Smelling smells that are not there

Hi All

For the last few weeks I have been smelling smoke when nobody else can.

I was wondering if this could be an ms thing , any ideas ?

Thank you

yes it can be,i got through times of smelling smoke too, think you can get it with any illness or injury to the brain.

J x

not so much smoke but at times I can smell toast. I know people without MS that have this happen to them too.


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I occasionally seem to smell wet dog when nobody else can (I don’t have a dog either!). Did wonder if it was an ms thing, or the smell inside my nostrils!

Aw yes Smurf ,

Glad you mentioned this cos I thought I was going mad!.

I smell a good few things that are apparently not there, the worst one of all is a burning smell, it sends me mad. I panick and think the kitchen or our house is on fire, or that someones left a hairdryer going for hours. Its horrible, because as much as my loved one reassures me everythings fine, Im not at all convinced. It can leave me quite upset and stressed.

Its amazing how the brain can play tricks on you . I mean the unusual smells seem so real !.

All I can smell right now is…buttered hot crossed buns…coming from the kitchen…yummy. This time I hope the smells real. lol.

It’ll be interesting what every one smells.

Meanwhile…keep sniffing…

Almond xxxx

So glad others experience this to ( sorry ) thought i was going nuts . Don’t suppose there will be

much Docs can do about this so will see how it goes

Thank you for your replies

Yes, I’ve had this. I never thought to mention it to the hospital when I was undergoing investigation as I worried they would think I was mad but for a few weeks just before my first symptoms appeared I could smell smoke in my bedroom at night and even got out of bed a few times and checked the house all over in case I’d left anything on. Needless to say, I couldn’t track the smell down and could only smell it when I was lying still again and not thinking of anything else. Another of those things I noticed when my mind wasn’t busy! I have since read that it happens with brain tumour patients and brain injuries too - I’m so glad I didn’t know that at the time when I was having diagnostic tests

Tracey x

Now you all got me searching the web. Its known as phantosmia. Phantom smells. Yes, could be brain issues but I also spotted that Hypothyroid patients get it. Some people get advised to see an ENT, to get to the bottom of it. That’s another specialist to add to my long list.

Almond x

Reading on…also has a connection with bad tastes in the mouth… Bitter horrid tastes. I get that too. But don’t ignore it, its worth telling your GP , in some cases they can help you with this.

Hi i think I.m going mad.i keep smelling burning…like paper burning. Is this "normal " with MS?

Hi am I going mad.why do I keep smelling burning!!!

I do too sometimes, weird!

Strangely, I was wondering this very thing the other day. There are just odd times when I think I’m smelling something that’s just isn’t there. It’s not even something familiar exactly, that I can identify, just an oddness. Well, it’s a small thing. I can live with a tiny sensory problem. So long as it doesn’t interfere with my wine drinking! Which it could do, oh blimey I hadn’t thought of that till I wrote it down. I don’t want it to interfere with my gastronomy!


Does anyone know how to stop the smell. been tempted to stay perfume on my nose to get a nice smell!!!

No Sue, nothing can interfere with wine drinking (or vodka) nope, not avin that! I smell like an electrical burning smell, bit of a worry really, may or not be MS, that’s my fear haven’t blown up though, not yet! x

My partner is a very spiritual lady. Sometimes she will get a whiff off smoke in the house (I smoke outside) and say that it is a sign that her late mother is about, who smoked heavily.

I get a smell off burning often also the smell off curry cooking but in the night also when I had my lumber puncture there was a strange smell somtimes smell this but there is also a bad headache with it.

Here is a previous posting on a similar topic that might be of interest:

I can be in bed reading and all of a sudden I can smell car exhaust fumes, sends me round the bend

I looked this topic up just because I just smelled toast and went to check in the hallway an no smell there and its still there, but faint now. I didn’t eat/make toast at all today. No biggie :slight_smile: