WHAT LIFE IS LIKE FOR PEOPLE WITHOUT A SENSE OF SMELL
This isn't just a hypothetical scenario: Some folks, like Joe, are born with anosmia, which is an inability to smell. Others, like Savannah, lose their sense of smell as a side effect of nasal surgery or a tragic bottle rocket accident. According to them, it changes your life more than you would think: http://goo.gl/ligU1Y
- •Farts Change Everything"People are definitely not afraid to fart around me," says Savannah. But she takes a positive outlook: "My family tends to be more of the, shall we say, silent but deadly variety, so that only benefits me as far as that's concerned, and my husband is a gas machine, so, if anything, this has been really good for our relationship."
- •Hygiene Gets TrickyJoe and Savannah enlist two strategies for dealing with this problem: The first is a strict schedule of showering ("Oh my god, shower every day, don't be the smelly kid," Joe tells himself), and the second is a trusted ally to help them out. "I have my husband pick out all my body washes, deodorant, all those things, because I figure if I can't smell it, I might as well pick something that smells good [to him]," Savannah says.
- •Food Gets REALLY Tricky"Without a sense of smell, you lose like 75 to 85 percent of your ability to taste," Joe says. Unless a food has a very strong taste, it might as well be Styrofoam, which leads to some pretty strange eating habits. Savannah relies on hot sauce and vinegar to feel feelings, while Joe is one of those assholes who puts ketchup on everything ... except French fries. That's because French fries are already very salty, one of the few flavors Joe can taste.
- •You Can't Sense Certain Dangers"I always joke that if I get famous and someone wants to take me out, they could just cause a gas leak, cut my electricity, leave out some candles and a match, and just wait," Joe says. "Luckily, I haven't been in too many situations where a gas leak could be an issue, but I'm always prepared to ask someone to give my place a smell test, just in case."
- •A Surprising Number Of Things Do And Don't Depend On Smell"You still sense when you're using, say, bleach cleaner to clean your house or when you're using paint cleaner without a mask," Savannah says. "You can still kind of sense that there's something off about the air you're breathing." She can also "sense" concentrated minty odors, because "you can still sense temperature in your nose, which is off-putting, like if you get a sudden blast of cold air," so, when she gets a whiff of a mojito, "it gets kind of tingly."