Tag Archives: sense of smell

The Hidden Senses: The Secrets of Taste and Smell

Fifth Sense participated in the Hidden Senses event, part of the Being Human festival, held at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre on 21st November 2014.  The festival, in it’s first year, was delivered by the School of Advanced Study (SOAS) at the University of London, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

The Hidden Senses was focused on exploring the senses of smell and taste, and looking at some of the many ways in which they contribute to our lives, via a series of talks and interactive demonstrations

Chrissi and Duncan ask guests to get sniffing!

Chrissi and Duncan ask guests to get sniffing!

Fifth Sense’s Duncan Boak, Chrissi Kelly and Sarah Page were on hand to talk to people about the importance of the sense of smell and the impact of olfactory disorders. Chrissi led the way by asking guests to ‘Smell the Difference’ between a number of different citrus fragrance oils, an activity that a few people struggled with, questioning whether they really paid enough attention to their own sense of smell.   Meanwhile Sarah was displaying a series of photographic portraits of people with anosmia she had taken.  You can see these on her website here.

Here’s Sarah on what our participation in our event meant to her:

‘Amongst the engaging lectures, interactive talks and demonstrations involving taste and smell, Fifth Sense acted as a distinct reminder that these are senses that not everyone may be able experience the way most take for granted.

My involvement in the event led me to meet another fellow congenital anosmic, Neil. We both spoke openly about congenital anosmia and the problems we shared (that may or may not be due to our condition). Despite shedding a few tears on my part, it was an opportunity to connect with someone in person and support each other with honest advice and open ears. Without Fifth Sense and similar events like ‘The Hidden Senses’, the understanding of taste and smell disorders and the support there is for people experiencing them is very, very limited.’

It was also great to see quite a number of Fifth Sense members who came along on the day to speak with us and learn more. The event was a great success, many thanks to the SOAS ‘Rethinking the Senses’ team for their hard work in organising it.


An Olfactory History of London – Alex Rhys-Taylor

Those of you who read the blog post about the Fifth Sense charity launch on 15th March 2014 will be familiar with the name of Alex Rhys-Taylor.  Alex is an Urban Sociologist at Goldsmiths College with a particular interest in the ways in which we experience cities through the senses.

He opened our launch event with a fascinating talk on the history of London through the sense of smell, and gave some insights into how we have got to a point where the sense of smell is so devalued in Western culture.

Alex has recently recorded a podcast which expands on the talk he gave at our launch and has been kind enough to share this with us.  Click the link below to listen to ‘An Olfactory History of London’, part of the Humania podcast series.


Design with Scents 2014

Design with Scents is the world’s only workshop focused on the design of a fragrance for a specific space or environment.   The week-long programme includes an in-depth look at how fragrances are designed, including the different scent families and ingredients used in fragrance manufacture.  Fifth Sense Founder Duncan Boak studied the course in 2013 ( see the very first  post on our blog here), and returned this year as one of the speakers, whilst Fifth Sense’s Smell Training lead member Chrissi Kelly was one of the students, on what was for her a very important olfactory journey.  Here’s her report on Design with Scents 2014.

I attended this course at the suggestion of Duncan Boak, founder of Fifth Sense. I became anosmic two years ago and since then have struggled to regain only a tiny amount of my previous ability to smell.

At the recommendation of my ENT, I began smell training last year. The results of this have been of great interest to me, and from the beginning I kept detailed records about my response to it. I am now heading up a program within Fifth Sense on this subject. I have so far used myself as guinea pig, trying all kinds of methods to find the best way to achieve improvement through training. I felt that I might learn some techniques for smell training from the perfume industry. Until now I have been using the basic technique described by German ENT specialist Thomas Hummel (using lemon, eucalyptus, clove and rose). His research study showed that smell training was of benefit to people with anosmia or hyposmia.

My ability to discern and differentiate between odour objects changed dramatically in the week of the workshop. I do know what has happened, only that I after one week I was suddenly aware of all the smells we used in our classroom work. I would describe it like this: whereas before the course I was able to detect the presence of smells, they were very mixed and difficult to pick apart, rather like putting food into a processor and whizzing everything around until it is an unrecognisable paste. Having spent the week smelling, discussing and training, I am able to pick out the individual notes again, as if my olfactory receptors have started doing their specialist jobs (receiving one odour molecule) rather than poorly interpreting the odour objects, and sending a “grey noise” message.

