Loss of Smell & Taste
Updated: May 17, 2021
Our sense of smell is closely linked to our sense of taste, so to lose one usually means to lose the other. I know what this is like as I've been there!
At the time of writing, many of you are suffering from anosmia (loss of smell) due to the COVID-19 virus, and I feel compelled to offer help with this distressing symptom of the virus.
It has been widely reported that smell training can be a way to help with anosmia, regularly smelling a set of substances and rating your level of smell for each one over several weeks/months. The main 4 essential oils suggested by various research studies are rose, lemon, eucalyptus and clove oil. If you live in the Oxfordshire/Berkshire area or surrounding counties and would like to book an appointment to go through some pure essential oil smells and begin a course of "smell training" I'm here to help you, please get in touch and make an appointment. I've shared my own full experience of losing my sense of taste and smell below.
If you would like to try smell training at home, take a look at these videos created by AbScent:-
My Experience of Anosmia
As an Aromatherapist, my sense of smell is paramount to my work. I completely lost my sense of smell (and as a result also my taste) in July 2000 when I was living in Italy (by the beautiful Lake Maggiore in northern Italy). My Mum had just turned 60 and came over for a holiday. A a 60th birthday celebration, we had travelled by train to Venice, stayed a few minutes walk from St Marks Square, with a hotel room overlooking the beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. Venice is a heady experience, full of wonderful foody smells, boats and tourists from all over the world, not to mention the wonderfully fresh coffee and fabulous evening "aperitivi" sitting outside watching the world go by.
On our last morning, I woke up feeling seriously unwell. As soon as I arrived home, I went to see the Doctor - the next day I woke up and could no longer smell or taste anything. I thought it would return as I recovered from the virus I had caught, but it didn't. As the weeks turned to months I started to fret - I visited the doctor several times and was told it was probably from the virus and it might come back, but they couldn't be sure.
When you suddenly lose a sense (or 2 as in my case), you suddenly realise how much you take for granted. I visited a few ENT specialists after a few months but had little luck - there didn't seem to be a treatment at the time. I understood that the nerves in the olfactory system had probably been damaged by the virus. Nerves don't usually regenerate. I had to be patient and hope for the best.
I did regain my sense of smell & taste - it took a few years - the first thing I could smell was certainly not something I had smelt before. I can only describe it as a sense that cleaning products had been sprayed and I could smell some unpleasant chemicals underlying all the aromas used to make them smell nice and fresh. Into the 2nd year I slowly started to recover my sense of smell, and with it my sense of taste, but it was a slow process and looking at the advice today I wish that I had used smell training not only to help with my recovery but also to have an idea of my progress.
Find a way to enjoy food visually (adding lots of colourful veg to your plate)
Close your eyes when you are eating and really feel the texture of different foods.
Try smell training.
Essential Oil Safety:
Always read the EO safety guidance
Always dilute before use (seek advice for recommended quantities)
Avoid contact with the eyes/mucous membranes
Do not use if pregnant without seeking advice
Use lower dilutions for children/babies/elderly
If you have any medical conditions seek advice
Stop use immediately if you experience a reaction - inform your therapist and seek medical advice
Get in touch if you'd like to purchase essential oils, smell any of the oils in my collection, buy a CAM Aromatherapy product, get help with creating your own blend, or have a massage treatment.