Friday, 7 January 2011

Olfactory fatigue

Recently I've started to feel ever so slightly panicky. I've been suffering from a lot of colds and sinus infections over the last 12 months, with numerous stuffy and blocked noses. It's worse in winter, but even this summer it started affecting me. I often wake up in the night with a blocked nose, seemingly for no reason at all.

Type any of these symptoms into that wonder of the modern world, our friend and mentor Google, and you will find afflictions ranging from dust mite allergies to bent septums. I don't really know what I've got, but if this doesn't improve this summer I'm going to a proper doctor...

I'm not looking for sympathy, mind you. However, as an avid perfume nut, as you might appreciate, a sense of smell is quite essential to the whole process of appreciating perfume. Otherwise it defeats the objective, right? I've recently noticed that it seems to take a lot more effort on my part to smell perfumes. A lot of them seem quite slight to me. Now, I'm quite worried that this is more down to my olfactory ailments rather than the perfumes themselves.

I read a post earlier today, and it is really bugging me, because I can't remember whose it was, that mentioned how the writer wasn't sure if she had got to the stage where she has tried so many different perfumes that hardly any new releases excite her, because she had smelled it all, or if it was down to the possibility that so many new releases are actually unremarkable. As I wear and sample more and more styles of perfume, I wonder the same thing too. Don't get me wrong - I still love perfume and don't feel jaded, yet, but I do find that it takes a lot more to really move me. Is this like the drug addict, who needs more and more of the good stuff to get the same high? I don't know! Another thought crossed my mind - how much of this feeling could be credited to my sinus and other nasal afflictions? Could I reach the point where I can hardly smell at all, cursing the latest weak, pissy release, whereas in reality I am overwhelming all and sundry with my grotesque and choking sillage? I hope to goodness this is not the case!


  1. Another possible theory: Season change. Day length is increasing again.

    My fragrance preferences are very strongly influenced by the seasons, and when there's a seasonal shift, there's often a period of "blah" followed by a period of "must buy everything!!!!" Maybe you're just in "blah"?

  2. You probably read Marina's post on PST.

    Some of what you are going through is probably related to your sinuses but mostly, I think we all go through periods when nothing you smell evokes any kind of enthusiasm. And then, there comes a period that many of the things going under your nose are spectacular. I know that happens to me so I learned to wait it out. :) There are always gems in my collection to wear and smell until another gem crosses my nose.

  3. Well, Michael, you have out-smelled almost everyone on earth this year! :) Give your nose a little break - it will come bouncing back with full enthusiasm soon. Take good care.

  4. Dear Michael, since last year in before Spring I started feeling the same as you do, and it lasted for months. I didn't know what it was at all. I had never had this before, but I must say that at home there had been things going on, and stress. So I thought it was that perhaps but I took things for my sinus and nothing happened. It got on my nerves at times as I could not stop sneezing. I would use magnetic cloths or whatever they are called to clean the house from dust every day. I would put a liquid on my cat but nothing... I still sneezed non stop. This can sound strange but I made a pomegranate and put it on my sleeping room next to my bed, a biological orange with lots of cloves in it that I had brought from Dubai. I don't know if it was this or not but the doctor prescribed a medication that made me feel so drowsy and if it was another then it made my pulse go faster. so I stopped it and since about four , five weeks I have not sneezed this way. It lasted for months, since mid May to late Autumn. Pomegranate? I don't know. Calmness, no, cause life is not a calm place as I would like. Sorry to be long but if the doctors can't really help you, it could be an allergy to some perfume notes, or maybe some stress. Or just allergy to something in the air. I wanted to share this because I have suffered so much and I had to do my reviews about perfume. strangely while doing them I didn't sneeze at all.

    Maybe your nose is saturated and you need to put it to rest a while. I wish you feel better very very soon!

  5. Thanks everyone for the comments. I suspect it might be a bit of everything that you all suggest. The weather has been a bit extreme here recently (for England that is) with lots of cold and snow, and I know the heating has been cranked up quite high too, which can dry the atmosphere and cause nasal problems. Who knows. Incidentally, I smelled a perfume for the first time yesterday that totally wowed me. I shall be writing about it very soon! It at least shows that I am not too jaded!



Related Posts with Thumbnails