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Joined: 1 Nov 2017
Gender: Female
Posts: 41,864

26 Sep 2021, 1:25 am

I'm diagnosed with SPD including many subtypes (photophobia, misophonia, etc). I also have a very strong negative reaction to most scents, similar to the way I freak out or can't tolerate many sounds.

The term Hyperosmia is used for people with increased olfactory acuity. I have that. I'm wondering if anyone experiences the heightened acuity but also a rage response or an emotional fight / flight reaction to scents which others usually find tolerable?

For example, I will go out my mind if I smell chocolate or cocoa. I just can't do it. One day I thought I could smell chocolate and I became nauseated, gagging, and violently sick. I developed a migraine and shakes, but I knew we never have chocolate here. My adrenaline was pounding like I'd experienced a trauma trigger, because of the smell. It turns out my daughter's friend had been visiting and she left a small biscuit with chocolate chips in it, on a plate across the room. It was covered by a serviette and I didn't see it, but somehow I could smell it and become so hyperstimulated I was enraged by the scent, on top of throwing up. The same happens with many other smells even if I like the smell (e.g., I like the smell of roses, but I get the same visceral reaction, uncontrolled rage, and illness).

This is the way I am with noises because of misophonia. I'm just starting to see it's the same pattern with smell. I have four UVC air purifiers in my home and I clean them all the time to make sure I can't smell anything. No cooking smells, no pet smells, no chocolate or flowers or .... anything.

Can anyone relate to this extreme reaction with scent? Yes there are some scents I love and can tolerate, but my list of negative scents or my negative responses would be too long to share, and I'm sure it's part of my SPD.


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Joined: 19 Sep 2016
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06 Oct 2021, 1:43 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Can anyone relate to this extreme reaction with scent? Yes there are some scents I love and can tolerate, but my list of negative scents or my negative responses would be too long to share, and I'm sure it's part of my SPD.

I wouldn't say that my response is quite as strong as yours, but I struggle on a daily basis with olfactory, visual, and auditory triggers. I probably struggle the most with the first. It doesn't help that I also have MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) and asthma and can have bad reactions to a lot of fragrances.

Perfumes, artificial fragrances, and so many other things can overload me...leading me to meltdowns or shutdowns. I cannot bear the smell of most laundry detergents. Public places are triggers for me for multiple reasons, one of them being that I am exposed to the laundry/soap aisle and to the smell of other people (their laundry detergent, soap, and perfumes). I have had to run out of stores (with the guidance of my partner) so many times as it is LITERALLY painful for me to be there.

I can't use most store bought cleaners (and have to make my own) because I will become physically ill and/or have a meltdown if I use anything else. We only use unscented products in our home.

Just this past week, we went to view potential motorhomes. The last one we looked at (and the one we will be buying on Friday) had a scented candle burning inside, and I had to keep running outside to escape the stench. I thought I was going to pass out or throw up, and I could not even focus on what I was seeing. Luckily, my partner took video. We already have plans to air out and run our air filters so I am not in a perpetual shutdown or meltdown once we are residing there.

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Joined: 18 Jan 2011
Age: 40
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06 Oct 2021, 2:29 pm

I have hyperosmia. I can smell a lot of stuff others can't. Was when I was like 10 I noticed our neighbor has some weird smell of raw milk or something, and it turned out she was 2 months pregnant. This smell disappeared when she stopped breastfeeding. Now I know what this smell is and can recognize it before women themselves know :D Occasionally I can also smell stuff not appropriate to talk about, but it is what it is :D

I can't stand smell of metals in contact with boiling water, all metal spoons smell bad when I eat hot food, but some spoons reek so horribly in boiling water I can throw up. My favorites spoons are the ones that smell the least, I don't care about shapes and decorations.

I can smell specific scents of human skin and hair that appears only on windy days. Mostly I perceive it as neutral, but some women with long hair smell overwhelmingly pleasant, intoxicating after spending some time in the wind, I can feel it even from distance of like 30 feet indoors. This is not body odor or sweat, but two very different distinct scents.