The aroma of just-baked cookies, roses in full bloom, and other everyday scents make our lives richer in ways we often taken for granted. Yet, when the sense of smell is lost or compromised—a condition called anosmia—it is not just enjoyment of life that is affected but also health and safety. Our sense of smell helps whet the appetite and also serves as a warning system to avert dangers and toxins.
“Two of the great joys in people’s lives are the sensations of smell and taste,” says R. Peter Manes, MD, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Yale Medicine. “When these senses are altered or absent, people lose that pleasure and can feel isolated from those around them who are not afflicted.”