The sense of smell in older adults declines when it comes to meat, but not vanilla


Contrary to what science once suggested, older people with a declining sense of smell do not have comprehensively dampened olfactory ability for odors in general – it simply depends upon the type of odor. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen reached this conclusion after examining a large group of older Danes’ and their intensity perception of common food odors.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on

That grandpa and grandma aren’t as good at smelling as they once were, is something that many can relate to. And, it has also been scientifically demonstrated. One’s sense of smell gradually begins to decline from about the age of 55. Until now, it was believed that one’s sense of smell broadly declined with increasing age. However, a study from the University of Copenhagen reports that certain food odors are significantly more affected than others.

The Department of Food Science’s Eva Honnens de Lichtenberg Broge and her fellow researchers have tested the ability of older Danes to perceive everyday food odors. The researchers measured how intensely older adults perceived different food odours, as well as how much they liked the odours.


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6 responses to “The sense of smell in older adults declines when it comes to meat, but not vanilla

  1. I can’t smell very much at all. Not from ageing but from a car accident some 55 years ago. A lady ran out on a dark, wet night from behind a large truck and came through my windscreen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. Talk about a freak accident! Actually, because of my post nasal drip, I can’t smell very well either. I am not sure that is so bad as there are so many unpleasant smells.


      • I hardly give it any thought these days except when Jeannie puts perfume on. I cannot smell that either. But I was very lucky because my mother had said to me when I was 20 that she wouldn’t support me getting an Austin Healey Sprite unless I passed the Advanced Motorists qualification. Well I happened to be working alongside an IAM motorist and he coached me and I passed. Had I been driving a more traditional car I would have killed the woman. But I hit her with my low bumper and she came through the windscreen luckily the broken glass missed my eyes. Hardly dare say it but that was my one and only accident!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow! A car crash with a happy ending.


  2. I lost my sense of smell when I must have contracted COVID-19 when it first hit our area over two years ago. A night of fever, chills, sweating. After that, I could no longer smell.

    Liked by 1 person

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