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The Forums, which have functioned in one way or another since 1996, have now been closed to new posting. However there is a wealth of accumulated wisdom that can be searched for and utilized, so we've archived the messages.
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Yes, BCgal. My husband seems to have a bad sense of smell, while I can smell everything. In fact, with my eyes closed I can tell what just about every smell is from. We have to cook meat in a fry pan on an electric eye out on the back porch because the smell of meat cooking makes me nauseated. If he has been working on any project, he has to put his clothes and shoes in the garage. The bleach he puts in the washing machine gives me a headache so he opens all the doors and turns on the fan.The smell of his soap when he takes a shower makes me gag. No perfumes or perfumed detergents for me. Even someone walking past me that has cigarette smoke on the clothes, or the dyes on clothes in department stores starts to give me a headache. Yet he can't smell all that. In the winter when our next-door neighbor starts up the fireplace, I have to stuff cloth in the windows in whatever room I'm in and turn on the air purifier. I know immediately when they start the fire. It has been this way with me since I was exposed to a lot of mold as a child and malathion as a teen.
Bloody red meat eater on BTD Autumn: Harvest, success.
I selected "other" because I have a hyper sensitive sense of smell for things like good food and sexually aroused members of the opposite sex nearby, but absolutely terrible sense of smell when it comes to things like skunks or the cat box needing to be changed. Smells that are either slightly pleasant or poor just smell like nothing.
But: What do the data show? So far: 128 Non-secretors answer 49 Secretors answer
Amongst Non-secretors answering, 95 believe their sense of smell is "super-sensitive" 22 believe their sense of smell is "average" 9 believe their sense of smell is "poor"
Amongst Secretors, 34 believe their sense of smell is "super-sensitive" 6 believe their sense of smell is "average" 9 believe their sense of smell is "poor"
This poll tells us far more about the Forum than it does about olfaction.
First and most immediately obvious, non-secretors, a general population minority by a long shot, far outnumber Secretors amongst the poll's respondents.
Second, this is a poll about belief rather than fact. If the poll question were more substantive, we'd have some real data. Example: "______oz of ________________ is spilled ____________meters away in a closed space of such and such dimensions. How long does it take you to smell it?" My guess is that there are many true "averages" who believe their sense of smell is sensitive or poor. And vice-versa.
Third, there is no control for very important variables, including sex and various health conditions that affect olfaction. If female respondents far outnumber male (as Nonnies do Secretors, here) then the conclusions must be skewed, too. If the Nonnie sample has a higher incidence of respiratory allergy than does the Secretor sample, then, too, we've learned ZERO about how secretor status determines the fineness of one's sense of smell.
Fourth: What determines whether or not a Forum browser answers this poll? Chances are excellent that folks who consider their sense of smell "average" will be less interested in the Thread Title than will someone who is convinced her/his sense of smell is something noteworthy. Someone clicking on the thread and reading the OP is far more likely to be someone with an extreme rather than average response.
D'Adamo proponent since 1997 dadamo Blogger and Forum participant since 2005
Interesting thread! I also said "average" because I have friends who are SUPER sensitive, and I tend to compare myself to them. However, I notice lots of smells that others are oblivious of. That has always been true. Chemical smells can make me nauseous. I really dislike fake perfumery, though I am not allergic to any of it, I think because I have always had a strong immune system due to growing up with real, healthy food, and getting plenty of exercise and time in nature.
I also deeply enjoy smells other people sometimes find offensive, like horse manure! And some of my A friends dislike sour milk or what they call "off-smells" but I have always loved things like Limburger cheese, brie and smelly tofu, and had to give up many of the "rotten" and moldy foods that I used to enjoy because of my BT/GT.
One of the things that concerns me is that at 61 my capacity to smell seems to be diminishing. Lavender essential oil isn't so intense for me as it used to be, for instance.