Smelling weird smell is driving me nuts. Does anyone else have these problems?

Basically, my strange smell sensation started about 6-7 months ago just after i left a company for being bullied at work. What a bunch of A******. Even Management backed up the coordinator. Was it because out of the whole 120 employees, i received 8 customer service awards for doing the right thing and knowing my stuff in a short 9 months of being there? We'll never know. I know i did the right thing and that's all that matters.!

I received counselling to help me deal with being harassed/bullied at this job and in my own time [stalked] whilst being employed. I was very stressed and could not sleep. Anxiety maxed out.

About a month after i left and never turned up to my shift, the smell started off a cigarette smoke and progressed to Cigar smoke and a combination of other burning smells, un-describable, and non familiar.

The smell still remains now nearly 8 months on. It now smells like a wood fire has been put out by water and seems to burn the inside of my nose too. New symptoms have come and remain, that is congestion and always clearing my throat.

My GP sent me to an ear, nose and throat specialist, whom sent me off for an MRI scan and also put me on expensive nasal spray. It's no good, the Pharmacy brand spray, off the shelf works better.

Anyway, nothing showed on the scans. I'm not on any medication, so no side effects. I'm not a smoker, quit some 12 years ago, can't stand the smell from others.

I have been researching this problem for months. I have not come up with any solutions. I know i'm not alone, many others suffer these symptoms too. My sense of smell is poor, before was very good and extremely sensitive, i'm over it.

We just came back from a 14 day cruise to Noumea. The smell over the days decreased, but did not go away completely. However, today, it's driving me insane, hence searching the net for any extra info i might have missed and stumbling on this site and writing this post.

Does anyone else suffer from this problem? Yes, it is a problem with no solution, can anyone offer any solutions or Help...!

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132 Replies

  • Hi there,

    I'm so sorry you are experiencing such an unpleasant symptom. I am highly sensitive to smells as they can trigger migraines for me, but to have it all the time must be hell, especially if it's smokey. Last winter I had a problem with my woodburner and inhaled a lot of very acrid smelling air and I became hypsensitive to the smell. Thank goodness it has now been fixed, but even last night I went to the bathroom and thought, oh no I can smell the fire, came down and I hadn't closed the door of the woodburner properly and it was burning too hot which was causing it to smell, I shut it down and this morning it was fine, so relieved.

    I know stress can cause many odd symptoms and the ghastly time you had at your workplace must have been hell, I'm wondering if it is linked to that. Have you got ongoing appointments with the ENT specialist? I do hope so ! I hope someone can get to the bottom of what is causing this for you. Do you suffer with fibro too ?

    I am trying to think if I've heard of anyone with similar experience, but at the moment I can't.

    Foggy x

  • Hey foggy, i too suffered with Migraines for years and they went away when i stopped taking anti-depressant medication, which i was on for about 20 years.

    Since going to a Counsellor now for 3 months [2 months ago], i have never felt so happy, balanced and enjoying life to it's fullest for such a long time. I'm in my late 40's, i was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in my early 20's and just recently [last 6 years] it panned out that i have KleinFelters syndrome, and need to have regular [every 10 weeks] Reandron 1000 injections. That did help with lots of aches and joint pain. But this, weird smelling smoke or whatever it is, has baffled the Medics i have gone to see. They have no answers for me, no where else to take and sort out my problem, hence coming on a forum to ask anyone if there is anything new.

    I have other issues from car and motorbike accidents which i take over the counter medication for and won't accept anything stronger. My mum took her life on pain killers and alcohol in the 80's, so that's why i'm against them.

    Anyway, back on the subject, the ENT had no other suggestions other than operating 'blindly' because they had nothing to go after, it baffled him too.!

    What now? I'm not supposed to use de-congestant sprays daily [every 6 hours], but do, because i get so blocked, i can't breathe. Never suffered any congestion in my life till about 6 or so months ago.!

  • Hi there

    I hardly ever write (no confidence & the last time I did was well over a year ago...) but was SO interested in your post I just HAD to reply...

    Yes. I have EXACTLY the same problem, which I find equally unpleasant.

    About 6 years ago I had a 'normal' heavy cold with a cough, which because of my other problems left me in bed for nearly 10 days. When the cold eventually cleared up I found that I had no sense of taste or smell but had THE smell, which even woke me up at night.

    Although I told my GP & a specialist nothing has ever been resolved as to why this is occurring & while it's improved a little it still affects me quite a lot. There are some thing's I can now taste again but the taste of them is not the same as before - I still find most food unappetising... That burnt taste to everything is off-putting. Things I once loved I now no longer like - & vice versa.

    I used to love cooking too - cooking was something creative that I could enjoy despite being housebound most of the time but now.. Well I find all the joy has gone from it. I especially loved cooking with herbs & spices... Now I find this like trying to paint a picture blindfold - getting someone else to taste, check & otherwise refine dishes isn't the same. It's not MY palette but theirs I'm working with!! :-/

    I do find this problem worse sometimes than others but it's always there. At present I'm laid up in bed with a heavy cold... ... ...

    Well I can only hope can't I?!!

  • Crickey, thanks so much for replying.! I haven't had a cold or the flu in years, maybe about 6 or so. I don't excercise, i watch my sugar and saturated fats intake, i am overweight but not obese [under 100 kg at 5'8" tall].

    I don't have any issues with lack of taste nor do i taste what i smell? It also comes in waves. I haven't smelled it yet today and it's nearly 9.00 AM, woke at 6 am. It makes no sense. It will come on very mildly, then get heavier and really bad...then completely gone without a trace...but still never can smell anything else after it, it as if my scent part in my brain has stopped working? What a shame you can't enjoy the smells of your cooking. I just can't smell anything at all.! I really have to sniff to smell the flowers i planted near our back door which only give off perfume at night filling the house with fragrance with the doors open, you can't buy that wonderful scent, but i can't enjoy it either like everyone else comments. I don't smell the fancy perfume my wife wears either?

    Anyway, take care of yourself wherever in this wonderful planet you are. I'm in Perth Western Australia, cheers..!

  • Just picked up this thread again... I'm in England, Devon so the South West... :-)

    I know what you mean about missing scents of either flowers or perfumes. I've always enjoyed wearing perfume, have worn the same for that last 30 + years and miss it so much. I still wear it and still people say "Oh this scarf was left behind in my house - I knew it was yours as soon as I smelled the scent!!" but I can't smell it sadly...

    Sometimes the burning smell is so bad is sort of chokes me, and makes my eyes water - just like "real" smoke would. I've always been overly sensitive to cigarette smoke and things like bonfires too, I've never smoked and cannot stand the smell. When I was nursing I'd always be the one to smell smoke even if it was right down the end of the ward in a little used bathroom where the smokers would all find their way to lol!!! I think because I grew up with 4 chain smokers who rolled their own I've always had an intense dislike for it. This is why it's so annoying now and I do wonder if it is psychological sometimes (yeah... AM I going nuts?) Just like the pain with some doctors (& I do say some) they seem to think it's all in our heads, perhaps it is the same with the smoke...??? ;-)

    I keep hoping that one day the problem will lessen or go. MRI scans have shown nothing they didn't expect to see although I DO have a rare pituitary condition that started many years ago while this problem is fairly recent. I live in hope anyway.

    Have a happy Christmas in the sun there in Perth!! <3

  • Hey, please send some cold weather...! We are having a heat wave, a new record of over 35 degrees Celcius and it's the 6th day in Western Australia for December..oh how i wish to see snow like you do on the Xmas cards for Xmas some time.!! the subject..have you tried lowering your face into your T-shirt when you smell the smoke? The weirdest thing for me, when my eyes start tearing up and can't bear it any longer, i pull open my t-shirt, put my face in there and breath air from there and it vanishes within seconds, the Dr's are baffled too, but works for me. Doesn't look too good whilst dining in a restaurant though LOL.!!

