Phantom Odors?

I have read pretty extensively on the loss of smell being a symptom of PD however I appear to be having a slightly different experience, phantom odors.

I have been having fairly regular instances of a really bad odor that apparently no one else can detect. It is more often than not very similar but occasion it "smells" slightly different. Even worse, sometimes I can "taste" this weird odor.

Anyone else experiencing anything similar?

11 Replies

  • I lost my sense a smell for about 2 months when I first started with my meds. I haven't had that problem for a long time. But lately I haven't been having a bad odor smell but highly fragrant odor of some kind. Sometimes it so strong I feel nauseous.

  • I lost my sense of smell 30+ years ago. It was a slow process, during which good smells were gradually replaced by unpleasant chemical-like odors. Before long, popcorn smelled like unwashed socks. Ice cream smelled like unwashed socks. Roast chicken smelled like--------, well, you get the picture. Then the sense of smell disappeared entirely. I didn't know it at the time but that was my first Parkinson's symptom, the only one until the others started lining up about two years ago.

  • Before I noticed that I had lost my sense of smell, I noticed weird odors. One was like decaying vegetables and one like toast. I'm in the study of pioglitazone and I believe I'm taking at least some of the medication because the weird odors have gone and my sense of smell has returned! I may not smell as well as others, but I am noticing so many more smells and it quite delightful.

  • Can I ask what meds you are taking that helped restore your sense of smell?


  • My sense of smell is almost gone! :( About the last time my sense of smell worked well was on the Road to Hana.

  • I first started smelling burnt electronics, a fairly obnoxious smell. After no one else in the lab could smell it, and i later smelled it in my car, i realized it was me. I can still smell stuff, just this one crops up from time to time. i googled it and got immediate hits with phantom smells and park. i'm sad to hear about the loss of smell on some pwp. That seems worse :-( but my neurologist hadn't heard of it as a symptom. Therefore this group stuff is beneficial.

  • Yes I experience all sorts of odor mishaps! I smell things no one else does, I don't smell things everyone else smells. I can barely eat because everything tastes the same -blah! I use a lot of spices and different textures but eating is a job anymore.

  • My husband's first sign also of PD was his loss of smell. We did not know it was due to PD at that time. We researched this later when he was diagnoised. His doctor told us too that it is a first systom. He also had the phantom smells. It started with ice cream!! It got nausiating!! Then just alot of nasty smells. It finally stopped and he couldn't smell at all. He misses it sooo much. He has to have spicey foods and hot sauce to enjoy any meal.

  • Silly, immature humor warning! Real response follows.

    Phantom Pharts perhaps? Ok who cut one!?

    Loss of sense of smell was also a early symptom for me. I started smelling bad things about 8-10 years before diagnosis. Water was problematic for me...I used to travel a lot for business and ended up seeking out bottled water exclusively and even some of those smelled "funny". Next was chicken, which to me smelled spoiled whether raw or fully cooked. (Got my wife way more frustrated than my adolescent humor ever did. She loves chickenwould make a beautiful dinner with it, and it smelled horrid to me!)

    I do not know why but a lot of the bad odors issue has dissipated over time, thank goodness! Sense of smell is still weak though.

  • Were you taking Sinemet? this drug stinks and ruined the smell of everything I smelled!!

  • Yes I sometimes get these strange smells. First thought it was the refrigerator then realized it was me! They come and go but I still can smell things.

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