I have been writing about perfume, scents and the sense of smell for a decade, it seems. In all that time, not once have I sat down and thanked my lucky stars that aside from an occasional head cold I haven't experienced a loss of sense that would debilitate my writing, my enjoyment of this hobby and the sensuous appreciation of life that comes with food, with sex, with bonding, with sensuality in general. But some people have. And they have actually done something for Anosmia, the loss of the sense of smell.
Fifth Sense is a charity based in the UK that caters to people affected by smell and taste disorders (taste being directly related to the sense of smell, as the very British word "flavour" suggests). There also nuances, such as "parosmia" (smelling something different than what is in front of you") or "phantosmia" (smelling things that are not even close, literally smelling "ghost" scents, as the word "phantasma" means ghost in Greek). For those using Facebook, the relevant page is this one.
The case is rather a scary one, since it can have not only a debilitating effect on a person, but also one of utter repulsion as the Guardian article by Louise Woollam as told to Eleanor Tucker, the Get Lippie blogger, reveals.
Anosmia Awareness Day may have passed, but the cause has not. If you're willing to donate an amount for the betterment of the lives of those suffering from this oddly "shadowy" condition (shadowy because no one is really vocal about it and victims suffer it without the help of awareness and sensitivity to their plight by other people), you're encouraged to use this link.
What most people don't realize is that anosmia can be treated in many (most?) cases. There is a wealth of medical advice that may be of interest to those suffering on this link.
|awareness and sensitivity go a long way....think about it next time you're told by someone anosmic that they can't smell|
And of course the value of smell training cannot be overstressed, even for individuals who have an intact sense of smell. Remember: we process stimuli with the brain. Having the pathways open is one thing, but the analytical ability to diversify, name and correlate the stimuli is the cognitive ability to "smell richly". You might not become a bloodhound, but you'll have a better understanding and appreciation of your surroundings and yourself.