Can you enjoy coffee and chocolate again

In March 2022 we invited eleven people with parosmia to a workshop. They kindly agreed to face their common triggers of chocolate and coffee to try out ways that could reduce the trigger effect and even find something enjoyable.

“it makes the coffee taste like coffee”


Coffee is possibly the drink people with parosmia miss the most. The odour chemicals in coffee are a very common trigger for the parosmia response, and many people can’t even walk past a cafe without being hit with the disgust response.

We were interested in reports we’ve been receiving of coffee syrups making things a bit more manageable. So we invited our brave panel to try small sips of coffee flavoured with a variety of coffee syrups: gingerbread, vanilla, hazelnut, amaretto, caramel.

On the whole, the group felt that this was just a lot of sugar, which would make anything taste nicer, especially something as bitter as coffee. 

The second group were asked to try coffee with warmed hazelnut milk. This was a much greater success and several people agreed with one comment that “it makes the coffee taste like coffee”.


We couldn’t let our brave testers go without an attempt to bring chocolate back on their menu. Again, hazelnut was our friend. Hazelnut spread and hazelnut praline easter eggs were a revelation and trying something that “smelled like real chocolate” after so long made one of our participants quite emotional!

Try for yourself

If you struggle with parosmia, we encourage you to get curious and see if hazelnut milk and hazelnut spread makes a difference for you. Please log in to The AbScent Network and share your experiences so we can build a bigger picture of things that can help.

Note: this is not scientific research and we cannot draw any conclusions to inform the way we manage parosmia. But the results were interesting to us and provide an insight into the kind of things people with parosmia might consider as they navigate daily life.