    I will be booking an eye test today as i have heard they sometimes pick up things that Dr's, tests and MRI's miss.

    I will report what, if anything they have found on here as soon as i know.

    Take care, cheers..

    PS..the hotter it has got, the less the smell for some reason? Yesterday we had 39 celcius, i smelled it once or twice for a short time, however, the day before, 41 degrees celcius [The English Barmy Army got sun burnt at the WACA Cricket ground badly lol], it too wasn't that bad?

  • Thanks for the tip about the T shirt - I shall give that a try. Today has been a day of complete no taste no smell for me. Of an average week I get about a third with no smell or taste then more with the burning smell... Occasionally I get to taste my food and not feel queasy by the smell of cigarettes or soot. Cold is still with me so I'm waiting on what happens when my head clears.

    No snow here yet lol!! I have to say I love the day-lit hours and the long days of summer but actually prefer the crisp cold weather of wintry sunny days - I'd melt in that heat and would be bed bound, crippled by it!! Hope it gets cooler for you - some breezes would help!! ;-)

  • Hi. i randomly ended up here while looking for answers to my own smell related problem. I too have fibro, and am very interested in this conversation uyo two are having (old though it may be). Do either of you see a neurologist? These types of issues.seem to be better understood by doctors in the field of neurology. On public radio once I heard an episode of "Radiolab" which discussed a different issue, but the "treatment" may be somewhat related. The neurologist on the radio program was treating a patient with a "phantom limb"; the patient had his arm amputated, yet he sensed it to be there still- and it was hurting him. Like, genuinely painful. The patient was able to find relief by "tricking" his brain. Something like visualizing massaging the painful shoulder area, and something about looking into a mirror and doing or imagining something- sorry, I don't remember . Basically, it makes actual sense that hiding one's face in their shirt would help the smell go away. I also once lost my sense of smell and researched some info about it- it seems you can "train" your brain/nose to smell again through practice, imagination, memory, and visualization. As a last odd note, I have experienced this terrible phantom smoke smell two times before- but I believe the cause was the homemade nasal rinse I had used, which I presume had too much baking soda in the mix, which "activated" a sickening smell of burning in my nasal passages. I assumed this to be the cause since I am a smoker, but the smell was absolutely different from cigarette smoke and I legit thought something swa burning in my house, so who knows? Perhaps my random info will help somebody- thats my hope anyway. Take care :)

  • Hi, I read your problem with the smell. I have been suffering the same thing for a while and I have been searching for an answer on my own for a couple of years now. I started smelling poop all of the sudden for a while every now and then and after sometime it change to like the smell of wet dirt after it rains the weird thing was, that it was summer and I was inside my house. Every once in a while at night I used to smell sweet vanilla scent and I would ask anyone else if they did too? Until one day my daughter told me that I should go to the Dr. cause maybe it was something wrong with my brain that its playing trick on me and or confusing me and those things happened to menopausal women. I have not gone to the Dr. but now I'm considering it cause the smell is like you mention before is like smoke that it burn your nostrils. About the trick of smelling inside your shirt, I have resourced to that too. What I found that is that the receptors in the brain are off or not communicating due to that sensors in your brain are sending the wrong signals to activate to act. To those famton smells Psychologist call them "hallucinations" and they just referred you to a psychotherapist to prescribe meds. This kind of smell it's driving me crazy! Cause its smell like that funky old mold in the walls when there is a leak or to much moist, I go on searching gor the smell around the area where I felt it, I clean the air conditioning filters, dust all the time and I grow so frustrating! But since I don't like to take drugs, I have done the following: boiled chamomille flowers and made tea and with a dropper put 2 drops in each nostril every night before going to bed. It help with sinusis, dryness and the fantom smells, at the same time that is a gland moisturizer, anti-inflammatory and a saline. Do not put in when is hot just warm to the touch. Good luck!

  • Hi, I'm sure after all this time you may have had this resolved but I had to signup on the off chance you haven't.

    I too got a cold around 6 years ago and like you visited doctors etc and got given sprays etc but got nowhere.

    Recently I decided enough was enough and went back. I got given steroids which hurt my nose so went back again and finally got referred to ent specialist!

    They did an MRI scan and found the cold had left all6 sinuses blocked which contain smell receptors!

    Long story short, operation was carried out a few days ago and although I'm in early days of recovery, I can once again smell!! :) this also led me to quit smoking since it smelt so foul so double win haha.

    Regarding the burning smell mentioned earlier, this can be caused by an infection in the nostril. Easily fixed with a cream applied a few times a day. I forget it's name but it's an antibiotic cream.

    Good luck all!

  • Hello! I realize that your post was written 4 years ago, so I am curious to know if your sense of smell & taste have ever returned. Also, do you still have THE smell? I have had the very same problems after a cold last spring, and am still hopeful that it will improve. Same problem with cooking....guessing at spices and needing someone to test-taste. I look forward to your reply!

  • I'm the same a s foggy, in that some smells trigger migraine for me. Otherwise I have been lucky enough not to have any further problems with smell. This sounds really unpleasant for you. I hope you will be able to find a solution for this as it sounds a horrendous issue to have to cope with.



  • Hi Jilly, thanks for taking the time to respond. I don't know why, but as i have never opened up about anything on a forum to complete strangers, i though i might have been put down, like i was at my job...that self defense auto pilot mechanism is always on stand by..LOL.

    Anyway, the worst part is i can't find a solution. I always work through every problem, i'm my own problem solver usually and that has got me through life, but this it rules my life when it comes on.

    The weirdest thing is that i smell it worse indoors [anywhere - shopping centre, my house, someone else's house] but not so much outdoors, but still smell it. I smell it in the car too. It could last 3 minutes to an hour or longer and if longer the inside of my nostrils feel like they are on fire.

    I don't get any pain. But when i smelled cigarettes, it would make me urge and that was embarasing in public...all my wife could do was laugh..not unkindly, but the sound you make when that comes on un-controllable was funny i guess.

    Thanks for your kind words, cheers..

  • My name is Aimee....I am so tired of this smell in my nose...I to think it's worse indoors...not as bad outside...sometimes I have a hard time falling and staying asleep as a result. I wonder if it's driven by my anxiety and panic disorder! I have currently within the last 2 months have changed antidepressants..and I notice it way worse since I have done this! I really thought it was air-conditioning causing these strange symptoms...I am at a loss! Any other advice?

  • I seem to be sensitive to unpleasant smells, when walking in a crowd I can pick out every smoker and anyone wearing unpleasant deoderent or perfume. At the moment I am feeling queezy due to having to bath a very itchy dog in a nasty smelling shampoo. Wet dog + shampoo, yeuk .I just can`t immagine what it must be like for you and having everything taste bad must be awful. I just hope that It may eventualy fade.....sue

  • Hi, i don't get the taste problem only the weird smelling sensation. If you read my responses to the others that have answered me above, you will get more insight to my problems.

    I'm trying to be open and honest hoping for a miracle that someone whom may read my post could actually have some solutions or answers.

    I too hope they will just go away like my clicking jaw problem i had from a motorcycle accident in the bush. I was riding on my own, went over the handle bars, woke up on my back, had helmet on, don't know how long i was out and found i had a clicky jaw for about 2 months some 7 or so years clicked when talking, eating swallowing and just went away thank god.!

    Eeeew i can't stand the smell of any dog especially wet, when i could smell.

    Thanks for your comments though.!

  • Hi there :) yeah I get that I am hypersensitive to just about most things, smell usually cripples my breathing making me reach for my inhaler.

