Weird Smells

After awakening from my SAH/Brain bleed I get really weird smells. Yes Yes I do wash !!

Seriously my perfume stinks and the Doctor pointed to his forehead and it's all in here. I wanted to say to him "Oh you got it also" but thought better of it lol..joke.

I didn't get it straight away but approx. 2/3 years later. Now my bedding smells after being on a day, guess it is in my mind but even Fabric Softener stinks to me !!

Anyone had this as I drive my family bonkers over me and my smells arghhh help needed.


Win xx

34 Replies

  • Hello, Win-

    I'm with you, but I think we're a minority, I've read about many more cases of smell/taste being lost than being accentuated. I was always the one in the house with the best sense of smell, the one tasked with sniffing the milk to check if it had gone off... (Here's a clue, if it's already swilling about in the carton with a texture like yoghurt, it's off, you don't need to shove it in my face while I'm doing something else.)

    I noticed it straight away, even in hospital, where everything smells sanitised and clinical, visitors STANK. (Especially the in-laws, he doesn't believe in anti-perspirant, and she uses enough hairspray to keep the Queen Mary in dock for a week.)

    Coming home, to a house that had been abandoned for a fortnight, everything smelled damp or dusty, like that 'stale' smell after a holiday, the ex-husband changed jobs, and ended up in a manual labour job, but didn't think his work-clothes 'needed' washing, because they were only going to get dirty again... (We're separated now, I couldn't stand it.)

    My work-arounds are to find 'familiar' smells I can tolerate, and layer those up when I find myself enraged at being able to smell something else.

    (I completely empathise with the 'bedding stink', I have three pillows, and turn them over and around, when they smell of 'hair', which I wash every day...)

  • That sounds bizzare! but horrid! Actually thinking about it i should change our bedding! HUGS

  • It's one of the many and varied parts of my weird 'disability', that DWP and ATOS don't think is a disability.... I don't drive, and I have to factor-in the possibility that I'll have to get off a bus, and catch the next one if there's a 'funny smell'.

    It's a bit easier for me to manage now I'm living on my own, and largely in control of the environment. There WAS a slimy potato in a bag of decent ones a couple of weeks ago, and my bloodhound nose wouldn't let me rest until I'd found the 'smell' source.

  • I swap pillows also lol still stink ..Good luck

  • Thanks for replies as my Hubs and Daughter tut every time I say I smell lol xx It is the costly perfume that stinks the worst so on cheap sprays like impulse and just body sprays. I still smell of a garage and all other weird smells but as Doc says it is in my head..Thanks for replies it is good to know I am not alone ..." Stinkers Unite " ha ha xx

  • Oh always a relief to hear others talking about olfactory disturbances. Mine also started with my favourite perfume, that I'd used for years, suddenly smelling sour and musty. I even took one bottle back to the shop claiming it must be old stock which had gone off !

    Years on I've realised that the perfume is fine (on other people) but I've had to try many alternatives (some expensive but vile) 'til I settled on one which is now my tried & tested favourite.

    When my smell and taste became so corrupted, I was quite miserable for a few months 'til I learned to accept it as a side-issue of my SAH.

    Mine actually started a couple of months before I had the bleed and, after I Googled it and saw that there were reports of connections with brain issues such as tumours and strokes, I mentioned it to my GP who swiftly poo-pooed the whole idea.

    Interestingly, my neuro-consultant later told me that there's a definite connection between olfactory disturbance and brain trauma.

    Hope you find your way around/through this annoying problem ; my saddest loss is tomatoes .................I used to eat them like sweets but last time I tried one I apparently looked like a bulldog chewing a wasp. :o xx

  • LOL now about that bedding! I got sidetracked starting my essay for uni

  • How's it going at uni Razy? good I hope. xx

  • Its going ok thanks cat on 2nd module level 1

  • Good girl ; hope all continues to go well ! xx

  • Hi :) no you're not bonkers. I suffer badly with this, and have to leave places if the 'smell' is too obnoxious. My worst offence is announcing that I've noticed it - usually in a very loud voice. I'm getting better now at reigning that in and just removing myself from the vicinity, but for a while my teenagers and hubby were terrified of taking me out anywhere in case I announced a smell. 'It stinks in here' was my favourite saying for a while, and also 'gross' in some ladies toilets, Es specially if they are internal with no ventilation.. Some shop and cafe owners don't appreciate hearing your opinion. Some bus and train seats stink of wee, and lots of cafes smell like they need to change the cooking oil. Cheese sauce being cooked smells like something unmentionable and I have to run out if I smel it.