The course also introduced me to the idea of “fragrances” that are not necessarily appealing, but are nonetheless part of the smellscape. These include sulphurous compounds (onions, garlic, the smell of natural gas), chemical smells (such as glue), natural smells from the environment (earth, mould), and animal smells. These smells are just as important to train with as “fragrances”. Consider how important it would be to train with the smell of natural gas, and be able to detect a life-threatening leak. My own experience has shown me that training intensely with certain families of smells, for instance wood essences, sensitised me to the woody fragrances we used in the Design with Scents Workshop. So one of the more useful ideas for going forward that I gained from my week is the idea of training with these non-fragrant smells.

The Design with Scents Workshop has been an important milestone in my smell training. I will continue and hope to tailor what I have learned to make it useful to other FS members. I am extremely grateful to the DwS tutors for their interest in FS and my case, as well as their helpful suggestions.

Chrissi Kelly

For more information on Design with Scents visit http://designwithscents.com

For more information on Smell Training, visit http://www.fifthsense.org.uk/smell-training













Apolline Saillard – Olfaction: Not Invisible Anymore

Central Saint Martins student Apolline Saillard recently completed her MA Communications Design project on anosmia, which featured contributions from Fifth Sense members.  Here’s Fifth Sense’s Sarah Page to tell us more.

‘Unknown Quantities’ is the title of a joint publication by MA Culture, Criticism and Curation and MA Communication Design students of Central Saint Martins University. The work in the journal is incredibly diverse, due to each student having the ability to pursue their own choice of topic; exploring themes of regeneration, gentrification, interdisciplinary and collaboration, especially across art and science. Among the students contributing to the publication was Apolline Saillard, MA Communication Design student.

Apolline got in touch with me late January this year. She was working on an piece of work about anosmia for UQ and asked if I would like to have my photographic series of portraits based on anosmia published in the first edition of UQ. My instant reaction was “YES, of course”! The photographs were something that I had worked on in September 2013, in hope that they would somehow catch the attention of the many people oblivious to the word ‘anosmia’. UQ was a great opportunity to do just that.

It was clear from reading Apolline’s emails that she had a keen interest in anosmia and I was extremely happy to find someone else exploring this. Finally, we met in person in March at the Fifth Sense charity press launch at the grand Senate House in London (which by the way, it was an absolutely fantastic day. I urge anyone with a smell or taste disorder or an interest in the senses of smell and taste to attend the next Fifth Sense event!).

Apolline's display at her degree show

Apolline’s display at her degree show

Fifth Sense Founder Duncan Boak and I both contributed to Apolline’s piece in UQ, and we were invited to the Lethaby Gallery in London for the launch party. I met Apolline there early to attend her workshop on Anosmia. Apolline lead her presentation while referring to statistics from the Fifth Sense ‘Quality of Life Impact of Smell and Taste Disorders’ survey and quotes from people affected by anosmia with accompanying images. A small bunch of onlookers sat and quietly listened to this completely unheard-of discovery unraveling before them. I gave a brief description of my work and then we both sat down to prepare us for the questions heading our way. Afterwards, Apolline passed around two 3D printed modeled noses and asked if they could tell the difference between the two. One was a replica of a person with anosmia, and one with their full sense of smell (obviously, there are no visual telltale signs). Anosmia is sometimes referred to as an invisible disability and this certainly came across well in Apolline’s work.

photo 3

L-R: Duncan Boak, Apolline Saillard and Sarah Page

Later that day we had chance to wander around the degree show with a glass of wine and take a look at the work surrounding us in the room. The exhibition housed some fantastic work, but personally one project in particular stood out for me the most. ‘Multisensory Plateware Design’ by Ferdinand Freiler focused on creating a more intense flavour and dining experience through the use of plateware. On display were two unusual white, small oval bowls. The characteristics (colour, texture, shape and size) were said to be specifically designed to compliment and enhance the eating experience. The first bowl had smooth small ridges on the outside, the second was the opposite, with evenly spaced spiky ridges. I thought how great of an idea this was especially for people who’ve lost their enjoyment in food.