    Air fresheners, perfumes and aerosols

    As a teenager my brother used to beat me to the bathroom every morning, and the chemicals/fumes off his lynx spray would mean I couldn't come out of my room for over half hour............ still affects me the same today, the spray, not my brother :D

    Cannot walk through perfumes sections of stores and there's a bath product chain that I cross over the road to get away from :o

    Then.............. magic trees............... no not izzy bizzy let's get bizzy............. car fresheners :D I once got into a taxi and nearly went blue until a friend pulled out an inhaler I thought I was going to die :( It was only a 5 minute journey too :o

    It's now recognised by my very good GP. A previous GP gave me inhalers because of the smog in Carlisle that and petrol fumes make me gag, yeurgh :( I live by the sea where the air is fresher now and don't have problems with that side of it anymore, only petrol stations.

    Anyhoo! That's a little of my experience selfemployed :) It's quite normal for us fibromites to have hightened sensitivities and sense of smell is one of them. Have you spoke to your GP about it? maybe he/she can help you in some way :)

    Fluffie cuddles for you

    :) xxxsianxxx :)

  • Hey, crickey, that's almost going the other way hey..! I had an excellent sense of smell for ages [even as an ex-smoker] and from one day to the next, it came on. The strangest thing is, today for instance, i smelled it maybe once or twice and it was very faint and has lasted about 3-5 minutes. Yesterday and the day before it was heavy. I just can't work out what triggers it off.

    I will mention that to my Dr next as i have nothing else. But like i said in a previous responses, it's only just started recently and am no longer stresses or anxious, i wish it would go away.!

  • Hi and yeah, I still smoke and my sense of smell is really high, sometimes my hubby brings in my tea and I can't eat it because the smell of something will put me off it.......

    Its weird I know! but like you I don't seem able to stop it or know what triggers it either. You must try not to think too much about it or it may just keep bugging you. I use distraction techniques for most things but with smell its hard.

    I used to rub some vic on a tissue and when it started I would sniff the euclayptus/menthol............ don't know if it will work for you just because it did for me but hey! worth a whirl, you could use lavender, or lemon both cleansing oils/scents :)

    Let me know how you get on :)

    :) xxxzebxxx :)

  • Wow. I know your post is a few years old but I seem to have all these symptoms. My search for others suffering in the same way brought me to the Fibromyalgia Section. I used to ban my son from bringing Lynx into the house as my mouth and nostrils would just 'ping' and feel as though they were on fire. Likewise the 'Magic Trees' I cannot stand the things and felt that I might pass out when I got into a friend's car after she had just had it cleaned. and had a 'tree' hung inside it. The list of things to which I am sensitive is getting longer and longer. I also smell phantom smells like tobacco.. Done so much searching on line as I am fed up with this. I may discuss this with my GP and/or dentist to see if I have sinus or dental problems. I do get migraines but I have never been diagnosed with Fibro. I have been putting it all down to anxiety. That's another story..

  • The weirdest thing about all of this is what i'm about to tell you now....during this sensation of smelling these weird smells, when it gets un-bearable and tears are pouring out of my eyes, if i open the top of my T-shirt, bow down and put my face in there, the smell vanishes as soon as i breath inside the T-shirt. As soon as i take a couple of breaths and breath out side of it, the smell is gone...another thing the Dr's can't explain..but it works.!

  • When you smell of your own body it's bringing you back home.. lol.. it's your baseline for everyday. It's one of the ways that expert sniffers or people that judge scents separate one scent from another. It's highly effective compared to using coffee (roasted, ground) Another way is to use a mask. You will be smelling of your own breath which will bring you back to your own baseline.

    The brain cannot remember smells no matter what you have heard. The brain does make associations. So either someone is around you smoking if even outside of your window. Or it is the association that is getting in there overwhelming you.

    Another fact is that each passing year, we are losing our ability to smell and to organize the characteristics of the odor such as sour, sweet, spicy, etc. It's great if you can break those things down into candy sweet, or artificial air-freshener sweet, Fruity sweet.. and the more descriptive that you can be about it, the longer you can retain your sense of smell.

    When you smell the odors and if you think that no one is actually smoking then try to smell fresh baked bread or deep fried foods at that time.

    Nasal Spray.. addictive yes. I was addicted to them for 8 years. A doctor

    told me to use them for a bad cold that I had that hung around for 2 weeks. I used them for 10 days of it and tried to give them up. I couldn't do it. I didn't even try to quit until I ran out of them 25 days later. Too late. I had to buy several bottles (expensive!!!) I kept one at work, at home and in my car. Woot woot. =) Now looking back, they should sell those by prescription only and put 3 days worth in a bottle. That would be the smart and responsible thing to do.

  • Wow. I have the wood smoke smell and taste. I just tried what you said. Breathing in my t-shirt. It works! What the hell is wrong with us?

  • Hi selfemployed.

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. I am sorry but I don't suffer with anything like this. It sounds really awful though. I hope you find a solution to your problem soon.

    Take care and good luck

    Ken (the author) x

  • Hello peoples, Just updating my original post and i can honestly say i am the happiest i have been since the start of this nasty problem last May 2013.

    I know you are not supposed to use nasal sprays every day, but my use increased to 3 - 4 times a day [like a junkie lol], every day. I just couldn't breathe through my nose and was getting worse.

    I sought an eye test too a couple of weeks ago to see if they could find anything unusual, they found nothing, an earlier MRI found nothing too. ENT specialist found nothing either and suggested an operation which may or may not work if it gets worse.

    Just 2 days ago, my wife was in the Chemist asking for a nasal spray safe to use daily and bought it. It doesn't work at all, what a waste of money.! I also read somewhere that doing a nasal flush may relieve the congestion i have been suffering with when all this started. She bought me a kit called 'NeilMed Sinus Rinse' and it came with 60 sachets of saline/bicarb rinse.

    What a bizarre sensation squirting warm water up your schnoz and it draining out the other nostril. The 1st time i did it, i felt a weird pain in my head, like when you go underwater and you get water in your nose, pressure, not good but continued.... Sorry about this following description...but i have no cold, no sniffles, but a huge load of snot just drained out of my nose [both nostrils - like i had a bad cold]. Yesterday, for the 1st time in about 10 months, i didn't need to use the nasal spray, but just before bed, i did [habit i think], just in case [+ wanted a good sleep]. Probably didn't need it, but woke up with 1 blocked nostril this morning.

    An hour later this morning i did it again [nosrtil douche i suppose you can call it] and no congestion ... stinky smoke smell.!

    I smelled it yesterday briefly a few times, but haven't since.

    I will let you all know in a week or so how things are going. Right now, very very happy to start smelling things again. It's like acquiring a new sensation you never had :-)

    It is recommended on the packet to use it daily as part of your daily hygiene. I know i will.!!

    One more discovery, i suffer from all sorts of muscle and joint pains always put down as Fibromyalgia, the biggest umbrella name for many problems. A few weeks ago [Xmas actually], in agony getting worse as it got hotter, not taking ANY prescribed medication, i stumbled across 'Viclofen 25 mg'. I have 2 in the morning and 2 x Panadol Osteo at dinner time and am honestly 99% pain free the whole day and night now for almost 2 weeks.

    Everything is just getting so much better. I hope you guy's find some relief to your problems too.! ;-)

  • I smell it too...its driving me first I thought it was someones woodstove but my husband cant smell it..i smell it most when I breathe very lightly...if I take deep breaths It isn't there but if Im breathing normal shallow like, then its coughing a lot also and clearing my throath..sorry, bad speller..its worse indoors than out..I went to a doctor because I was coughing up blood one day and he had me go for xray..said it was normal, no phunomia...I didn't even know that was what he was looking for..sent me home and that was that..i would think he would have looked further than that and do a cat scan..I hate doctors cause ya have to diagnose, spelling again

  • Hi. I also smell wood stove Smoke and taste it. Driving me nuts. Thought I was going crazy. Reading these posts tells me this is kinda commen.

  • Hello, You are describing my life. Our problem was mold. Unfortunately it has many different smells. It gives migraines, tightness in throat breathing problems, irritability. I spent over $50,000. on hospitals and ENT and no one helped. After mold remediation your need fungus and viral meds. I pray you recover soon! Oh yes.. they will tell you its in your head but its not! Also you have brain fog, joint and body pain. I had a bronchoscopy and no fluid just inflammation. A fried recommended an air quality test. We live in a $600,000. home but we had mold in air conditioners where crawl space got wet.

