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If you had to lose one of your senses either taste or smell, which one would you choose to lose?

AamonAamon Member
edited December 2016 in General
And why? hypothetically speaking


  • PsickoPsicko Member
    edited December 2016 PM
    Hmm, that's a good one. The sense of smell is entwined in our sense of smell. So, if we lost our sense of smell, we would lose a good chunk of our taste as well. The sense of taste is not tied to our sense of smell though.
    I would have to go with sense of taste due to the fact I could still smell the wonderful scents of snuff and if I chose the lattee birth would be affected. Also if I lost my sense of taste I might not be so fat. ;p
  • AamonAamon Member
    edited December 2016 PM
    Accidental comment, wrong thread. We really need to get a delete button. Though I concur
  • cpmcdillcpmcdill Member
    edited December 2016 PM
    Hard to choose, but here's what it's like to lose smell:

    About 25 years ago I was working as a chef in Baltimore, then NYC kitchens, and my sense of smell was so acute it was like a 6th sense, tied to visual, gustatory and even auditory cross-modalities. I could have 4 things in the oven, 8 things on stove burners simultaneously, and my sense of smell was part of my clock for when things were ready, or when temps needed reducing etc. I was such a wizard at it that other staff kept out of the way so I could do my thing.

    Then suddenly I got an acute sinus infection and all was lost. I couldn't do it anymore. It took several years to get back even a part of my sense of smell, but by then I'd downgraded to being a counterperson at a deli, then selling vitamins in a health food store. I eventually went back to college and moved out of food and retail.

    Now my sense of smell is pretty good again, but without the synaesthesia. Nice, but not as colorful. At least I can enjoy the aromas of pipes, cigars, snuffs, flowers, cooking food and gasoline fumes ;)

    I've spoken to people who have lost their sense of taste, and I think that might be worse. Everything in your mouth is dead and ashy, and food has little appeal. Usually loss of taste is a symptom of fairly serious neuropathy, so even despite my experiences, I'd still rather lose smell.

  • Oliver Sacks wrote a case story about a guy who suffered anosmia from minor brain damage after a fall from a bike. It completely devastated him, he lost interest in food, sex, everything seemed flat. He said he'd never even noticed his sense of smell until it was gone. One day, he rang up Sacks in great excitement, saying he could smell his coffee again. Sacks was very surprised, but came around to look at him. Turned out he could only SMELL the coffee if he could SEE it. It was his brain compensating, creating the illusion of a smell from the visual cue.

    Interesting link, to the Fifth Sense Foundation, a support group for people who have lost their sense of smell (amongst other disorders)

  • A guy who suffered from anosmia used to work for me, again from a brain injury, and he had a similar disinterest in foods etc. For him the problem wasn't a total loss of scent, but scents and tastes being wrong such as meats tasting metallic. He was a nice bloke, but he suffered a lot from depression after his accident, and I lost contact with him a while back. Hope he's OK.
  • Difficult to imagine! Never enjoyed food when I had a bad cold. Even my favourite food tasted bland. I could taste the sugar in my drink but without the the aroma, it tasted insipid. I prefer to have my sense of smell intact,if it came to that. My brain would do the rest. Food will be less tasty but would have the flavours. The rest I would leave to my fertile mind. The texture of food will be sensed and the heat from the chilly felt. Better than drinking hot sugar syrup or eating salty cardboard.

    When it comes to snuff tobacco, I am sure I can feel the bite of the tobacco and enjoy the flavour. Throat drip would be gentle, no bitter slime to worry about. 

    Anecdotal- A colleague met with an accident and suffered head injury. He lost his sense of smell. He still loves his food and drink though. 

  • I have never been able to smell very well.  I put it down to the poor English teachers we had at school.

    When writing letters I find the smell checker on my computer is very helpful.

  • Hearing and sight loss has already taken front stage to these suggested problems. So I'm reluctant to comment.
  • I would choose to leave the EU and everything it represensts.

    Haha. No denying that it doesn't seem to smell very good at the moment.
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