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Alzheimers - loss of smell


Registered User
Nov 23, 2011
My other half has no sense of smell. I can't be sure when he lost it but having researched this on the internet there may be a link with the onset of alzheimers.

Hubby is not distressed at all by this but it saddens me that he can no longer smell the first blooms of spring, the air after it has rained and of course my delicious cooking!

It has had it 'side effect' benefits however...

I can now wear perfume - never previously appreciated (sensitive nose)
I can now use scented candles - creates a nice calming atmosphere and looks nice
I can now burn the dinner and it doesn't get noticed
I can now use air fresheners - lots of benefits

Has anyone else experienced the loss of smell with dementia?

with love, Snow Leopard


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
I have lost my sense of smell - due to nasal polyps. I know the benefits and drawbacks of no sense of smell! I've also heard if the link to Alzheimer's. I hope that's not so in my case! My husband still has his sense of smell and my mother never lost hers.

I'm due for a treat over the next fortnight! I got a 2 week corse of prednisilone today and that brings my sense of smell back with a vengeance. It will then go again as the polyps start to swell again. Hey ho. Sorry for ramble.


Registered User
Feb 2, 2020
I searched for loss of smell and have found a few threads from a long time. So I thought i would continue this one.

Just a short 'survey'' really. How manyof you have relatives who have lost their sense or smell or taste? Apparently it is very common and one of the early signs. But when I suspected my mother had Alzheimer's 3 or so years ago, I kept referring online for 'sign's and i did not find any reference to it.


Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
It's difficult to know with mum @PaulEd I think her tastes have changed over the years - she loves sweet things and will eat spicy food which she never used to do. It's most likely linked to her alzheimer's but isn't something that was there in the early stages, just seemed to have developed at some point during the last few years or so.

You mentioned in an earlier thread that your mum has recently been eating less. Do you suspect that she has suddenly lost her sense of smell? Bear in mind that loss of smell and taste are now recognised symptoms of covid-19 so worth having her checked over by the GP (even if only in relation to her reduced food intake as this could be due to an infection or other health issue so needs to be looked at).
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Registered User
May 9, 2012
south-east London
The loss of sense of smell played no part in my husband's symptoms at any stage of his diagnosis - in fact he thoroughly enjoyed specific dementia activities which relied on having a sense of smell, as did others in the groups he attended. He also loved to smell things while we were out on our various trips - flowers, sea air, cut grass. His sense of smell was always a good way of linking him to fond memories.

The closest thing I can think of regarding his sense of smell changing in any way was that in the very late stages of the disease there were a couple of times when he could smell something unpleasant - which nobody else could.

His taste in food changed a little in the early stages - he never stopped tasting things he'd always enjoyed, whether savoury or spicy - but he did develop an extra sweet tooth. Looking back, I would say this was about 18 months before actually being diagnosed.


Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
If anything Alzheimer's seemed to make my wife take notice of smells and to comment on them in an uninhibited way. If we walked past a lady who might have been a little too lavish with perfume she would say 'she stinks' in an embarrassingly loud voice. Whether a smell is pleasant or malodorous her comment is always the same. I have not heard that loss of sense of smell is symptomatic but others may have.


Registered User
Feb 2, 2020
Thank you all for your comments. I hadn't asked her up until that point. As many people on here probably do, I keep researching and read about the loss of smell thinking perhaps it could have been diagnosed earlier. But I recently asked my mum and he is fine. Sorry, it was a bit back to front. Perhaps i should have asked her first.