Today is Anosmia Awareness Day

Maggie Rosen writes:

What does your sense of smell mean to you?

Next time you enjoy a glass of wine, consider the many among us who have lost their senses of smell and taste to conditions such as anosmia. Little understood and often dismissed by the scientific research and medical communities, smell and taste disorders can be caused by head injury, illness or age. Anyone who loves food and wine will appreciate the importance of the sense of smell in flavour perception.

Anosmia sufferers who have spoken candidly about their experience include British Olympic double gold medal rower James Cracknell OBE, food writer Marlena Spieler, and Ben Cohen, the Ben of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Founded by Duncan Boak, Fifth Sense is the first charity to provide current comprehensive information and advice about smell- and taste-related disorders, leading the effort to educate society about the critical role that the sense of smell plays in our lives.

Fifth Sense will launch on 15 March 2014 with an event run infifthsenselogo partnership with the University of London's Centre for the Study of the Senses, whose Rethinking the Senses Olfaction Workshop takes place on 14 March.

For further information, please visit or email Fifth Sense at

[I am particularly aware of the suffering caused by long-term anosmia, having suffered from this condition for a few weeks in 2007. See Take one nose – JR]