At 8pm the launch party finally took off. The room was buzzing with students, tutors, contributors and members of the public. Following a very warm welcome, everyone involved were given a very public ‘thank you’ for the work they contributed. Some hundred printed copies of UQ were stacked upon each other on tables. Finally, I got my hands on it! It was a cheerful orange and grey book, over 1cm thick with a durable matte texture; something much more substantial than your everyday magazine. 23 pages in was Apolline’s work titled ‘ODOURS; Give Voice to the Silence’. Included was an interview with Patty Canac (olfacto-therapist), an hallucinatory illustration of the olfactory system by Rebecca Hendin, portrait photographs by Apolline and an article about anosmia and Fifth Sense with my images accompanying the write up.
photo-15I was extremely proud to see the piece finished. Seeing the whole 15 pages, all based on the olfactory system, gave me a sense of hope and determination for the future: What else can we utilise to spread the word? Who else can we get involved? Where could Fifth Sense be in a few years time?

I’d like to congratulate everyone involved, to the students completing their studies, and a very big thank you to Apolline for helping give people with anosmia a voice.



Apolline Saillard – Olfaction: Not Invisible Anymore:

Patty Canac:

Rebecca Hendin – Illustration of the olfactory system:

Sarah Kathleen Page – Anosmia photographic work:

Fifth Sense at Farsley Festival

We took part in the Farsley Festival in Leeds on Monday 26th May, and chose a prime location to talk about smell and taste to people – right next to the stall selling home-made pizza from the pizza oven in Farsley churchyard!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, what worked particularly well was the jelly bean taste test (getting people to eat a jelly bean whilst holding their nose – it has no flavour – and then letting go and the flavour suddenly rushes into the mouth).  We tried this with lots of people, many of whom thought it was amazing – so many people had no idea at all just how important the sense of smell is to flavour perception.

What was also noticeable, just as in previous public events we have done, was just how many people we talked to had a smell-related disorder.  In the first 30 minutes we spoke to four people with chronic sinus problems, two of whom had been given operations to remove nasal polyps in the past that had been completely ineffective.  We were able to pass details on of the clinicians with whom we are working which were gratefully received.

Another successful event, and as Fifth Sense continues to grow and develop then we’ll be looking to visit a town or city near you!

FSFarsley Fest

‘Does the smell of this make you think of a place, a person, a situation?’ The incredible power of the sense of smell in evoking memories

Fifth Sense visits the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

On 22nd April Fifth Sense visited the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to meet geneticist Dr Darren Logan and his colleague Gabi Gurria. Many of our followers will have heard of Darren as he spoke at the Fifth Sense Charity Launch in March. His and Gabi’s work at the Sanger Institute is focused on understanding the genetics of behaviour, and how the sense of smell influences behaviour.

Much of the work that Darren’s team do involves studying the behaviour of mice, and how they respond to olfactory stimuli. For example, one such experience involved placing a drop of male mouse urine at a particular point in a cage. A female mouse was then released in to the cage, and made its way to the part of the cage where the urine was, attracted by the smell of the male mouse. When the same mouse was then released in to a cage without any urine, multiple times, it made its way to exactly the same spot. Thus, both behaviour and memory was influenced by the sense of smell.

Darren and his team aren’t just interested in olfaction in mice, however; they are also interested in how research in this area can potentially benefit smell disorder sufferers in future. For example, by studying the genes turned on in the nose of post-viral anosmia (PVOL) sufferers and comparing to that of people with a functional sense of smell, can gene expression patterns be detected in patients with PVOL?   As Darren explained, though, seeing patterns is one thing, but understanding why and how these occur is another, given that we still at the very beginning of learning how our genes make us who we are.

‘You can think of a gene expression pattern like a barcode for a particular cell or tissue in a healthy state (where each of 37,000 genes is on or off). If the cell or tissue is infected or damaged, the pattern will change – as will the barcode. Thus we may be able to spot a barcode that is characteristic of PVOL. The next phase is to ask which genes are differently expressed between the healthy and damaged tissues – as this may provide clues into how and why it is damaged and how it might be treated.’

The second part of our visit involved a tour of the Sanger Institute, which included a visit to the labs where DNA is sequenced to create complete sequences, or genomes. These are then stored so they can be analysed by the researchers at the Institute whose work encompasses many aspects of biomedics.

