What do you do when you can’t smell? – Giveaway

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Sandra

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Hey, hey APJ! How is everyone doing?

Let’s just get right to it and not beat around the bush here! I have no new perfume review, no old perfume review. As soon as it got colder, my lingering sinusitis (since July) exploded leaving me with no sense of smell and intense facial pain. I was first prescribed saline washes back in August. As that did not work, the doctor then prescribed cortisone. Only when I went back with excruciating facial pain did the doctor take a second look and finally prescribed a month of antibiotics and continued cortisone. Ugh…

What do you do when you can’t smell?

So, here I am today, writing this and not being able to smell properly – perfume, food, flowers. Smells are just beginning to come through faintly again. Gawd help me – I must be walking around with a large billowing cloud of perfume following me. I might have this slight tendency to overspray when I have difficulty smelling anything. Thankfully nobody has complained yet.

To make matters more challenging my knee got twisted when the basement flooded and I am having a difficult time with the healing process. My days involve a hefty amount of walking and lately I have been limping. The lovely prediction from the doctor is that it can take a couple of months to heal. The only therapy that is working for me is riding my stationary bike for 15 minutes and getting on my rower for 15 minutes every day – it truly helps to stretch and strengthen my knee.

The universe has a way of making me smile and laugh through all of this. Friends are sending me reassuring texts and notes. For some random reason, a friend sent me a stunning bouquet of flowers last week. On the same day I received a package from a dear reader in Norway with Julenisse cards for Christmas.

My neighbor taught me how to make steamed pears with cinnamon. There is no sugar in the recipe, just pears (hard, cooking pears), one or two cinnamon sticks and about a half cup of water. Steam this for about an hour and a half and you have the most delicious pears which have turned into a beautiful festive colour.

After teaching last week, I went downtown and bought myself the gorgeous red Chanel No. 5 EdP bottle. I just had to have this red bottle. It is the perfect shade of crimson and is a wonderful limited edition of the classic Chanel bottles. Do I need any more perfume? No! But I somehow justified that I needed the bottle. Silly huh?

Thank you for letting me gripe and for all of the good times here on APJ. I hope to be sniffing again in two weeks time. As a thank you to all of you, I would love to send a package to one lucky winner with 10 samples.

Please tell me what you do when you cannot smell anything. I am open to any suggestions that you may have.

Have a great week!

Fragrant kisses,

Sandra xo

72 thoughts on “What do you do when you can’t smell? – Giveaway

  1. Get well soon! I had sinusitis a few years ago, it was awful. The one bonus was that I couldn’t smell my baby’s nappies. Take the meds and plan all the perfume samples you’re going to try when your nose is back to normal. 🙂

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    • Hey Jaybee. Thanks. It is going in the right direction. Thank goodness for saline washes. Not smelling nappies is definitely a plus! 😆 I look forward to smelling the perfumes again.
      Sandra xo

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    • Thanks Tara. The knee is getting better with biking and rowing. I tried kinesiology tape and it did wonders for the support and warmth. Enjoying my time teaching. One of the participants has gained enough confidence to finally speak. They are all wonderful students full of eagerness to learn. Hope you are well.
      Sandra xo

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  2. You certainly have a few challenges going on at the moment, but I love your determination regarding the knee!
    The worst thing about losing your sense of smell is not tasting food, which is really important to me, greedy guts that I am!

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    • Hi Jackie, ait sure has been a bit of a challenge lately. The way i have tried to cope with the taste issue is by using loads of chili. At least I still get the burn. 😬
      Sandra xo

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  3. You are having quite a go of it with the knee and sinusitis double whammy. When unwanted crap rains down on me I remind myself that everything is temporary. It helps, sort of.
    I had a nasty flu earlier this autumn that had some real claws to it. Completely robbed me of my sense of smell and taste, as well. Actually, that’s not quite right. It didn’t obliterate my sense of smell, it perverted it, which to my mind is much more nefarious and wholly evil. Everything smelled off or just plain old weird. Perfume-wise, I tried a couple of old faithfuls that my nose would recognize even if it fell off my face. I think Eau de Merveilles was one. It just smelled wrong and was quite a surreal experience. Like if someone handed you a lush bar of dark chocolate and upon scarfing the first couple of squares you realized it tasted more like spaghetti sauce or onions. Not fun at all. This is where I’m supposed to say what I did, right? Wish I had some brilliant insight or solutions, but no 🙁. I stopped wearing perfume. For over two weeks! Frankly, I was feeling so deathly ill that whether or not I smelled fabulous was the least of my worries. In hindsight, it wasn’t that bad. Returning to my perfumes was an exciting event instead of a familiar ritual.
    And I am now looking for a perfume that smells like or evokes one of my favorite cookies: Speculaas! Since I know you’re in Holland I thought you might have insider tips!! And, btw, I used to be able to get authentic Speculaas, zoute drop and honey bread at The Dutch Store here in Montreal. It has closed!!! I’m shattered and miss my Speculaas more than anything, especially at this time of year. Of course I can still buy some bastardized version of them, but they’re not the real deal 😢 Hope your knee and sinusitis continue to improve! And those flowers are beautiful. Stunning colours!