    Perfumes / face cream / deodorant all smell very different now , and even some washing tabs leave the washing smelling yucky. Plug holes everywhere seem to offer up disgusting smells yuk. My new toothbrush got replaced because it developed a 'smell' (which no one else in the family could detect). Newish pillows had to be changed because I thought I smelled a rubbery smell from them.

    Do you 'taste' the smell youre smelling? This can be very disturbing sometimes.

    Moo is so right. Being hyper sensitive to sounds/smells/tactile sensations is not recognised as a problem - but it can really wear you down trying to navigate through a normal day with so much sensory intrusion on top of everything else. Another'big' issue is 'clean' smells though - I used to almost convince myself that cleaning chemicals had accidently gotten into my mouth a while ago, even when I knew it wasn't possible. But that's because the taste was so strong. Now when I smell or taste a really strong chemically smell, I know it's just hypersensitivity, and I tell myself to ignore it, or eat a glacier mint to take the taste away. In the scheme of things it's not the end of the world, other people have far worse things to deal with. Perhaps you could try sucking a sweet to take bad smells away? It definitely helps.

  • Elenor and All

    Thanks for reply, it is good to know we aren't alone in this, I do suck mints and choc still tastes lovely lol. Just my clothes and skin so I am going to buy some baby shampoo as it might be milder and I'll looks for mild detergents. Good Luck to all of Us

    Win xxxxx who does not smell arghhh xxxx lol

  • Definitely not alone... I drive myself and everyone else nuts with the hyper sensitivity issues (noise and smell being the main ones) ...I also have this taste thing where certain things taste really bad like rotten eggs - this has stopped me eating citrus fruits as they seem to be the worst culprits for some strange reason...

    My weirdest thing by far is that since my BI I cannot tell by touch if something is wet or dry. It caused a lot of problems in the early days because apparently I refused to put clothes on or get under bedsheets because to me they were wet to touch and although I now accept that my perception is off...I still get someone to double check things when I pull things out of the dryer

  • That sounds really difficult to manage. It must have been so confusing for you. It's another very unusual symptom that isn't discussed widely. Glad to hear you're managing to live with it.

  • Thanks Elenor and others for replies, as I did really start to consider my sanity, you have made me feel better all of you with replies especially gurning face lol. xx Showed it to hubby so he knows it is an after effect of a B.I. Be Well All xxx

  • Yesterday I took a hot shower but the water was really cold on my head, my SAH only happened two months ago.

  • Could have been dangerous Nurbloc ..get someone to always test before you get in. Good luck xx

  • Iam sorry for laughing at a serous issue,but the thought of you "running" around the ward in the nip! is kinda of funny! SORRY xxx Having said that it must be really annoying and weird,glad to hear that most people have found ways to try to overcome it,hugs

  • I too have an accentuated sense of smell and hearing since my SAH and it drives my family nuts at times. I empathise with you all. X

  • With you on the hearing, too, I think it was one of Kavib's video-posts where she likened herself to having Spiderman-senses. Everyday life, since my BI is a bit like that atrocious 'nightclub' sound-overload, where everybody is trying to shout their conversations over the too-loud music... Not pleasant, and I've had to leave situations where multiple conversations are being had at the same time, because I can hear every single word AND every electrical appliance in the room, as well as what's going on outside... wouldn't do for me to start typing which area the girl at the next desk was booking in to have waxed, when I should be typing care-plans...

  • We're not alone!

    It's really hard not to grimace in public, and my poor son used to check my face when we walked into 'new' places, a quick shake of my head, and we'd about-face and out, rather than me doing the World Gurning Championships thing, and offending someone.

    I'm really glad I didn't go 'off' my perfume or soap, prior to my recent 'issues' at work, I was one of a team of staff generally called out to children in crisis, and the tone of my voice, along with my 'familiar' scent genuinely did help to focus/ground children who were either in an emotionally heightened, or detached state.

    Matt2584 posted a while ago on aromatherapy, and, while most of my oils have probably expired from a therapeutic point of view, I'm fairly certain they'll be less expensive to use in burners around the house than the Y*nkee Candles I'm currently going through at an alarming rate.

