Friday, January 02, 2009

Hallucismelling

Lots of things happen to me that make me think I'm losing my mind, but I think the most mysterious of them is when I smell something that no one else can smell and can't possibly exist. There have been a number of occasions when I've smelled cigarette smoke where it is nearly impossible that there was any anywhere nearby. Most recently, I was sitting at my desk in the smoke-free building I work in and smelled smoke. It was only for a moment, but I smelled it. I swear it. People are not allowed to smoke pretty much anywhere on our block because you can't smoke within 5 feet of a business entrance or something like that. Our office is on the third floor of the building and very far away from any open windows or doors. Very weird. Last night, Ian and I were sitting on the foof watching Heroes, when I smelled something fruity, kind of like melon. Ian didn't smell it and I smelled every inch of the foof and every blanket and pillow, every inch of myself and Ian and the cat. Nothing smelled like what I had smelled. This happened maybe 3 or 4 times while we were sitting there. All of a sudden, I would smell it, but then it would go away. This morning I did notice that the hallway smelled pretty strongly of perfume that smelled slightly like what I thought I had smelled the night before, but I'm sure I didn't smell it out there last night, so is it possible I was smelling perfume someone sprayed on herself within her closed apartment -- inside my closed apartment? I suppose maybe I could have super smelling powers, but then why does Ian often notice smells that I do not and he didn't smell the melon smell at all? One time a long time ago I read somewhere that ghosts can present themselves as smells. How weird is that concept? Wouldn't it be strange if some spirit was trying to get my attention by making me smell things that aren't there? More likely, I suppose, I have been experiencing phantosmia. Who knew such a thing existed?

4 comments:

Kari said...

i've had phantosmia since 1993. it's all under control now. wha tyou are describing is exactly the way it started for me. perfumey/fruity/smoke. we believe mine started because of a very high fever i did not take care of properly and it may have damaged some of my olfactory nerves. if it continues i would see an otolaryngyologist(sp?) just have it checked out as there are many factors that could cause it to occur. i've followed research for years, one trigger factor could be tannins(ciggarettes, chocolate, wine, coffee) i find it happens more when i am consuming too much of these things and not enough water. these are not causes, just triggers. sorry to say i don't believe the ghost factor not that i don't believe in spirits just not in these types of cases. good luck.

johncarnessali said...

It could be a brain tumor... lol... It isn't really that weird in fact... smells are like memories that can be triggered at any moment for whatever reason.

tstockley said...

The olfactory nerve is the closest to the memory centers of the brain. Apparently, this results in immediate memory recall when exposed to a smell, sometimes with visceral emotions attached. If I smell Miracle Whip (not regular mayo), I feel like I am going to immediately vomit, as the first time I ever had it, I threw up. As far as the phantom scents, maybe it works the other way around. You had a memory that related to cigarette smoke or melons, and it triggered an olfactory hallucination.

Pam said...

Interesting comments! Thanks!