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    • OMG Marcellavmiller! I choked on my tea when I read your comment!!! Horrifying to be honest – both the flu and the terrible tastes. What a shame that the Dutch store closed down. I must admit that the Speculaas smell divine. Have not tried them as they aren’t normally gluten free. Have you tried Amazon for the zoute drop? I know my mom got hooked on them and is finding them in the US – I will ask her. So you miss the pancakes as well? We have found a gluten free brand and they are always delish! Especially topped with hagelslag.
      Sandra xo

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      • I’m going to check Amazon for Speculaas and dropjes. Not familiar with the pancakes, although my mother used to make some. Not as thick as North American and not as thin as French crepes. Also, quite large. We’d eat them with either hagelslaag, plain sugar or seedless raspberry jam. Always on a generous layer of melting butter 😋

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    • I grew up in a Dutch family in Thunder Bay ONT, and my family is still there. There is a Dutch/German store there that sells all the Dutch treats including Speculaas and Zoutdrops. Nothing beats homemade Speculaas. Have you tried baking them at home? My Oma used to make the best!

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      • I’ve been thinking of baking Speculaas, but I have to find the proper form/mold for them. We still have a Dutch store in Ottawa (about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Montreal) and my SIL and daughter go there frequently to visit family. Once in a while they’ll bring back some dropjes. I’ll have to check Amazon for Speculaas and hagelslag. I’d just love to have some. Right now, actually!

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        • My grandmother used to use a simple sheet pan with a lip, like a shallow brownie. She’d cut the cookies in squares after baking, so like a thick square cookie. She would put an almond on each one and an egg white glaze on top.
          The small Dutch pancakes are called Poffertjes, and the Dutch doughnuts, Oliebollen, which we always had for New Years. My fave had sultana raisins in them.

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          • And Krentenbrood too! My Mom always put raisins in her Oliebollen. They were so light and puffy. They did not keep well tho.
            I think I’ll give your grandmother’s method a go. I looked at the price of Speculaas on Amazon and well…..ridiculous. I did however, order some Papernoten to stuff in my daughter’s stocking this year. As kids, we always went to the Dutch communitie’s Sinterklass party and either the robed man himself or his helper, WHO WILL NOT be named, because it’s totally politically incorrect now would toss handfuls of Papernoten at all the kids. So much fun. And such yummy treats!

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          • Oh how fun you have Dutch heritage and are familiar with the food, treats, and culture.
            Yes, Sinterklaas and “Pete.”
            My Mom is from Holland (I’m Canadian living in US), and we always heard the Christmas stories.
            I hope you’re able to bake and get your Speculaas cookies.
            My sister is driving down end of month from T. Bay and I’ve requested dropjes and Advokaat (Dutch liqueur made from egg yolks).
            Do you know any Dutch perfumers from Netherlands other than Hiram Green? (Love Shangri La and Slow Dive).

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          • ‘Pete’. Well said Kathleen 😉 I was born in Amsterdam, actually, so I really crave those Dutch flavours and traditions, more so as I age.
            Advocaat is simply delicious. Thick and glorious, especially spooned over whipped cream!
            I do recall, when researching perfumes coming across several Dutch perfumers. I can’t say I recall any names tho.
            Enjoy your treats from TO! Especially the Advocaat 😋

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        • Check out Victoria’s (Bois de Jasmin) post about those cookies. I would guess the Belgian ones don’t differ much from Dutch. I also think she or someone commenting gave hints about getting the right kind of moulds.

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        • Perhaps Amazon sells the speculaas forms as well. My son’s Dutch class will be baking pepernotjes next week so i
          Will be curious to see what he thinks about them. He liked stroopwaffels as well. I hope you can find something soon. 😘

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    • Have you tried Frederic Malle Dries van Notten for the speculaas smell-alike? I couldn’t wear it myself as I had to choose between smelling good and breathing. Something about DvN acted like what someone described as exploding musk (not laundry musk….something that sucksed the oxygen within a six foot bubble around you. I’m not trying to kill you but just don’t want you spraying it all over yourself and then experienced the not being able to breathe part.

