Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 27th: Anosmia Awareness Day & Fifth Sense

What does your sense of smell mean to you? Next time you inhale one of your favourite fragrances, consider the many among us who have lost their senses of smell and taste to conditions such as anosmia. Little understood and often dismissed by the scientific research and medical communities, smell and taste disorders can be caused by head injury, illness or age. Anyone who loves perfume, flowers, food and wine will appreciate the importance of the sense of smell - and the implications of losing this. Anosmia sufferers who have spoken candidly about their experience include Olympic double gold medal rower James Cracknell OBE; food writer Marlena Spieler; and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream’s Ben Cohen. Founded by Duncan Boak, Fifth Sense is the first charity to provide current, comprehensive information and advice about smell and taste-related disorders, leading the effort to educate society about the critical role that the sense of smell plays in our lives.

Fifth Sense will launch on March 15, 2014 with an event run in partnership with the University of London’s Centre for the Study of the Senses, whose Rethinking the Senses Olfaction Workshop takes place on March 14. For further information, please visit or email Fifth Sense at

press info by Maggie Rosen

And here are two clips on Anosmia with professor Thomas Hummel from the Smell & Taste Clinic.


  1. Anonymous16:07

    I'd be devastated to lose my sense of smell. Of course it's not as devastating or affecting as sight or hearing loss, but it would as though colours were missing from life.

    A friend of mine has anosmia, and has had it since birth, so though he viewed it as something of a disability he had at least never experienced the loss of it

    When I was younger and more thoughtless I'd find myself saying to him 'Doesn't this smell amazing?' about various things - being in a forest, cooking food and so on, then of course I'd apologise. He was very patient!

    I hope there will be medical breakthroughs in this field. I feel positive that so many more people are taking perfume seriously, including olfactory exhibitions and so on

  2. My dad lost his sense of smell in 1989 when he had radical chemotherapy...which worked miracles because he's still alive in 2014 at 96 years of age. But he'll never enjoy food or perfume as much. I think this movement is wonderful.

  3. Miss Heliotrope06:25

    A neighbour lost his sense of smell in a workplace accident. His wife took advantage of it by having flowers in the house that he was allergic to - he never worked out why he kept sneezing.

    What I find interesting, is that we (in English at least) don't have a colloquial word for this condition: we have deaf, blind, dumb/mute, but only a sciencey word for lack of sense of smell.

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  5. I can not imagine a world without smells. I had surgery and I was not feeling smells few days - it was harrowing. Thank God has researchers thinking on this topic.

    Best regards from Brazil


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