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Phantom Smells?

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I've been experiencing phantom smells for the past few months. They just come out of nowhere when i'm in random places. It's not a bad smell. It's kind of a sweet smell, like oranges. Anyone know what this could be?
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First Helper TGH
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replied April 13th, 2008
Phantom Smells?
Dear NeverGetCaught:

It sounds like you are experiencing Phantosmia, a disorder of the sense of smell. It typically starts as an intermittant smell and is usually caused by an damage to the sense of smell from a cold virus, however there could be other causes. There is help available. Good luck.

Anne Christie
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replied February 15th, 2010
I smelled cigarette smoke for months and now it is replaced by gasoline fumes. So strong that my eyes water and burn and it makes me sneeze. Things that used to smell good now smell horrible, i.e. Dove soap, perfume, coffee...all are terrible now. I even taste the smell and feel it comes out in my breath.
I have no health insurance so i just have to live with it.
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replied March 27th, 2014
Any update? I am also having a similar issue.
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replied March 8th, 2011
phantosmia? New to me. How serious?
For almost a week straight now I have been "smelling" car exhaust. I've checked with others. It's not coming from anything. I've told my wife, it's like if you were around car exhaust or a snow mobile for awhile and you go out to get fresh air and how the smell lingers in your nose for a few minutes before it clears out, that's what I've had 24/7. But no exhaust anywhere. It's becoming sickening. I developed sinus infections and asthma since moving to SC, not uncommon here. It worries me that my research says it could be something serious. I can't taste food. It just smells like there is a car running at the back door all the time.
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replied March 8th, 2011
It was nonstop. Lately it has been coming and going. It is SO annoying! I'll smell smoke, so I'll say to my husband, "do you smell smoke?" Now he just looks at me as if to say...again?? There is no smoke.
But what if we really DO get smoke in the house?? How will I know if it's real? I just give up and accept it. I guess I dont want to know if it's a brain tumor or something serious. I'm guessing it's not or I'd be dead already, since I've had this for so many years.
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replied June 8th, 2012
Smell cigarette smoke
Strangely, I decided to research my condition of occasionally smelling cigarette smoke, only to find that I'm not alone. I've read other remedies, just not certain which truly works. Should I take herbal supplements to counteract the odor or see a doctor in case the symptom is more serious leading to seizures or brain disorders?
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replied August 3rd, 2011
Fhatom Auto Exhaust smells, comes and goes,
I have had symptoms of smelling very strong odor, similar to auto exhaust. It has been 4 to 5 months. I thought I was going crazy too. It is real to me, worse at night, covering my nose helps, but smelling this also upsets my stomach, not sure why, nerves perhaps. Read about brain tumor, that is not assuring, my MIL is struggling with glioblastoma, Terminal Brain tumors (3) and has been given a few months to live. I did have a mild sinus infection, did not treat, I don;t do Antibiotics, I have not been congested, maybe the sensors have been damaged, but I hope it heals and this goes away. I have always had a heightened sense of smell in general, more so a certain times of the month, as with most women. Not so, since these symptoms started. HELP
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replied August 18th, 2011
Phantom Smells
I've been having phantom smells for the past couple of weeks. They aren't overwhelming, but it does make me nervous that I can't tell where they are coming from. If its a medical thing, I'm in trouble since I don't have medical insurance either. If anyone finds a potential cause (besides brain tumors)please let me know. Thanks
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replied September 8th, 2011
Phantom smells
Has anyone gotten any answers to the phantom smells.I have been smelling what to me smells like exhaust and this is all the time in my apartment.Noone else can smell it. It is literally driving me crazy. I have tried everything to get rid of it. Nothing works.
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replied October 6th, 2011
Our daughter would often smell things no one other than her could smell, that started 2 years ago. We found out a month ago that she has a brain tumor. Brain tumors often cause people to have these "phantom smell" episodes, due to causing small electrical storms in the brain. Tumors should always be considered first when one has such episodes.
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replied October 31st, 2011
phantom smells
I've been experiencing phantom smells for maybe 3 months now. At first I could smell, chocolate. It was on and off and would always come back whenever I eat. Then I started smelling smoke for a week. It was horrible. My eyes were burning and I felt like I was being suffocated by smoke. It was driving me nuts at night when I'm about to go to bed. Right now I'm smelling what I think smells like chocolate chip waffles. I'm not even sure anymore. I may have forgotten how waffles smell because I always smell the odour especially when I eat food.
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replied August 21st, 2012
Phantom smells
Does it by chance smell like powdered cocoa that you use for hot chocolate? That's what I've been smelling off and on for the past couple of years. I finally decided to see an ENT. My appt. isn't for a week so we'll see what they say. At least it's only annoying and not an unpleasant smell.
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replied March 27th, 2014
Any updates?
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replied March 8th, 2012
Phantom Smells
I have been having the oddest phantom smells. They're not pleasant either, but not necessarily over powering. They're faint smells, but never-the-less, still there. For 1 day i had a sweaty foot smell that I kept smelling, even though I had washed my feet and changed shoes. My feet never smell anyway. Then, the next day it was an off milk smell. And then later on it was a damp clothing smell. Either Im the worst smelling human in the world or there's something wrong. My girlfriend says she can't smell anything when I complain about bad odours.
If anyone has some advice on what it could be, please help. Much appreciated.
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replied July 10th, 2012
Phanom smells
I've had phantom smells for years, have checked for tumors, infections, etc. What sometimes helps is taking allergy meds. But for the last week, the cigarette smoke smell has been so strong, and all day that I have kept a constant headache. I spray my pillow with perfume to help me sleep. I am so ready for this to go away!! But it is nice to know other people have the same symptoms of whatever it is, and you are not going crazy.
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replied March 13th, 2013
Who's Smoking in Here
I smell cigarette smoke. I just took a psuedofed since I have sinus pressure and tooth pain from the pressure. I've had this for a year. It seemed to stop in winter and while we were in Minnesota. Then we moved back to GA but to the ATL area, it started while we're living on the southern GA coast. I got a cold last week with lots of sinus involvement and the smell returned. I was taking half doses of pseudo fed then too. I hope it's just sinus stuff. But I swear I really smell smoke and since both my neighbors are smokers it's hard to rule it out.
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replied March 25th, 2013
I have phantom smells, but mine change sometimes. Most of the time it's sort of a sweet burnt smell (hard to explain) Not totally unpleasant, just annoying. Sometimes I will see a General Lee car on TV and will smell the exhaust. It doesn't last long, maybe a few hours. I have had this since 2001. I was checked for a tumor 5 yrs before that because of smelling flowers and no tumor was reported. In my research, though, some of the causes of them are epilepsy and migraines. I have had migraines since i was in my 30's. I'm wondering if that is the cause. Do any of you who have posted in here have a lot of headaches? Might be worth looking into.
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replied March 26th, 2013
Are you taking ibuprofen? I had a burnt smell for about a month before a stoke.
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replied March 26th, 2013
Phantom Smell Before Stoke
I had a "Phantom Smell" several days before this happened.