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      • I have a decant if Dries Van Noten. I’m laughing here cuz it’s really rather tame on me. I get mostly sandalwood and saffron. I enjoy it, but it is not spicy enough to conjure up the scent of Speculaas.
        In my quest I actually came across a perfume called Le Speculoos (Belgian spelling) by l’Antichambre. I haven’t tried it and doubt I will as I have no clue who might carry this line.

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      • Funny you shoukd mention Dries van Noten Hajusuuri. It does have that baked good sense. But I have to overspray as it really is more of a quiet scent on me. Sorry that you can’t breathe with it.
        Sandra xo

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  4. Same here, I had a stinking cold, terrible cough and infected sinus all last week.
    I’m only just feeling a bit better.
    I used my perfume oils in the little roller bottles instead of spraying perfume.
    Not being able to taste food is awful for greedy people like me !!

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  5. Usually when I cannot smell it is because I am congested. I have done hot steam. Boil water, put some peppermint or eucalyptus essential oils in the water. Cover your head with a towel and breath in the steam. Feel better soon! Thank you for your generosity. Being sick stinks.

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  6. I am very saddened when I e lost my sense of smell and taste. I don’t think much one can do other than focus on doing everything right to get well as soon as possible. Speedy healing to you! I’m also nursing a knee, post meniscus arthroscopy in my case. I’ve been reading a ton about perfumes and ordering samples to keep me busy while recovering! And I’ve started rehab exercise.
    Get well quickly!

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    • Thank you Kathleen. Sorry to hear about your knee. I feel for you. I love they way you are recuperating with the perfumes and rehab! Take good care of your knee. Sandra xo

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    • Good idea Kathleen…scope out perfume samples in between rehabs!
      We should start a knee club here, I am also doing rehab after patella fracture 😦
      Stay positive!

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      • Yikes! A lot of bad knees around here. Mine are just arthritic. But, since I like to be included in the ‘name the body part that’s working poorly’ club, I will mention that I have bursitis in my right hip. Hurts like heck and it gets injected every 8 or so months which hurts even more! No rehab required tho, so I guess I don’t get to do the perfume part ☹️

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  7. Hi Sandra, I don’t have much to offer in terms of cures except to add warm showers with lots of steam. There are things called shower steamers that are fragrances and release their scents in the water and steam. Perhaps some of those in eucalyptus, mint, or similar? I know that Lush make some. Hope you’re much better soon – from top to toe! And very jealous of your festive red No 5!

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    • Hey Sue, I completely forgot about the shower steamers! Let me see if I can get to Lush this week. Thank you. Red Chanel
      no 5 is gorgeous IMHO. Have you seen them?
      Sandra xo

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  8. Sinus problems, ugh, the pits! I have an ongoing battle with them going back two years. Frequent flare-ups with shocking face and headaches and my face and forehead actually feel crackly and as if it’s bubbling internally. A very strange sensation. And diminished smelling-power isn’t a thing that any perfume lover needs to deal with😉 plus the accompanying loss of taste for a gut-bucket. Decongestant/steroid/ antibiotic treatment/nasal spray works only for a week or two and then it comes back. It’s frustrating to say the least. Steam inhalation with eucalyptus oil is a temporary alleviation but who can keep their head over a steaming bowl all the time?
    But you’re doing well with your leg exercises, so at least that’s a positive for you. And work is going well so not all is crap in your world, wohoo.

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    • Oh Cassieflower I am so sorry to hear about your sinus battle. You took the words right out of my mouth with your description of the pain and inconvenience of it all. I have read that chronic sinusitis is on the one hand very common and on the other very difficult to actually treat. No, thank goodness not all is crap in my world. 😄
      Sandra xo

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  9. Hey Sandra! I have, touchwood, never lost my sense of smell. Dunno what to suggest. I am wearing an oud oil this evening, that might do the job …… I empathize with your knee. I have just had to wait eight weeks to start properly training again. But it sounds like you are doing the right things. It will get better. What comes, goes. DNEM obviously. Lots of love. xxxxxxx

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    • Hey Val, Glad to read that your knee is finally better. Strange of how I always took my knees for granted. Not anymore… enjoy your oud oil. Sounds interesting.
      Sandra xo

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  10. What a lot of stuff you’ve had to deal with! Glad things are taking a turn for the better, though. How lovely that your students are starting to find their confidence and their voice!

    If the warmth of exercise is helping with the knee… have you also tried those microwaveable heat bags, full of wheat? They really helped when I was rehabbing my arm and shoulder.