    It is real, and the fact that other people aren't quite as sensitive does make it difficult to articulate, had I not been living alone, I suspect that the ex, or my son might have had something to say about me stripping my bed at 6.30 this morning. (Horrible anxiety/insomnia thing reared its head, with one of my infrequent "Which bus would I get if I needed to go to...?" sweaty, over-processing mind-spins. That'll be directly related to the number of medical appointments I have coming up, and the bus-routes having changed, but try telling me that at 1am, when I'm 'in' it...)

  • Thanks All for replies I now have a smile on my face whilst typing and my nice smelling hair and nightie really stink in my mind, but I am pretending they smell nice, hard going trying to fool your brain. Nigh on impossible. We must keep a smile always and thanks again it is good to know we are not alone xxxx

    Win who doesn't smell ha xxx

  • While in hospital I got obsessed with smells even friends visiting had to bring me antiseptic sprays and wipes.

    I ended up one time refusing to sleep in my bed due to the smell it left on me they even changed the mattress and I sniffing it and spraying but this horrid smell was still there.

    I ended up getting another bed and spraying antiseptic spray ,extra sheets and putting my towel on the top but this smell was still there.

    It's a thing I laugh about now but at the time it drove me nuts and friends wearing perfume when they came to see me was so strong.

    Even now occasionally I get days where I can smell something and no one else seems too so you are definitely not on your own.

    I am sensitive to noise as well more so now since my ear op even though I have lost part of my hearing in the operated ear.My craniotomy and ear op are both on my right side so I just baffle my Dr's when I see my Neurologist or have to go ENT when I don't feel right!!!!

    At work I'm like a blood hound some days with smells that others don't smell.

  • i have the opposite problem where I can't taste or smell anything. It's put me right off food !

  • Thanks for replying All, I had a bleed and was okay for a while, coffee always tastes foul and I say to my family my bed stinks and I know it is in my head but it is so real, wish chocs tasted foul lol but I can drink Costa coffee but not homemade, I am sitting here in a nightie that stinks and a chair that reeks lol and I have had a shower !! I can smell when the sprayers spray the fields. It is awful even the perfume I wear stinks gone back to baby shampoos and baby washes. Stop repeating self Win lol. Good luck All. xx oh and milder detergents to no avail !! xxxx

  • It's one of those damp, cold days here in NW today ; the sort which puts you in no doubt about having the heating on. But all my kitchen windows and door are wide open.

    My housemate had dabbed a tiny touch of TCP on a cut. I walked into the kitchen, gagged, opened every possible access to air and made a swift exit. He says he couldn't smell anything and I really was being a drama-queen.

    Had to sound off so this thread was very handy !

    'They' just don't get it do they !!

    Have a good day all. xx ;-)

    PS Dark night tonight so something else for me to crow about. :o

  • I know Cat3, my Daughter was using a spray for her back, it permeated the house. She put bleach in toilet I had to tell her to shut all doors. She loves me !!

    Keep well and passes all who have smells a peg . xxxx

  • :D xx

  • Yes, I get 'phantom smells'. I was convinced my perfume was gone off and it stank of rancid urine or something. But everyone kept reassuring me it smelled of flowers.

  • I now wash in baby wash not as good but less scented xx Keep well all xx

  • The sensitivity of ears and nose is related to any head injury. Usually the sense of smell is elavated so it's much stronger than normal. I had a SAH last March and I have noticed a difference , however in time it will get better. Just surround yourself with nice smelling room sprays or natural flowers.

  • Thanks for that Kavib xx I'll give it a try

  • Very glad to hear it's not just me... It's more taste than smells for me, sense of smell is definitely stronger but isn't changing nice smells to bad my taste on the other hand is changing lots of my favourite thing really vile.. Chocolate, coffee, wine, ice cream and lots more.. The only good thing is cigarettes smell disgusting And since I'm only a non smoker since my SAH 3 months ago, it's really helping me stay off them, I miss coffee much more than them. Is anyone else having pain in the skin on their face and scalp? I even find putting make up on painful.. 🤔 Thanks for all the posts it's great to hear other experiences.. X

  • Good luck Bellemac hope all works for you, I had a woman walk past me with a cig on and it made me feel sick lol xxx

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