On March 30, 2011, I woke up with the room shaking back and forth violently and I didnt know which way was up or down. I tried to get out of bed, and all I did was slam my face into the dresser. I was able to pull myself back onto the bed. They finally got me in the ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital. After CT scans, x-rays, and ultra sound, they found nothing. They ordered an MRI, but come to find out, I could not do one, due to the fact that I have wires in my ears from a surgery that I had done 20 years ago. They waited 24 hours and ordered another CT scan with dye. This time, they found out that I had a stoke of the cerebellum. This stroke is in the back of my head. The damage from the stroke has caused me to have mobility problems.

I am trying to recover from the stoke, and who knows how long it will take to get back to normal. The point is, I knew that this was going to happen. I told my wife a about a week before this happened that I felt something was wrong. I just knew I either had a tumor or I was going to have a stoke. This time it was a stoke.

I believe ibuprofen was the cause.
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replied March 28th, 2013
Who's Smoking in Here?!
I smell smoke out of no where, with no particular trigger. It's called olfactory hallucinations. I've been a migraine sufferer since my teens, I also developed strange ocular anomalies that appear at random. They look like a bright spot on my eye from a flash, but I haven't looked at anything bright, sometimes I'm lying in the dark. These started in 2007. Then the phantom smoke smell in 2011. I grew up with chain smoking patents, so I wonder if it's a smell memory triggered by migraines? I don't get the head pain with the smell or visual disturbances. But if I see TV static I'm fixin to have some head pain. My cognitive ability is impaired and my vocabulary is pretty much in the dumpster. Is this all migraines? MS? A tumor? Hell if I know. Sure would like to.
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replied July 26th, 2013
Not alone
I'm so glad I found this page! I "smell" cigarette smoke most if day in my office and sometimes at night. Everyone thinks I'm crazy and my ENT dismissed it. But now I know I am not crazy and I am not alone!!
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replied November 23rd, 2013
Did you figure out what it is?
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