sense of smell

I knew my daughter Laura was gifted in the language arts arena before she was three. At the time our favorite shampoo was called Lamaur Apple Pectin. It had the most delicious fragrance, so fresh and clean. One evening at bath time, Laura kept staring at the bottle. Finally, pointing out the brand name, she said, “Look, Mommy. There are the letters of my name with an M left over for Mommy!”

What brought this memory to mind from 30+ years ago? Safeguard has launched a new liquid hand soap without a name. It’s simply called Safeguard Liquid Hand Soap, Fresh Clean Scent. And it reminds me of that Apple Pectin shampoo. It’s between $5-6 for 25 ounces.

Our sense of smell doesn’t get the attention our other senses receive. It typically takes the back burner as we focus on seeing, hearing, tasting, and touching. But now our sense of smell is getting a lot of play with Covid-19 since the loss of sense of smell (termed anosmia) is a common symptom of infection. At first, the medical world thought the loss of ability to smell was anecdotal, like having a cold and losing that sense because of a stuffy nose. But now, anosmia is recognized as a cardinal symptom. (Cardinal symptoms are the key ones from which a diagnosis is made.)

It’s such a common earlier marker in infected people that some experts recommend we forget about checking for fevers and instead focus on whether or not folks can identify scents.

Dr. Andrew Badley, who heads a virus lab at the Mayo Clinic, noted regarding symptoms, “Some infected people can have anosmia and nothing else.” In a study that Dr. Badley and his colleagues conducted, they found that patients with Covid-19 were 27 times more likely than others to have lost their sense of smell. However, they were only 2.6 times more likely to be feverish.

So, throughout every day, I do my own self-test of verifying my sense of smell is still in good working order. I mindfully consider whatever it is I’m smelling, whether it’s the rose water I spritz on my face first thing in the morning, the chocolate birthday cake that’s coming out of the oven tonight, or the nameless Safeguard hand soap that reminds me of my little girl.


Live Science article on why smell triggers memories

ScienceAlert.Com on why Covid-19 causes anosmia

How Dr. Fauci and four other experts deal with Covid-19 risks

PS – If you search online for Lamaur Apple Pectin Shampoo, you’ll find it BUT here’s a Q&A from Amazon:

Question:  What happened to Lamaur Apple Pectin Shampoo’s wonderful smell? It is GONE!  Answer: The Apple Pectin Fruit Shampoo does not have the fragrance of Apple Pectin Shampoo although they are manufactured by LaMaur.