Hypersensitive smell

Hello All,

I would like to know if any of you have the strangest sympton I have? I noticed along time ago that i have a very much heightened sense of smell and that smells I once could happily tolerate are now absolutely intolerable. I first noticed it with the perfume of my wife and my own deoderant, it was at first a bit overpowering but got to the point that it makes me feel nauseous.

I can smell things that other people seem unable to, for example my 7 year old son had been very briefly at a BBQ and the smell of smoke in his hair made me put him in the shower while the other four adults in the room could smell nothing (I did not know he had even been to the BBQ). When my wife sprays perfume at 5 in the morning as she leaves for work, now as far away from our bedroom that she can, it wakes me up and makes me feel sick.

I suffer from parasthysia of the skin at times and think it may be linked? I had a quick look on google and found brief references from a few foreign MS sites but still wonder if it is a genuine symptom?

All the best


Hi Paul

I don’t know if it is a symptom or link with MS but I do have a heightened sense of smell. Also, like you, I can’t tolerate the smell of certain things and do suffer from parasthysia. Never thought the 2 could be linked. Will google it now!!


A similar post was made on hypersensitive smell earlier this year that you might want to read:



Hi Guys,

Yes I had a quite overwhelming heightened sense of smell.

Hopefully you can view the suggested reading material that Mr Bobowen recommended…very interesting.

I don’t have a diagnosis as yet, and seem to be slowly improving thank god and everything is calming down.

I think I may have had a “relapse” though as not diagnosed its hard to say. The heightened sense of smell came back.

I have to stress it wasn’t just nasty niffs… the smell of a lemon curd yogurt was almost hypnotic.



I’m pleased that you have posted this question. I’ve had this for about 6 years now. Although it is has now calmed down to a much more tolerable level thank goodness. Like you, certain things used to drive me crackers such as the spraying of deodorant etc. I could immediately identify with your statement when you said that you can smell things that others don’t even seem to know anything about . My heightened sense of smell seemed to correspond with a particular nasty bout of optic neuritis, I could identify people who I knew by their scent before I could work out who they were visually. I said that to one or two of my friends before I realised that it could possibly cause some embarrassment or offense. So I’ve never mentioned it to anyone again.

I mentioned it to the consultant once, she just smiled and nodded and said “Yes it can happen to some people”. I also mentioned it to another MS specialist at a time when it was driving me crazy. She suggested doing what the Victorians did - put a few spots of lavender oil or something similar on a handkerchief and bring it to your nose when the need arises. I took her advice and used some petunia oil which is a smell from my younger years. (Strange though: many people don’t like the smell of Petunia Oil)

I used to find the worst smell of all (and still do) is that I know when people don’t look after their personal hygiene. I can smell an unwashed body several meters away, I can even identify them in a crowd of people. I so often have to bite my lip and say nothing. The other thing is bad breath, oh I just can’t go on anymore. It’s quite horrible at times. That’s why I say that I am pleased you have made a post about this, you are the first person I have found with the same problem.

I’ve never heard of parasthysia before, so I looked it up… I have tingling, burning, numbness and other things going on as well.

Oh, before I finish, I have a constant disagreement going on with my partner about these plug-in air fresheners, Oh I find them indescribably offensive, actually the more artificial the smell the worse it is to me.

Geordie you’re not alone, I hope that it calms down a little for you. Try the hankie trick, you can be discreet about it, nobody notices and it helps a lot.

All the very best


Bill You are sooooo right about the plug in fresheners!!! They are by far the worst and have caused countless arguments between my wife and I (until we worked out it was the MS). I will show her your reply to prove I’m not some nutcase making things up! Cheers Paul

YES!! WOW!! I am new to this board and in limbo land right now as far as a dx. I went through a spell in Feb 2011 where I had SEVERE eye pain in left eye and my sense of smell went NUTS!! I googeled everything!!! I could not stand the smell of Dryer sheets, Fabric Softener, ANY kind of Bread, toast, etc… it was SOOO odd…this accompanied ALL of my neurological symptoms!! When they went into remission, it passed. So far it has stayed away =) Thanks so much for this post!!


I drive my husband mad asking him “can u smell that?” I seem to be able to smell things other people can’t I think I’m becoming paranoid. I am constantly buying smelly candles, airfresheners etc .

Now reading the previous posts I realise I’m not alone…hurrah…I think

Im glad that it would appear im not alone…I thought i was going bonkers for a while.