  • Hello Angela,

    I think you are right about the mold. Ever since I moved to my condo I have have had lung issues. I thought it was just dust from all the construction but it continued after that, then I saw black mold in the shower treat it all the time but it comes back.

    My asthma has returned and broncials feel inflamed.

    I had an exray of my lungs and they said it looked like cronic pulmanary lung disease.

    Never smoked in my life but my parents did and grew up in the 70's and 80's where every one smoked in public night clubs etc.

    I guess we are what we breath.

    I will get checked for mold spores. I live in Arizona where valley fever us very common .

    I have also contacted my Naturalist.

    What were the meds they gave you to kill the mold.

    Thank you,


  • I too, have the same exact problem. After googling this I came up with your comments. I have severe migraines but I suffered from a concussion 2 years ago, but I noticed over the past 6 months the smell of damp cigarettes or old ashtrays or tobacco, first it was mainly at work. Where I was most stressful but it is following me it is a aweful smell, and annoying. I hate cigarette smoke. I want to know what to do to make it go away, its nauseating.

  • I thought I was alone in this.

    I have this same problem. It started about 2 months ago. I constantly smell this strange odor. It is something like a burnt smell, though it is really hard to describe it as it is not the same as any other odor that I can associate with anything.

    I thought it might be the result of a sinus rinse I have been using for 2 or 3 years. I thought perhaps I had just used it too much and it somehow "burned" my olfactory senses. But I stopped using if for a week and the odor has only gotten stronger.

    I am sure that this odor is not real and not in my environment. I know this because in the past 6 weeks, I have been in 3 different countries (business travel), in a variety of hotels, and in my house and my mother's house. The same damn odor chases me around everywhere. And, it is getting stronger.

    I have read that this could be a sign of a brain tumor. I sure hope not!

    But, I just want you to know that you are not alone with this strange condition. It is interesting that all of us describe the odor as a "burnt" type of smell.

  • I thought I was alone in this.

    I have this same problem. It started about 2 months ago. I constantly smell this strange odor. It is something like a burnt smell, though it is really hard to describe it as it is not the same as any other odor that I can associate with anything.

    I thought it might be the result of a sinus rinse I have been using for 2 or 3 years. I thought perhaps I had just used it too much and it somehow "burned" my olfactory senses. But I stopped using if for a week and the odor has only gotten stronger.

    I am sure that this odor is not real and not in my environment. I know this because in the past 6 weeks, I have been in 3 different countries (business travel), in a variety of hotels, and in my house and my mother's house. The same damn odor chases me around everywhere. And, it is getting stronger.

    I have read that this could be a sign of a brain tumor. I sure hope not!

    But, I just want you to know that you are not alone with this strange condition. It is interesting that all of us describe the odor as a "burnt" type of smell.

  • I have the same thing, started about 3 weeks ago when we moved into a house in an area that I don't particularly like, miss my friends etc. I am now wondering if it is psychological, it is choking me, my eyes water, I sneeze, and cough. I thought it was the propane fireplace but nobody else can smell it, am I truly going mad?!

  • I have the same problem, maybe it is psychological, I moved to a house that I am not so happy with and miss a lot of my friends etc. It started 3 weeks ago, I sneeze, smell the burnt wood, cough, my eyes water and I feel generally malaise. I thought it was the propane fireplace but nobody else can smell it, I feel like I am losing my mind!

  • I smell a "burning paper" smell ALL the time in my apartment and nobody else can smell it! I cough and my eyes water also! Have you been able to find out anything? I, too, feel like I'm going crazy!

  • Hi, I searched the net today looking for the same answer. I have been smelling a stale cigarette smoke type smell for the last few weeks, nobody in my household smokes. I can only link it to having a cold type virus before it started. Nobody else can smell the smell when I ask them, I can still smell/taste normally and I am male 49 and live in Scotland. Weird to find out other people have the same thing.

  • Hi, I have been getting this for years now. It started off as a very strong smell of stale smoke which is all I could smell. At first I thought it was because I smoked and had changed brand. The smell got so strong it made me feel sick. It lasted for a few days and then went away so I thought nothing of it. The smell came back about a month later and I went to my GP. I was sent to ENT but nothing was found. Now 8 years on I still get the smell every few weeks/months. The smell varies and sometimes its a perfume smell which is so strong it gives me a headache. The length it lasts also varies from a few days to a few hours.

    I have mentioned it to my Dr but he doesnt seem too fussed and has just asked that I record when it happens to see if there are any triggers. The problem is I am so used to it that sometimes I don't even notice when it starts or stops.

    I tend to forget about it until it comes again but would love to know what causes it and how to stop it.

  • I am a 63 y/o male and I have had this same problem of always smelling smoke, as if someone is burning firewood somewhere. I also consume large quantities of Costco roasted unsalted mixed nuts. For some reason, I thought there might be a connection. I haven't eaten any of these roasted nuts for the past couple of days, and the smoky smell seems to have subsided. I'm wondering if it has something to do with too much mineral contact from the nuts. I also had a problem once before with everything tasting bitter after eating pine nuts. Who knows?

  • I have been dealing with this for 20 years. My doctor and I call it NOT because after all the testing thru a bevy of doctors we know what it's not but not what it is. My experience is that it happens in 2 year cycles almost to the day. I liken the smell to burning rubber spatula. After day 3 I can actually taste it in the back of my mouth. By day 5 I'm suicidal. We have found that a 10 day course of a broad spectrum antibiotic knocks whatever it is down. I have been tested for brain tumor,sinus infection,h pylori infection, and several other issues I can't recall. I'm glad/sorry to know I'm not alone and that I am indeed not crazy. I have not been tested for crazy yet.

  • I have the exact same symptoms. Drives me nuts that no one around me Can smell it. It's nuts. Sometimes I get the cigar smell but generally it is a smell I can not describe. Medicine can't explain it. My mother said it is a spirit standing beside me wanting my attention. Of it is, I wish they would stop it.

  • Hi there

    I'm glad i am not the only one who can smell things, i thought i was going mad. Sorry that some of you have been having this problems for a long time, my problem only started a few weeks ago. I have started to smell soot!!. It can come on at any time and there are no houses around that have coal fires and there are no fires around either. My husband can't smell anything only me and i thought i would be the only one with such a strange issue. It is reassuring that other people suffer from similar smells however it is a concern that there doesn't appear to be a solution or quick fix for it.


  • Have you been tested for Non Allergic Rhrinitis: very sensitive to smell x

  • I'm amazed by this, a simple google search and find this whole host of chatter... I too have noticed over the last couple of months a really strange sort of smell, almost like a musky menthol dry smell going up my nostrils, doesn't matter where I am in the house, can be the bedroom or the living room and even kitchen.

    I am an ex-smoker, quit in 2008 after living away and clothes smelling so bad of smoke that the kids wouldn't come near me, no aid at all in quitting, I just quit dead without any hesitation. Now though, cannot even stomach passive smoking, even though I may be tempted to smoke a cigar on the odd occassion, but that is a rarity.

    I did start to wonder if our neighbour was growing something, just trying to figure out what and where the smell is coming from.

    Our house does get dusty and figured that was down to use living almost between 2 quarries, one being a mile away, the other about 4 miles away.

    I am fighting to get my body back in shape, but not easy when you have to rely on a tens machine to relieve certain back pain that travbels down the legs and pains in my knees when I stand, sometimes unbearable it feels like they've been hit by a baseball bat (I put it down to a reckless youth though)

    But this smell is starting to drive me nuts as well now...

  • I'm also amazed how many people smell this Smoke.

    I was sure I was the only one to have this problem. Google search also led me here.

