A symptom that can be used to cause delight?

This is my fisrt post and I’d like to start by saying what a terrific site this is!

I find posts supportive and kind, and I enjoy the humour some of you guys inject so skilfully to lighten the sometimes painful and emotive subject matter.

I am currently awaiting diagnosis, and have found this site useful to help me make sense of some of the scarier symptoms whilst I’m resting and hoping to feel better soon.

I am hoping that I have not got ms but I have begun to learn (through listening to you guys) the depth of pain and suffering some people have to endure on a daily basis while I am on my current journey. I will endeavour to use this learning to be a kinder person going forward regardless of my diagnosis!

However, I am having a ball with an incredibly heightened sense of smell…Ive looked for threads on this to no avail. Things I have always liked the smell of such as freesias, lillies and chocolate now smell sublime… with chocolate the smell is more amazing than the taste… hehe

Although icky smells are also more pungent I was fascinated earlier smelling some goats cheese…it was really earthy and rich.

Bubble bath and body lotion has become a ritualistic experience which helps detract from some of the more painful and nasty pains.

Has anyone experienced this ?

Regards, Gill

Hi Gill and welcome.

No, I have always had a good sense of smell. Not heard that MS increases it…interesting…

luv Pollx

Hi Gill, and welcome

I had an enhanced sense of smell when I was pregnant, but MS has never affected it. Interesting experience I bet!

Although, I cannot believe for a second that chocolate smells better than it tastes. IMPOSSIBLE!!! LOL!

Karen x

Ha Ha Karen… Thank goodness I’m not pregnant… my baby is nearly 18.

My illness has bought me crashing to a halt and I have been so unwell the last few weeks that maybe now I am starting to feel a little better I am noticing the things around me more?.

It still takes me a long time to do simple tasks like having a bath…but having more time (not cleaning the house - and guess what it hasn’t fallen down and no family member has dysentry) And not going to work (The empire is still rolling without me) I think I am learning to appreciate the simple things, and appreciate the days when pain does not overshadow all the lovely things around me…like flowers and chocolate eggs.

Anyway Happy Easter to you all x

You really should read “The dog beneath the skin” - it is an account of a very similar experience recorded in Oliver Sack’s book “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For His Hat” - always in print. I cant recommend this book highly enough to anyone who hasnt read it. It contains lots of fascinating and enlightening accounts of neurological disorders.

Hi Gill.

I am new here and am also going through some weird experiencs. Not nice at all and very worrying as my symptoms are very much like MS symptoms. Am starting to get some feeling back in my left leg and arm now after over 3 weeks of having to shuffle along with a walking stick and not being able to shop or cook etc. Am awaiting an appointment with a neuro and MRI scan and lumbar puncture.

Anyway, what I was going to say was, I have always had a heightened sense of smell. My kids say I should work at an airport as a sniffer dog (hehe).

Like rizzo, I cannot believe chocolate can SMELL better than it TASTES - Self confessed chocoholic here :wink:

Just wanted to say hi really. I have found this place a nice place to visit


Hi. I think this may be something I would be interested in reading. Who is the author, please?

I might have to put it in my Amazon wishlist :slight_smile:

Mr Bobowen… a big thank you for suggesting the reading material, since becoming ill on the days when my eyes allow my Kindle has become a faithful friend. It’s amazing what interesting stories you can download for free on Amazon…(unfortunately I have not been with my employer for long enough to qualify for sick pay, so am having to find interesting things to read that don’t cost much).

Midnightmoon…I just looked it up on Amazon and its a collection of neurological short stories by Oliver Sacks (Professor of Neurology and Psycology). There are new and used copies from 1p, and the Kindle verson is £5.38…although I am on a real tight budget I think Mr Bobowen it will be worthwhile and I really don’t want to wait for the 1p paperback version to turn up

If you click on the Kindle version you can “look inside” for a few pages and get the feel of the book…I shall make a start on it when the Masters is finished…can’t wait.


I am also new on here, awaiting appointments with the neuro! I had to post agreement with you about the supportive people on here. AMAZING!! I also wanted to tell you something odd that is happening with my nose!! It burns, I can totally feel it flare up the sensation is most un comfortable, But it makes me feel extremely conscious… I’d much prefer hightened senses of smell…

Hope your well


I am also new on here, awaiting appointments with the neuro! I had to post agreement with you about the supportive people on here. AMAZING!! I also wanted to tell you something odd that is happening with my nose!! It burns, I can totally feel it flare up the sensation is most un comfortable, But it makes me feel extremely conscious… I’d much prefer hightened senses of smell…

Hope your well


Gill, might sound a bit weird but I am curious as to whether a heightened sense of smell would enable sombody to shed light on the theory that humans also emit phemerones - e.g. to signal their attraction/availability, fear or oestrus.

It’s not a theory - it’s a fact

We are animals after all!

Karen x

Oops - meant to say… the Oliver Sacks’ book is an excellent read. Did you know that he has prosopagnosia (face blindness) himself? There was a documentary about it. He’d gone through his entire career with only a tiny handful of people knowing! Amazing!!!


Missed that one. Been reading about his eye cancer. The cover of his latest book drew my attention because of the way bits of text are washed out like I have been experiencing in my left eye.

Hi there - thanks for all the interesting responses,

I’ve been immersed in reading the collection of short stories by Oliver Sacks.

Its’s utterly fascinating reading and the story that particularly resonates with me is indeed “The dog beneath the skin”… the Professsor’s description such as “eidetic, redolent…other sensations paled before smell” demonstrate to me how fully he must have listened to and believed his patients. Those words describe perfectly my recent heightened sense of smell’

It’s not an easy read in parts, you could almost use a map of the brain with the areas that control certain functions and senses marked out to refer to whilst reading, as I have never been interested in anatomy, but the book is worth the effort.

I have been amazed by some of the sensations that I have experienced recently and this book really does open your eyes to the intricacies of the brain.

Although the man featured in this story can smell people’s emotions, I concur with Karen that this could be possible. Maybe a sense can be heightened as other senses recede… as in normally there is an even kind of balance between what we see and smell. If the other senses are weakened for whatever reason another sense becomes more pronounced.

Keep the reading recommendations coming please.



Glad it struck the right chord with you; reading your account instantly reminded me of it. I’ve always wanted to have that experience - I guess thats why some people experiment with drugs (not that I am advocating it). I have to say it is one of the most influential books I have ever read (I dont read many) in that it completely transformed my conception of how the brain and mind are intertwined.

Just to add a thumbs-up to the recommendation of this wonderful and humane book. I first read it years before MS came to call, but it was wonderful glimpse into how we can learn about how the brain works by seeing what happens when it gets a problem. Wonderfully-told stories.



Thanks Gill :slight_smile:

I remember reading ‘An Anthropologist on Mars’ by Oliver Sacks many years ago. Lots of different stories about many diffferent conditions also. I can remember a couple of the stories in it: A colour-blind painter who, after a car accident, was left colour-blind and the micro-surgeon with Tourette’s!

Must read it again some time! :slight_smile:

Hmm, that’s strange. I can only find:

The dog beneath the skin; or, Where is Francis? by W. H Auden (Hardcover - 1968)

on Amazon…

Does anyone have a link I can use please?