Oh, yes, he can!
It took me over a year to fully believe – after sly tests, misplaced shampoo, and desperate gambles – that my husband could actually smell like a bloodhound. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but not by much.
My rose-scented shampoo? Gone. Perfume? Thankfully, I never wore any. Soap? Only certain brands. Laundry Detergent? Gone, replaced by allergy-free stuff with very little smell. Dishwashing Liquid? Only fruit smells are acceptable. And the list goes on.
Heightened senses often come with the autism package. It’s not imaginary, and my poor husband has gone through exposure to just about every cleaning fluid, shampoo scent and deodorizer (Febreze nearly killed him) out there to prove it.
Is everyone sensitive to smell? Of course not. Like everything else, we’re talking about individuals, some of whom will be sensitive to smell, while others can’t bear noise. Some – most of the AS people I’ve met, in fact – can’t abide tags on clothing or itchy fabrics.
How to handle super smellers? Brace yourself, here are just a few things we’ve tried:
- Switching to allergy-free products, for smell and residue reduction.
- Throwing away – little sob – hairspray, mousse, gels, creams, etc.
- Carefully selecting cleaning products
- Looking for odor-free/unscented labels… keeping in mind that sometimes they lie.
- Washing clothing thoroughly after purchase. Often stores spray their products with perfumes to make them more appealing. Weird, but true.
- Taking it outside. If it’s smelly, but necessary, I can do it outside and it won’t bother anyone. Except maybe the squirrels… or the cats… or the few birds we have left.
- Planning ahead. Given a few hours to myself, I’ll shampoo the carpets or mop the floors – whatever smelly cleaning needs to be done. And then open the windows and break out the fans.
Sound a little extreme? Inconvenient? Well, wrinkled noses, complaints, and headaches are not fun for anyone. Happier family members means a happier me.
And that scent? That’s the sweet smell of victory.