    Maybe I'm not nuts after all.

  • I have very similar experiences. Wet wood smell. Awful distracting.

  • This seems to be another thing that I smell. I am sensitive to many smells but the 'wet wood' smell is one of the smells that I first noticed. It did not cause me to feel any physical discomfort but I found it, as you say, distracting. And it is ongoing.The odd part of this was that I could only smell it in my bedroom and not in any other room in the house. I asked family if they noticed it and they could not. This has been going on for several years. The smell goes away for months at a time, only to return at a later date.....

  • Hi there about 9 months ago i was in counseling when my sense of smell went crazy i dont know if the counseling uncovered some underlying problems from my past. Am considering going back to counseling. Has anyone else had this problem. The smell that bothers me most is cardboard box's and old fruit.

  • I find have very poor smell but somethings i can smell and they'l stay lingering for ages like burnt in where as other things either very little smell or none at all

  • I know this is a very old thread, but I just had to reply. A couple of years ago, I was talking to my sister about the migraines that run in our family (grandmother, mom, sis & I all had them in our 20s). My aging mom is having problems again, so my sis & I were comparing notes. I knew my sis had been to the neurologist, so I asked her why. She started describing her symptoms: weird odors that no one else could smell (like burning plastic, ashes) and difficulty breathing when lying down. She said if she breathed through a bedsheet or her shirt it helped. I was so amazed because I too had been experiencing the same symptoms, but not quite as long as she (she's 2 years older). The diagnosis: atypical migraine. She's had success with medication, but I'm not quite ready to try that yet. Since I'm not a doctor, I'm not going to suggest treatment. However, you can look it up yourself and talk with your doctor. I hope this helps you realize that you are not going crazy. :-) (I can't tell you how many times I searched the house, looking for that odor that no one else could smell.) And I hope you are able to find a doctor who can help you. Blessings!

  • I got so excited when I read original post! I have been experiencing periods where I wake up smelling a strange smell, kinda like fresh blood, When I go to get up i am dizzy and lightheaded. but what stood out for me was the cough and clearing your throat.....this is happening to me too! I usually end up in bed all day when this happens. I sometimes go for longs spans of time without the symptom...but lately have it once a week. I am so fatigued during each episode! I too have Fibromyalgia and Asthma.

  • I read most of the comments and I taught I am alone but unfortunatly there are a lot of people which they are suffering from same illness that i am suffering

    I am male 27 and it is more than 10 years that I am filling bad breath from both mouth and nose I visited a lot of doctors and spend alot of money on medicine to cure myself but unfortunatly there is no way for me

    I have no infection in sinus and throat and the doctors are saying there is no problem with me

    I can not set beside someone in the bus in the train

  • You're not alone in this. .. I get episodes that can last days or weeks or months...kind of smokey burnt rubber dusty. .. horrible. ... even 'feels' acrid.

    Gp....ENT....Neurologist..... 'cant find anything wrong' 'poss psychosomatic' blah blah. .... nasal sprays both cheap as well as expensive. ..nothing worked.

    Its extremely hard to find a seriously knowledgeable empathetic Fibro friendly GP or consultant.

    But feel confident you're on a site where others will have very similar experience xx

  • I am going for another check up CT scan from my sinus in this month I am sure it is not from my sinus because I already had CT scan but the doctor do not accept that I do not have tonsile stone too

    the doctor said I do not have tonsil stone

    serioslly I am made and there is not any doctor to cure me

    I hope one day I become well and have a good life

  • Interesting topic...

    Yes, I too have had this though intermittently.

    My trigger seems to be dental infections.

    I was hospitalized for a SEVERE infection, face blew up and had breathing problems.

    When I left the hospital I smelled putrid smoke in the bus home, my car when I picked it up, inside my building and condo.....for days on end.

    I thought some smokers were outside and the odor was being carried in via the ventilation system. Too sick to pursue any further!

    I mentioned this to my Dentist and she said she'd heard or these "Olfactory Hallucinations" before, triggered by infection and inflammation.

    Have you checked out this problem from a dental health perspective?

    I had facial paralysis following a massive dental trauma and with it came a metalic taste, a feature of "Bells Palsy", the catch all phrase used in facial nerve paralysis.

    Never offered a cure, but as the dental problems resolved so did the smells.

    Could you be harbouring "low grade" infections?

    Good luck, and try a bit of menthol under your nose.


  • I think I know what you are suffering from. It's called Phantosmia, which pretty much means Olfactory Hallucinations, or you are smelling things that aren't really there. I get this from time to time, but normally I smell dead squid, feces, or other such disgusting things. Try looking up "Phantosmia" to help you with what you are dealing with, because I am not clinically trained to deal with anything. Often causes are migraines and other such stress, or trauma as you may be undergoing, as well as numerous olfactory disorders. Smelling burnt things is common, as is rotten or disgusting, or otherwise unpleasant, smells when experiencing this kind of Hallucination. Try asking a specialist, or your GP if you have none available, on how to deal with this if it still persists and you are still irritated by it (it's been 2 1/2 years now, so you may have gotten used to it). Good luck!

  • There is treatment for this. I suffered for close to 17 years before coming across information about surgery known as "ablation of the olfactory mucosa" I had the procedure done in 2006 at the Cleveland Clinic! Free and clear of all symptoms since that day! Fell free to message me at if I can help answer any questions or provide any support! The surgery saved my life!

  • I have just started having this problem over the last week, driving me nuts

  • I have the answers!!! I suffered from this same disorder "phantom smells" for many many years! I have since had surgery in 2006 and have been free and clear of all symptoms! Please email me at if you are still have symptoms and need or want any help!

  • Id just like to add my experience incase others have also been affected. I moved into a house and all was well until it got cold. Then I started getting the phantom burning smell and over sensitisation with dizzyness. As well as the burning I could smell a car start 2 streets away or a ladies perfume on the other side of the road.

    Turns out my neighbour puts some kind of scent on his stove which filled my house every night. It built up slowly so I didnt notice until all I could smell was burning wood. I believe it may have been cinnamon which can cause low blood sugars and when burned will taint every cloth item in 100 meters. We fell out about it and he threw a whole bottle on his fire. All of my neighbours including him had to move out for 6 months and destroy all our furniture. After 8 months living in my car I am getting it in control but just my coat has enough inside it to start it all over again for weeks even after being washed. We all had to get new cars too as it smelt so bad inside. Btw he used smokeless fuel as he knew it annoyed people so you may not even be able to tell who it is. But out of interest i would ask people near to you just incase.

  • I notice that if I eat starchy food, bread, potatoes, or fatty food, cheese, dairy, milk, meat. The woodfire smell is strong. I try not to eat bread and fatty food and it seem like the smell disappears.. try this remedy and let us know..

  • wow interesting!!!!

  • A little internet research shows that are a number of people who are facing this issue. Besides the smell something that is common is how troubled everyone is and without any solution. I have created a private group on facebook to research this issue together. Please feel free to join.

  • I have also been suffering from this same issue for about 2 years now, I believe it to be due to me having a mouth infection I also have thrush in my mouth due to the mouth infection and have been recommended to have a root canal performed, I find that when I eat dairy products the smell gets worse, sometimes when I have a big meal the smell disappears I can't seem to find a cure for this, I've tried so much medication for my mouth thrush but it still persists and have been putting off having a root canal being done as ive read a new study recently about the dangers were not told about root canals and the life threatening illness after having it done. Doctors are not bothered as I was once told to use deodorant spray on myself after smelling this dreadful smell, I no longer rely on doctors advice. Instead of having a root canal I'm thinking of having my infected tooth taken out and pray it all get better. I shower everyday but having a shower or bath doesn't seem to help this problem to go away even if you was to spend all day in the shower/bath as ive realised after having a shower the smell is still lingering around. Hope someone comes up with a cure for this as it's driving me mad.

  • me too. it makes me wanna cry.

