Smell Issues?


New Member
I have a question, and this has only just came up in the last week or so, but my 13 year old difficult child, she has suddenly developed (almost overnight it seems) an EXTREMELY sensitive sense of smell. Its strange though, because it isn't like certain scents are making her sick or anything, but she is almost like, ATTRACTED to certain scents. And since she is compulsive, it's like she catches a smell that she likes, and she HAS TO follow it and.... never noticed this before now, but it all started with my shampoo, she sat down beside me at church and caught a smell of my shampoo (same one I have always used) and followed me around all day sniffing my hair... That is just one example, but there have been several other times in the last few days that I have caught her following something that she smelled. We have a rule at our house, for everyone's safety, and for my sanity, that the children are not allowed in the kitchen when I am cooking. Being 13, there is times when she will be in helping me, but if she isn't helping, she isn't to be in there either. Well, last night I made spaghetti for dinner, and she almost had a complete meltdown when I reminded her she wasn't supposed to be in the kitchen. Her fit was because "she wanted to stay and smell the noodles". Note, this is BEFORE the sauce got put in them, so it was just pasta......

Have any of you EVER HEARD THIS BEFORE??!!??!!??!!

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
My difficult child has to smell everything. I mean EVERYTHING. She's constantly sniffing the air or smelling things that no one else smells. She sniffs her fingers too! In stores she would smell the clothes on racks, women's perfumes, etc.

When she was little, it was constantly, but these days it's not so much.
Our difficult child does this. He stop what he is doing, stand very still and sniff loudly , saying "Do you smell that?" very loudly. Needless to say, this has caused more than one embarrasing moment when we are in public. :smile: We can't seem to help him understand that at times that can be rather rude. I do think that smells - good and bad - are very overwhelming to him. I keep hoping that he will learn to take control of this issue. I guess time will tell.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Pretty common, sensory issue for kids with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)... K is obsessive. We call her Mary Catherine Gallager!!!


Active Member
Yep. Part of the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). Unless the child is being wildly inappropriate, we don't block it.

I remember walking home from school soon after the power poles (timber) had all been painted with creosote to protect them from termite attack. I LOVED that smell! I must have looked like some sort of dog, stopping to smell every telegraph pole on the way home!

easy child 2/difficult child 2 is big on smells - she grows roses but has very strict requirements - the roses have to be red (or strongly coloured ) and HAVE to have a strong perfume. She likes jasmine, but not star jasmine. She isn't too fond of wisteria. Any cosmetic product with too strong a smell, she will refuse to sue. it also has to have exactly the right texture.

One of my kids likes the smell of petrol (gasoline). Not to the point of putting it in a bag and sniffing it, but I call for volunteers to man the pumps and there's often a scramble.
Some solvents - they like. Some they hate.

It's just kids. And remember, being younger their sense of smell is far more acute than ours. And mine is still pretty darn good.



New Member
My difficult child is really sensitive too. At Christmas last year, I got him a huge stuffed animal that was hidden for two days at a friend's house until christmas eve. The first thing he said when he hugged it christmas morning was, "This smells like Ms. Christy." My jaw almost hit the floor.


New Member
Well, she does have a few sensory issues already, so I guess this is not all that uncommon, I was just taken by surprise because it started so suddenly. Then when her dad and I talked about it earlier today, he did tell me that he found her the other day standing outside the bathroom door while I was taking a shower sniffing the air. (I use aromatherapy body wash, plus I already mentioned her newly formed attraction to my shampoo)

It was just something new, and I didn't know what could have brought it on so suddenly. Earlier this week, she was even admiring the smell of SKUNK....of all things, ewww.....


It may be part of Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), but it also has an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) quality to it. I see she has that diagnosis and Lamictal would not treat that symptom. I think it's something you need to mention to the psychiatrist.
easy child's friend was gifted a beat up old car from his grandma. I asked him and easy child what they thought of it. They chimed in together, "It's OK, but it smells like old lady". I thought it was hilarious, but I must confess as a person who is , umhumm, getting kind of close to that old lady status - I was terrifed to ask exactly what "old lady" smells like!


Active Member
I had some yogurt for breakfast and left the (thoroughly licked clean) spoon on the bench this morning. I swear I didn't leave a speck, but difficult child 3 commented, "What yogurt did you have this morning with this spoon?"
He said he could smell it.



New Member
Lol, she IS Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but it has never caused her problems enough to worry about medicating for it, so we left it alone. It doesn't take over her entire life or anything and she has pretty much learned to deal with it, except sometimes certain things will attract her attention, and her compulsive side insists on following.....


call 911
Hi and sorry

I have this problem so badly that it makes my family crazy. I can smell things according to my family makes me more sensitive than a dog.

When our house had a gas leak I smelled the agent that they put in the gas to make it have an odor. We called the gas company they came out looked at the pump and meter and left. A week later I was getting such bad headaches from the smell in the house I called them again. They brought out a device called a sniffer. The sniffer detected it, and the meter was changed out. The gas man was just floored and my df said "You ought to live with her -'s incredible."

The woman in the bank was wearing perfume. I was in the drivethrough 4th or 5th car over. She sent my cash out in an envelope - I hit the button and asked her if she was wearing a certain perfume and her jaw hit the floor.

I can smell people, animals, food,'s awful and the only relief I EVER got from it was when I took Paxil CR. Paxil is great for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but a complete nightmare to get off of.

The best thing is...I can smell stuff that others can't and may be potentially harmful. For that I'm greatful. I do have a sinus polyp but doubt that has anything to do with it.

- The worst thing son was encopretic. How I wished for days I couldn't smell. Blech.

I would say if she's bugging you about your shampoo, get her the same and let her smell her own hair on her hands or pillows.

Good luck with this...sometimes being sensitive has it's rewards. I can tell WAY in advance who I don't want to sit next to.



Roll With It
Star, I am sitting right with you in the sensitive smellers of the southern states. The agent they put in gas makes me so sick to my stomach it isn't even funny. And I can smell it long before the test sniffers say it is at a dangerous level.

NO ONE who lives here wears perfume. I do use rose water, and so does Jess. I get so sick if I sit near the magazines at the doctor's office. And if I buy a magazine I have one of hte kids sit outside and tear out all the perfume ads.

If the smelling is a new thing your daughter is doing, then mention it to the psychiatrist. ANY new symptom should be mentioned. Otherwise, just let her sniff.