    I’ve only ever lost my sense of smell for few days, with heavy snotty colds. And I know when I am getting better when I can smell Olbas Oil again–which works wonders for congestion. But oi, never ever get it on sensitive tissue…

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  11. I hope you feel better soon, Sandra. My whole house is sneezing and coughing with hayfever but I can at least smell. When my nose is blocked completely I spray something reassuring, something that I know smells good to others; usually Raghba. Since it’s such an affordable fragrance, I don’t feel like I’m wasting anything. Those pears look delicious – I really do love pear. Perhaps I’ll wear Pear + Olive today!
    P.S. You’ve probably heard of it before, but in case not, Fess nasal spray is very helpful.

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    • Hi Morrigan, hay fever is also most annoying. I hope the season does not last too long for you all. Thank you for the Fess nasal spray tip. Will look it up.
      Sandra

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  12. Hi Sandra, I just cannot imagine not being able to smell properly for months. I get nervous when it takes more than a few days. The only remedy I can recommend is inhaling chamomille tea, just put two bags of chamomille tea in boiling water and after a few minutes hold your head over it and inhale deeply for a few minutes. There are also very efficient Clarinase tablets against congestion but I’m not sure if that’s the right thing in your case.
    Anyway I wish you a quick recovery of your sense of smell.

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    • Hi Neva, thank you for your tips. Now that you mention it I remember my mom always having chamomille tea and doing just that. I will find some tea today or tomorrow. I have yet to find Clarinase here.
      Sandra xo

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  13. Sandra, I wish you speedy recovery! Losing the ability to smell and/or taste is truly horrible and, frankly, quite irritating (I used to have awful hay fever attacks in the past, it seemed as if my nose was made of rubber). I don’t know how you feel about horseradish, but it might help to fight off sinus infection symptoms (you could try the real thing or order Christopher’s Sinus Formula off of iHerb or a similar site). Get better soon!

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  14. I hope you get well. The inability to smell is torturing even for a normal person, and moreso for people like us who are so fascinated by sense of smell and which is one reason we are drawn to perfumes in the first place.

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  15. Feel better soon! I can’t remember the last time I lost my sense of smell. My sister, who has had asthma her whole life, has a very weak sense of smell. She relies on using a signature fragrance that she trusts.

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  16. Sorry to hear you have trouble getting rid of sinusitis. I have no advice to offer to get better, since I have trouble getting saline washes done in the right way. And I only have what you describe as lingering sinusitis. My friend has been to hospital a few times because of sinusitis. In her opinion saline water can better symptoms, but is no cure on its own.

    So interesting to see rowing mentioned. My experience is that using one of those towers with a display you can get very good exercise without making the knees hurt. I used a rower rather a lot during rehab after surgery and have started again just two days ago.So few people seem to have much experience with it, so they more easily recommend going to the pool or such. Wet-west training in a pool would have been beneficial for your knee, but not for your sinuses. So keep going with what you are already doing.

    What a nice treat that Chanel bottle must be! Both the bottle and the content. Personally I would think about buying something (for the bottle alone) if it came in a deep blue bottle with stunning design.

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    • Hi Ingeborg, so sorry to read about your lingering sinusitis. Hopefully you can find some good suggestions here like I did. The rower is really great. I hope you enioy it as much as I do. A stunning blue bottle would be so much fun.
      Sandra xo

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  17. Best wishes to you that you feel better soon and sorry to hear of your bad fortune with both the sinusitis and the knee. I haven’t had a sinus infection in a few years but do remember how painful it was and hope the antibiotic helps knocks the bug quickly, a month of treatment seems a long time. Lots and lots of hot steaming tea to open up those nasal passages is all the suggestion that I can offer.

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    • Thank you VerbenaLuvvr! A month sure is long. Thankfully I am tolerating them well without too many side effects. Almost done now. 😊
      Sandra xo

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  18. Dear Sandra, what a situation! I am not nearly as good tempered as you when I cannit smell. I feel like I’ve lost that spark that makes me human. How did you cook those scrummy pears without smelling them!?!

    Those postcards are heavenly. Originally hand painted, from the look of them, and so innocent.

    I hope you can get this sinusitis issue dealt with. It cannot be a whole stack of fun. Xx

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    • Thanks Katesplace. To be honest, I was quite the grump at the beginning. It unfortunately just becomes normal. I was told by a neighbor to use lots of cinnamon when ill and she taught me how to make the pears. They look so beautiful and the family loves the smell and taste. Hopefully I too can fully enjoy subtle flavors soon.
      Sandra xo

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      • Your pear recipe is similar to a dessert I used to make for my FIL which he loved. Poached pears with Crème Anglaise. I used exactly the same kind of pear you described, but instead of steaming it, I poached it Masala wine with a couple of cinnamon sticks. Smelled heavenly and the pears would turn out a beautiful pinkish colour.

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