    Bloody annoying :(

  • Hi There ....

    I'm really eager to know did you ever get to the bottom of this as I'm struggling sooooooooo much with the exact same thing :(

    I've been for a CT scan on my sinuses this morning.

    Its driving me insane to the pint I want to cry :( xxx

  • Hi Stephy123,

    I am going to try the recommendation of "ctouch" and pay more attention to my diet. I've been dealing with this on and off for the past 10 to 12 years. It's a mystery! Sometimes I feel like I could go crazy too! I've tried everything. I've even gone as far as coating the inside of my nose with Vaseline.

    I'll check back to read your reply.

  • I have the smell problem to. Started a few weeks ago. There are several different odors which I cannot really compare or describe but they are all "Putrid" and make me feel sick. With me things don't taste like they should either. I find that I either overeat in an attempt to find something that tastes like it should.... or I under eat because nothing tastes right... The smells are very disturbing... no one else can smell what I am smelling and it's MADDENING :(

  • A little internet research shows that are a number of people who are facing this issue. Besides the smell something that is common is how troubled everyone is and without any solution. I have created a private group on facebook to research this issue together. Please feel free to join.

  • Hello. I'll make it short and sweet. I had this smell in my nose problem for a long time. I took vitamin Zinc and magnesium, one of the two was the cure, i'm not sure witch one did the trick so i suggest you take both. You'll see the improvement in about 3 days. I came to this site when i was searching for an answer and now i'm back with an answer. Hope it works for you as well.

  • John can you be specific what you took? THank you

  • John,

    How many mgs did you take daily. And is it still working?


  • The smell stinks it makes everything in the world stink! I got it after I was sick

  • A little internet research shows that are a number of people who are facing this issue. Besides the smell something that is common is how troubled everyone is and without any solution. I have created a private group on facebook to research this issue together. Please feel free to join.

  • It started a few weeks ago and I am in the same boat. It's hard to know if the smell is really same for all the people who wrote here or there is a difference. But there is definitely a commonality here. I get a strange ham like woodish smell.. (now how do u define smell)

    I come from an Indian family and we use a lot of spices in our food. We live in an apartment which does not have apt ventilation to take the cooking odor out. Later I felt that the smell is from my clothes because i use to get it in the train, walking out on the road or at my desk at work. I even washed my coat thinking that its the coat. I am still researching it. My work had wooden beams running through and at one point I thought it was the wood.

    I am getting sick of it... :(

    this might sound odd but I complained my doctor about smell in urine. She run some tests and all came negative. I dont eat ham but the smell in urine started after I had ham. I cant say if the regular smell was before that.

    Update 2/11: I started noticing when and how do I get the smell. No patterns yet.

    I talked to my mother about it and I was surprised to find she had that problem.

  • A little internet research shows that are a number of people who are facing this issue. Besides the smell something that is common is how troubled everyone is and without any solution. I have created a private group on facebook to research this issue together. Please feel free to join.

  • go to a functional medicine Doctor.

    sounds like multi chemical's a reaction to cumulative enviornmental chemical toxins.

  • Hi self employed, I thought I was the only one having smoke smells and now it is the smell of burnt BBQ sausages or meat. It drives me crazy and find it hard to sleep. I am so over it, it only started about two mths. ago. Thanks for the tip see if I can get some of that stuff your wife got from the chemist..

    Tks. for the help

  • A little internet research shows that are a number of people who are facing this issue. Besides the smell something that is common is how troubled everyone is and without any solution. I have created a private group on facebook to research this issue together. Please feel free to join.

  • Hello everyone.  I'm so glad that I found this post (it's why I signed up).  I have not been dx with fibromyalgia.  My daughter has, and it's quite debilitating.  I have some symptoms but not as severe as hers.  ANYWAY, I have this horrible smelling smoke thing... :( :( :(  I never thought it was related to fibro until now.  How could so many in this community compared to the general population have this if it's not related?  Mine started years ago but it was only every now and then.  This is going to show my 'flaky' side but I sort of thought that maybe I was being visited by my grandfather's spirit (who smoked like a chimney).  But it has become much worse.  I had thought it was the couch in my house, something in the vents in my car, etc.  It's not... nobody else smells it.  And the smell has changed a little.  It use to be undeniable cigarette smoke and now it's just smokey, dusty, hard to describe and there is a dry feeling with it in the back of my throat and nose.  The non-typical migraine comment caught my eye because my mother has actually been dx with these but hers causes her to lose her sight when it happens.  Very weird but again, very happy to have found that others are experiencing this.  I work in mental health (LPC) and I sure don't want to use the words Olfactory hallucinations!!! :D

  • A little internet research shows that are a number of people who are facing this issue. Besides the smell something that is common is how troubled everyone is and without any solution. I have created a private group on facebook to research this issue together. Please feel free to join.

  • look up multiple chemical sensitivity. and consult a functional medicine dr.

  • Thank you. I have had myself checked.. blood tests and urine tests.. everything comes out to be fine. People have already done MRI...

  • I have the same problem. And just googled smelling a smoky smell and first hits show that it could be brain cancer. Brain cancer supposedly does that to the senses. 

  • Hi I too have read about one of the signs of a brain tumour is a burning smell.

    I have suffered for 6 months with it coming and going, no pattern or other symtoms. I had a cat scan which showed nothing. Refered to a neurologist. Now today after my appointment and many tests including some for epilepsy/sezuires everything is normal. Now told I need an MRI..

    Awaiting appointment for MRI

  • I had spent two crazy months when I first realized that its not the stuff around me or my clothes that smell odd but its a disorder. I know how you feel but I suggest relax and dont think about it too much.  The more you try to solve it the more life gets difficult.

  • Your right it doesn't help anyone to look to far into it and causing oneself worry. Do you mind me asking what your disorder for the strange smell is?

  • I get this woody ham like smell every now and then. During the day wherever I am. In open in closed room, on the train and in the car. I can smell it when I start thinking of it. :(

  • A little internet research shows that are a number of people who are facing this issue. Besides the smell something that is common is how troubled everyone is and without any solution. I have created a private group on facebook to research this issue together. Please feel free to join.

  • Hi, i also have episodes when i smell cigarette smoke or nail varnish remover when theres none around. Did go to gp but was sent away non the wiser.

  • I have set up this facebook page specific for this issue.

    Please feel free to join so that we can take this to the next level.

  • Omg I have been smelling an odd smell for years and have recently connected it to stress, I have not met anyone with the same problem , it drives me crazy, people look at me as if I'm mad when I say what I'm experiencing, I also put my head down my top sometimes , it's also worse at home especially when I'm in bed.

    I am convinced it's stress as doing exams at the moment and it's really bad

  • A little internet research shows that are a number of people who are facing this issue. Besides the smell something that is common is how troubled everyone is and without any solution. I have created a private group on facebook to research this issue together. Please feel free to join.

  • Just wondered how things are now for you. I have had an issue with a woodyburning smell for many months, I had a nose op 7 years ago and have used a prescription nasal spray for allergic rhinitis but no longer feel a real need for it after the operation. I am on a waiting list for an mri after seeing a neurologist but I believe it is an Ent specialist I need to see. The neurologist did look into my nose and said it is still not right? I will await the scan results first...

  • A little internet research shows that are a number of people who are facing this issue. Besides the smell something that is common is how troubled everyone is and without any solution. I have created a private group on facebook to research this issue together. Please feel free to join.

  • Im having the same thing i dont know what it is but whenever i smell it i vomit and my stomach hurts. i dont know what it is but i really want help to figure this out.

  • I smell like someone is burning outside.

    It's crazy. I noticed when I chewed nicorette gum. I don't know if that has anything to do with it. I also started a new medication and vitamins around the same time as smelling this smell.

