I have a big problem when it comes to smells and scents. They drive me mad! I can’t stand other people’s deodorants, body washes, shampoo, conditioner, perfume, aftershaves, washing detergents, air freshness, house sprays, cooking smells, the list is probably never ending.
It really aggravates not only my nose but my whole mood and wellbeing. I can be having a good day and then someone with strong aftershave might brush past me or a friend with strong perfume or washing detergent will give me a hug and it can send me into an emotional overload! It’s crazy that my mood, emotions and day can be ruined just by a smell but it really happens.
I also don’t think my OCD helps in that respect either. I can become fixated on a small if it hangs around me or say if someone comes into my room or sits on my bed and their deodorant or scent can sometimes linger which really makes me upset. I have to either cover my bed with another duvet or blanket just for them to sit on and then remove it when they go to get washed so I can use my normal bed underneath to sleep in without any alien smells on the covers.
I think my SPD heightens my senses and keeps them 100% alert 24/7 which is extremely tiring because it can be hard to filter things out. I went to a Costco store yesterday (American store but this is was a UK branch) and was completely overwhelmed by everything when I walked in. There were so many different lights, a multitude of colours, weird smells, people with trolleys ( I found the huge trolley a bit unwieldy to push at times) it was like a crazy environment I hadn’t experienced before. Towards the end of shopping I was so tired I was mentally drained from not being able to filter out everything that was going on around me but also physically tired just from walking around all the aisles.
Cooking smells are also super problematic. Anything spicey, fishy, meaty, herb or cooking oil covered is really unappealing to all of my senses. I didn’t like writing this post because I can pretty much smell the smells I’m talking about. I think I associate certain smells with certain moods and emotions as a result of SPD. I think there’s almost like a language/dictionary of smells in my head like a built in catalogue I can refer to. A world without strong smells would make my life a lot happier and easier and I think my OCD wouldn’t be as prominent.
How do you cope with smells? Do certain smells bother and irritate you? Also how do you manage in busy shopping environments? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!