The voice of the soul

I've been meaning to post a link to this fine story in the New York Times about restoring one's sense of smell after it is lost. It's a big problem with Covid victims, but it can also happen after a stroke or other adverse health events.

[D]uring the pandemic, millions of people lost their sense of smell in an instant. “It was just like a light bulb got turned off,” said Dr. Pamela Dalton, a research scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia. “One moment they could smell, and the next moment, nothing smelled.”

I noted that moment as it happened to me, stepping into the shower at my home in Los Angeles. At first, I mistook the lack of aromas for a new smell, a curious smell I couldn’t identify — was it the water itself? the stone tiles? — before realizing it was just a blank, a cushion of space between me and my world.

Though there’s no “on” switch to bring back olfaction, Mr. Lalor’s advice to keep trying, to try every day, was correct. Scientists agree that there’s no cure for anosmia, but they also agree that the daily, repetitive sniffing of a few aromas can be useful, working as a kind of therapy for an injured nose and brain.

A friend of my wife's has been working with aromas and fragrances for many years. I'll bet her phone is ringing. Smell training! Who knew?

We take so much for granted.