  • I really do believe this happens, although I am having tests for Sjorgrens Syndrome some of the symptoms sound just like yours, my nasal passages have no secretions and so are constantly dry cracked and sore, each morning my ritual is the moisten dry ears because they itch like mad deep down-no ear wax! my snozzle needs "descaling" and creaming to moisten it and cover any raw areas, I have no nasal secretions when I get a cold its weird, IF I go outside especially in winter; the cold air makes me cover my nose as I get enourmous smells from the air and around which make my nose tingle and smart and my eyes well up! My tongue is like a sponge and it soaks up fluid inc. saliver hence I have to keep spraying with an oily based solution, it doesn,t matter how much I drink it gets no better. My skin flakes and leaves a dandruff type residue on my clothes I use Doublebase Cream everywhere for now until I know is S.S. is the problem, I learned that S.S. also causes extreme fatigue!!

  • Hi Caz-54,

    I have had the similar skin flaking issue but so far I was not associating it with my smell issue. Just like you drinking a lot of water is not helping..

    If you are on facebook. pLease join others who have had the same issue

  • I've got something similar I had a bad bout of flu 3 months ago and ever since I can't smell anything .was using nail varnish this morning and the smell of it was disgusting and made me sick opened other bottles and they all smelt the same now the smell seems stuck in my nose and I can't get rid of it help it's awful

  • e have found 15 people from different parts of the world witht same issue.. we are connected here on facebook

  • I am having this same problem with a putrid burning sensation in my nose and mouth and it gives me headaches. I was afraid It was my house that was stinking but I have the sensation outside too. I have been wondering if it might be an internal candida (fungal) infection or bad bacteria bloom due to drinking too much soda lately. Also I started wearing a sports device in my mouth to self-treat jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Perhaps this is causing too much bacteria in my mouth but I have used this device in the past and that never happened. I have read that Candida fungus growth throughout your body causes all types of illnesses and even cancer. I will continue to research my symptoms and hopefully try some treatments.

  • Hi Gregster

    It is probably not your sports device. We have found 15 people from different parts of the world witht same issue.. we are connected here on facebook

  • Hi RubalVerma,

    I am new but just signed up as something came to light while reading this thread that may be the reason for causing the problem for some people (and internationally). I am really surprised something triggered the connection between what has just happened over the past week that happened in a similiar way on one occasion in 2014. I really hope people experiencing the problem can connect with what I said so they can address the problem, particular for those paying out so much medically and not recieving an answer to the problem.

  • Please join us on facebook.. there are about 20 other people suffering from same issue

    here is the link

  • Hi, I have been having a strange smell since January. Not burning, but more of a musty gassy smell.

    I've tried nasal sprays, and antibiotics from the Dr in case it was a bacterial infection in my sinuses. Nothing helped.

    I have just had a MRI on my brain (i also get a headache) and sinuses.

    This came back showing a bit of inflammation of the sinuses, and my pituitary gland is on the larger size of normal. Radiologist recommended a further MRI with blood tests.

    I'm waiting to have these. I was just wondering if it is the extra hormones produced from having the large pituitary gland could be causing this smell.

    I have also been having problems with my shoulder with a trapped nerve. Which was not caused by an accident or strain. Plus I have a cough and clearing of my throat when I'm lying on my back.

    Does this sound familiar?

  • Hi, Im sad to say that Ive developed this awful experience myself. Ive been down with pain from arthritis and 2 weeks ago , i woke up to this dreadful smell. its exactly how you described it. A smell that i cannot recall. All is i know is that Ive been fighting the desire to vomit. Ive tried vicks rub, nasal spray, i wish I could hose my nose down and wash it out. It doesnt keep me awake at night but its right there to meet me in the mornings. Its like a horror movie that never goes away. Ive asked others if they smell it and they say no, nothing.

    I can smell it on my skin, definately my breath.

    I can tell you its very depressing.

    I have a doctor appointment with a neurologist coming up soon, maybe he will give me some answers.

    Thank you for your question, Im not alone. Oh and I do have COPD, Im not sure that means anything.

    Until then , Hang in there everyone,

    Wishing you all the best.

  • Hello Karbear..please dont feel depressed...I have found 15 people so far in last couple of months.. we are here on facebook

  • Hi Everyone, Re: continual smell of burning everywhere I go.

    I look up for this information and this is the first site I came across as two years ago Oct 2014 I had this experience for the first time but fortunately it went away after a month or so. It has happened again, hence the reason I found this site.

    While reading the first posts of 3 years ago, something triggered a memory. About 3 maybe 4 times a year I like burning the little round charcoals and put incense on them. When I do this, I go mad to the point the room gets quite smoky. Mad I know, but I rarely do it. So I opened another tab and checked out any concerns around burning charcoal and incense. Bingo. The first site I came to was a research. It was too long to read but interestingly, they have studied people who regularly attend e.g. Buddhist temples where incense etc is burned and listed the types of damage including natal etc. I have not read it all as it is too long to read.

    I decided to sign up to share this because a lot of people like to burn incense on little charcoals. I happened to see two posts, one was Livingwater who mentioned having the problem after a BBQ (presumably charcoal used) and Pattid has mentioned chemical sensitivity. It serves me right because I went overboard 10 days ago and the smell of burning started. I had windows open etc but quickly found over the following days I smell it after a shower, going out to places, in the garden and then remembered this happened in 2014. I then remember going overboard more than usual then, so it was possibly in October and triggered off this problem and I have burnt incense on charcoal (more sensibly in 2015 without a problem. I am not going to look up any more research about charcoal or incense to scare myself silly. I will go with my gut feeling and ride it through and hope like last time it will go away. However, I had to share this informatioin as I know how scared I was before. You may have been over exposed in this way or to some other chemical. Once you can think it through and eliminate anything that it could be, the problem may either subside or reduce. Good luck. I will note my new password down and this site to check it as to whether this has helped anyone.

    Take care. Serenity

  • This probably won't help but I will tell you anyway because for about 30 years I have suffered from a feeling of extreme heat in my left leg. (I am not going to say maybe that's what you can smell burning) but it was very unsettling as I would have to keep looking down and shifting my leg to check I wasn't leaning against something hot. It happened inside the house, outside and in hot or cold weather. It was painful.

    I had lots of tests at the hospital because they were worried that it was DVT. It wasn't. It is caused by a nerve in my back that send false messages to my brain saying my leg is burning. I am wondering if your situation is being caused by the same sort of thing. You aren't really smelling smoke but a nerve is sending a message that tells your brain it is. The doctor I saw said he could destroy the nerve with acid. But I didn't want acid injected into my spine.

    I decided that as the burning wasn't real that when it happened I would keep telling myself it wasn't burning. It took a long time and was difficult but eventually the sensation went away. I wasn't just ignoring it because it actually went away. I think it was like I re wrote the message.

    You could try replacing your normal thoughts about it with a thought that just tells you that it isn't real because there is no smell of smoke. At first you may find that everything in your mind wants to convince you that you can smell it but just bat back with a strong thought that feels easy for you. Like a mental tennis match.

    It must be horrid for you to have this because unless someone has ever had phantom symptoms they just can't understand how real it can feel.

    Hope it helps but if not hope you get some help soon.

  • K i just changed depression meds and am getting that smell, also noticed someone else with depression who had same smell issue.

    Mayne its the depression-pills?

    Its buggin me though

  • Me to! Switched from 40 mg of paxil to 300 mg of welbutrin. And this overwhelming smoke smell is really a pain! And worrisome! I wonder if it does have something to do with it!

  • Whoopsie... Thought I was alone in this!

    Turns out we plenty.. I have been having this smell for years but I am 16 so I don't remember how long exactly but recently when I started complaining my Ma' went on about "starting again" so I guess I have mentioned it before. None of my doctors seem to think I am being for real & am quite sure my mom doesn't believe me (but has to be sweet -mama duties!). I am grateful to have landed this thread cause it is like so early in my country and I should NOT be awake but here I am. Everything smells putrid and I have a serious migraine, my eyes are itchy and watery. I have gone through all the comments but sadly none of you guys seem to have this figured out. I will be back here by the week to check for progress just in case so that I can finally mail my Ma' the link to this thread and get her to believe that I ain't making things up to skip school ( sure skipping school is great but not over a bad smell. I'd rather be in class than this). Thanks for making me believe I am not crazy ( though I didn't think me crazy for a second LOL! I knew I smelt something that made me wanna weep!)

