't like to do it either, but if you're like me and your scalp is an oil derrick that smells like death the second day (and no one is hesitant to tell me my hair stinks, because it's terrible if I don't wash it daily) wash your damn hair.

I'm fully aware of people's sensititivies and I don't bathe in it. I've got plenty of stuff that effects my sinuses and RAD, I've got fibro and reflux and it just hurts to exist everyday. Plenty of stuff sets off a terrible headache or closed throat in me. But BO is just the most god-awful smell on the planet, and I don't want to smell it outside of a gym period. I've had to stifle having full-blown panic attacks being stuck in places that just stink like death. It's silly, but it's my issue. I hold my tongue a lot, especially around friends, and I am extra-considerate to those I know who have issues, and just the fact that people don't want to smell you wether you smell good or not.

But if someone ever comes up to me and tells me I shouldn't wear perfume or anything scented (hey some people will complain about people's DEODORANT being too strong), I'll be highly tempted to smash in their nose to the point where they won't be able to smell again. Not that I would, but I would sure imagine it. Because I sure wish I wasn't so sensitive. And again, powerful scents sometimes can cause ME physical pain, but as long as it's not rank I can deal with it til I get out. I'm not immune to super heavy candle or incense or perfume either. I just run across very little issues unless I'm forced to directly inhale it (like spraying Axe in a bus) to the point my throat closes down on itself.

MWalker
02-28-13, 01:44 AM
I have always had very acute senses of smell, hearing, and to flickering lights. Since I've started taking Wellbutrin it seems to have gone to a whole new level. I have been wearing earplugs and earmuff type sound blockers to bed to make things quiet.

Another thing, and this may sound a little strange, but I find that I can smell things even better if I am holding or touching them.

eats_mice
03-26-13, 12:40 PM
I am very sensitive to Bell Peppers and Green Chilies . I can taste them in extremely small quantities. Also, they make me burp, which then it tastes really gross. and make me slightly nauseous. I have always seemed to be able to smell better than my friends and family.

Twiggy
03-26-13, 01:25 PM
I love the smell of fresh air. Just breathing outside air makes me feel good.
I can't stand the smell of peppers being charred over fire, I almost want to puke.

MellyFishButt
03-26-13, 02:12 PM
I don't have one but my undiagnosed as an adult husband does. I like pretty smells but only because it lifts my spirits. I also heavily damaged my nose in my youth during self medicating so I am sure that is why I can't smell as much as my husband. It he's just a little weirdo. :)

MellyFishButt
03-26-13, 02:12 PM
I am very sensitive to Bell Peppers and Green Chilies . I can taste them in extremely small quantities. Also, they make me burp, which then it tastes really gross. and make me slightly nauseous. I have always seemed to be able to smell better than my friends and family.

They make me burp too! I thought I was the only one.

Lunacie
03-26-13, 02:17 PM
They make me burp too! I thought I was the only one.

I have a friend who has the same problem with green peppers.
My family loves them though.