Aroma compound

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There is nothing like an odor to stir memories. ~ William McFee
It was the orphan, Cinderella sense. It’s only after so many millions of people have been affected or had loved ones affected that people are coming to understand the huge impacts smell and taste have on your quality of life. ~ Zara Patel

An aroma compound, also known as an odorant, aroma, fragrance, or flavor, is a chemical compound that has a smell or odor.


  • “They tend to be distraught about the loss of sense of smell. It’s such an important part of our every day and what makes us human,” Jafari said, adding that he’s treated a professional chef, a chocolatier and others whose livelihoods depend on their ability to determine smell and flavor. “The most common thing I hear is that it leads to social isolation and feeling disconnected from the world and society as they know it. And that can be really bothersome.”
    Jafari said many patients also describe a transition period “that can be distressing” as their sense returns in which they smell things that aren’t present — like burning rubber or smoke — or experience abnormally foul smells.
    People who are unable to smell or sense flavors can have higher rates of psychiatric illness, depression and anxiety, Jafari said. In an extreme case, Jafari said he treated a patient who became malnourished after losing the senses of smell and taste.
    Smell underlies the way we interact with each other and make our way in the world, dictating “your first impressions of other people, the people we choose for sexual encounters or for lifelong partners,” Patel said. Cues from scent could subconsciously influence people’s attraction to others based on their underlying genetics, studies suggest.
  • “Many previous studies have shown that objective smell testing can identify far more people with smell loss than if we asked them to self-report,” wrote Professor Song Tar Toh, an author of the study and head of the the department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Singapore General Hospital, in an email. “The true number of people affected is likely to be far higher than our estimate.”
    Patel suspects the true rate of smell dysfunction among those who have experienced Covid-19 could be above 20%. It could be that women are not more likely to struggle with recovery, but are more perceptive of a prolonged deficit in their ability to smell.
    Women overall, have, on average, a more acute sense of smell than men,” Patel said. “We know people with a more acute sense of smell and taste are much more likely to recognize when they have a loss and are more likely to seek care for a loss.”