    But I hope it's not a brain tumor! God No.. this would be awful.

  • So pleased to see that there are so many persons having the same kind of experience I am having. Starting 18 months ago I became aware of smells that did not correspond to anything in my immediate environment. That condition would continue until some other smell replaced it. saw my ENT who pushed a scope into my nasal passages and said he saw nothing irregular. The condition continues. For several days now I have a keen smell of burning toast, even when there is no toasting taking place in the house. That is all that I smell. I walk through the perfume section of Macy's for example and smell NOTHING. My wife's perfume, same thing. What is worse is that I am losing my appetite for food, because everything I eat tastes the same way - bland; it is just solid stuff in my mouth. I eat just so I do not go hungry. PLEASE HELP ME, whoever can!


  • Hello There!

    Guys I know I am late for 3 years, but I have some very similar problems now. After a severe cold which repeated itself twice I have messed up sense of smell now. I can barely smell things, although I had exceptional sense of smell. The most annoying is that things such as petrol, rotten odors, smell of sweat, some organic chemicals, boiled meat etc. smell the same for me (the difference is intensity). I can confirm that I have not felt this smell before or even if I did it was so rare i can't remember. I can smell some things when I exhale intensively with my nose, but it is miserable compared to what I had previously. I could smell people preparing barbecue in 2 quarters :(

    any suggestions on my condition?

  • I've had this problem since father's day 2015. I was making dinner for my Hubby and it had a few different spice's in it. They smelled a little strong to me but not that big of a deal. Only later that night I could still smell it. My husband thought I was being funny. But to this day I still have strange smells in my nose. I've been to the ENT Doctor and he found nothing wrong. Sometimes it fades and sometimes it is stronger. Never really goes away though. The doctor has no idea what the problem is. I am Very frustrated though. I no this doesn't help much. Except maybe I no what you are going threw. If any one has any idea what is causing this I would love to no.

  • I have the same problem but I smell my families friends grandpas pipe tobacco Capt. Black which has a sweet aroma. That I can't get rid of. It's like he's here but he's been dead for more than two yrs. It gets stronger during the holidays. Maybe it's like my dad said going insane. Cause why else would I smell it and no one else can or as I am starting to think it's more than going psycho.

  • I have had a few health issues, depression is now my highest hurtle. I live in an apartment building second floor. My issue i am smelling brewing coffee every day in my room and its driving me nuts. Like I live in a starbucks. Im not a coffee drinker so its not super pleasant. Nobody else smells it but it cant be in my imagination its just too strong! Im afraid to ask downstairs neighbors because if they arent always making coffee id have to face it is my imagination and that scares me. I will talk to my drs. hoping they may have answers

  • I've been smelling a "singed" or an over-heated smell. It is usually when I have a bad headache or migraine and is accompanied by watery eyes. I also sometimes have a sore tongue and sometimes my teeth hurt. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for over 20 years, but I turned much worse about 3 years ago. I also have anxiety, depression and IBS. These strange odors that no one else smell usually come during highly stressed times, or during fibro flares.

  • Oh wow. I thought I was losing my mind. I smell and taste Smoke when I breathe in. I didn't know it was as common as it appears to be here.drives me nuts. Sure wish I knew what was causing it.

  • I found this thread months ago when I first had the burning plastic/burning wood/old mould/charcoaly petrol smell. I was convinced it was the car AC, then the office AC, but it wasn't. I went for a private scan, Tommography. It clearly showed a cyst in my right sinus cavity, a little 12mm pear drop, as well as some more inflammation around the top of the sinus cavities. I read up about nasal polyps and saw a specialist. Polyps are smaller. I have a cyst. That is the cause of the smell in my case.

    I can't get it operated on by the state. I was prescribed cortisone spray. This was 6 months ago. The smell comes and goes. Often in the evening after some sport that day. I could get it removed privately if I wanted to pay.

    Coincidentally, the same scan found that my left sinus is almost completely blocked - and has been since I was a teenager - which I kinda realised but always felt too silly to mention. And I am getting sinoplasty on the state to fix that (breaking open the right sinus passage so I can breathe properly).

    The cyst and blocked sinus do not seem connected. I can't identify any lifestyle, work, leisure, activity etc. that could be related to the cyst. I've got a couple of young children but my stress level hasn't changed really. I am "healthy", sporty, talk a lot, write a lot.

    Thanks for this thread.

  • Hello,

    I also have this constant smell of cigarette smoke, fire burning weird thing going on. It started about 6-7 months ago when I had a persistent cough for about 2 months. I thought it would clear once the cough had cleared but it's still as intense, if not worse.

    Have you tried to flush out the nostrils using a neti pot?

    It originates from Ayurvedic Indian medicine.

    I have just ordered one in the hope it will help to heal the issue.

  • Don't believe nothing from the NHS or doctors website ,the problem of smelling chemicals is called methanol and formaldehyde exhumes.This toxic compounds are everywhere from all petrol station to cigarettes and th food you eat (as conservantes ) ,they say they don't use it but they lie .When you consume or breath any chemicals it stays inside your body and it is glued in your tissues and metabolised very slowly and this accumulation causes serious health problems including cancer ,Alzheimer's and chronic inflammation! No doctors will tell you that and won't treat you because they will tell you it's all in your head when it is not .This smell things are actually caused by fungus and infections ! What happens is that by breathing toxic chemicals it will damage your tissues and cause a necrose in it making your cells to switch off and being invaded by these onco bactérias and onco-parasitic fungai ! It overtime will give you cancer .Dont trust these doctors and laboratories because they won't diagnose you and their tests are scammed so they will make sure fungus infection won't be diagnosed .The problem is that over the years the pharmaceutical industry has created super fungus( Candida albicans for exemple) that mutates like crazy once is inside human tissue and to kill it will be a very hard challenge ,if you let it too long and becoming chronic you will get an auto-immune disease such as cancer in maybe 10 years time or less .To be healed from this there is a challenge but I have overcome this problem after 3 years of misery smelling amonia bleach fumes formaldehyde smell like ! It is depressing and can drive you insane so don't buy it from your doctors or from these random brain washing lies doctors website saying it is something you smell that is not there because it is a BS ! Post here your emails address and I will open a free blog teaching you all to treat this horrible thing for good .

  • Mold and fungus Ian the cause of smelling chemicals and amônia ,bleach ,methanol ,fumes ,pretos like formaldehyde smell and so on .It is aused also by bacteria.Your body is composed by good bacteria but when bad bacteria turns in and when you have an accumulation of solvents and chemicals in your body these onco-bactérias and fungus attached itself to the damaged tissue and make a room inside your switched off cells growing and reproducing like crazy ,it necessary doesn't cause cancer in short therm but in long terms causes cancer ,Alzheimer's and all chronic disease existent .Chemicals itself doesn't cause cancer it actually damages your immune system making it weak and unable to find infections and inflammation ,it also causes your tissues to die so patógens can infect the area and reproduce ,all diseases has an infection behind it ,cancer is an infection caused by various patógens which accumulates in dead cells and necrosed tissues .I cured my terrible nose smell after 3 years of hell and I can guarantee you it is caus d by fungus ,mold and bacteria .

  • Chopsy666 my email is: you said to leave you my email so you can let me know what I need to do.. to end this

  • been through same thinv with the ameels and it was spirits look it up

  • Hi .. I understand completely what you going through..I’m bothered act the fact , the smell can be in the room , but no one can smell it ,, i I don’t know what to make of it .. but I to would like to get closure

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