About AbScent 

AbScent is a UK-registered charity supporting people who are experiencing the distressing effects of smell loss. 

  • AbScent supports people affected by all types of smell disorders, addressing the impacts such as nutritional dysfunction and depression.
  • AbScent is an unrivalled resource of trusted information delivered by a distinguished advisory board, and working with the latest scientific and clinical evidence 
  • AbScent advocates to increase understanding and raise awareness of the conditions and their impacts

Olfaction facts

The facts about smell

Smell loss is a condition that is estimated to affect five percent of the population – approximately 3.3m people in the UK.

Smell disorders can be caused by illness, head injury, sinus disease, as a result of chemotherapy/radiation during cancer treatment, as a side effect of medications, or without obvious cause. Those born without a sense of smell are called congenital anosmics. 

There are very few medical treatments for smell disorders, and they don’t work for most people. This is why we need more research into smell disorders.

AbScent offers informationsupport and practical advice for people living with smell disorders.

Smell training

  • Smell training is demonstrated to support recovery of smell.
  • Smell training is mindfully sniffing four or more fragrances twice a day.
  • Smell training is recommended by the British Rhinological Society and effectiveness has been shown in more than a dozen peer-reviewed studies.

There is no ‘cure’ for smell disorders, and consensus on treatment options is limited. 

Recovering lost smell following a virus

In many cases, a patient will recover their sense of smell naturally after a couple of weeks. Where the virus causes damage to olfactory neurons – around 10% of Covid-19 smell loss cases – recovery may take much longer, from a few months to a few years.