For more information on Darren’s work, visit http://www.sanger.ac.uk/research/faculty/dlogan/

To read about the Human Genome Project, the first time that the human genome was sequenced in its entirety, visit http://www.sanger.ac.uk/about/history/hgp/

DNA Sequencer1

DNA being sequenced in the Sanger Institute’s labs

DNA Sequencer2

Fifth Sense at Imagining the Future of Medicine

Fifth Sense had the privilege of participating in the Imagining the Future of Medicine event, organised by Imperial College London in partnership with TEDMed on April 21st. We were able to speak to delegates who attended The Cell in the Sir Alexander Fleming building on the South Kensington campus, where innovators in health care were on hand to discuss their work and objectives. Fifth Sense Founder Duncan Boak, Mr Carl Philpott of the University of East Anglia and the JPUH Smell and Taste Clinic, Maggie Rosen and Chrissi Kelly were on hand to meet the public and ask “What does your sense of smell mean to you”?

As well as discussing taste and smell disorders with visitors to the stand, we were using an innovative device called the Scentee to test people’s sense of smell.  This involved them smelling different scents emitted by the device and then completing a short questionnaire.  This was our first trial run of the National Smell and Taste Survey that we are planning on running in 2015.  This was a huge success and we had a small crowd of visitors around our stand for the duration of the event.

Duncan also delivered a talk in the lecture theatre to around 150 visitors in which he talked about the importance of the sense of smell to our lives, drawing on first-hand accounts of Fifth Sense members from our ongoing quality of life survey to demonstrate the huge impact that smell and taste disorders can have upon people’s lives.

As always, it is of great interest to speak to the public and hear their stories first-hand. Perhaps the most striking feature of our time at Monday’s event was the number of people who came forward to say that they, or someone they knew, suffered from some form of olfactory disorder. This supports what we already know to be the case: whilst smell and taste disorders remain largely hidden, the effects of them have far-reaching consequences.

The later part of the afternoon was spent in the Royal Albert Hall, where Dara O’Brian hosted the Imagining the Future of Medicine lecture series – three sessions with four inspirational speakers in each – on innovation, creativity and expertise in healthcare. Fascinating insights and plenty to draw on for Fifth Sense. During the networking event before and during dinner, we were able to meet a number of the speakers, and again, we were told people’s personal stories of anosmia. The recurring themes of the day for Fifth Sense were that those who are unacquainted with anosmia are surprised to hear of the profound effects on sufferers, and for those who already knew of the condition first hand, they are bewildered and isolated–an indication of the timeliness of the Fifth Sense message.


What does your sense of smell mean to you? Duncan Boak delivers his talk in the lecture theatre at The Cell

Imagining the Future of Medicine in the Royal Albert Hall

Imagining the Future of Medicine in the Royal Albert Hall


Fifth Sense Charity Launch – Report

IMG_0231Saturday 15th March was a hugely important day in the history of Fifth Sense, as we launched ourselves as a charity with an event that looked at the ways in which the senses of smell and taste play a huge role in our lives, and also highlighted the problems faced by people who suffer impairment of one or both of these senses.

The day consisted of an afternoon press launch featuring talks from some of the academics, scientists and researchers with whom Fifth Sense is working, personal experiences from Fifth Sense members, with Fifth Sense Founder Duncan Boak talking about how his own experience of losing his sense of smell following a head injury led to him establishing the organisation.  The press launch was followed by an evening drinks reception organised especially for Fifth Sense members to come and celebrate what we intend to be a much brighter future for smell and taste disorder sufferers everywhere.

IMG_0225The launch event was held in the Macmillan Hall, Senate House, London, and was delivered in partnership with the Institute of Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study, who are leading the AHRC Science in Culture project ‘Rethinking the Senses’, in which Fifth Sense is a partner.

Structured as a ‘past, present and future’ of the sense of smell, the event opened with a fascinating talk from Urban Sociologist Alex Rhys-Taylor of Goldsmiths College on the importance of the sense of smell to western civilisation throughout history, focusing on London. Starting with the Romans, who sited their sewage treatment in East London, away from their homes, Alex explained how the sense of smell directly influenced culture and society through the ages. He also explained that it was during the Age of Enlightenment in the late 17th and 18th centuries that the sense of smell started to be perceived as being of lesser importance than the senses of sight and hearing; smell began to be viewed as a primitive, animal, sense, of no relevance to the advances that were being in understanding the world through science.

Duncan4Alex was followed by Fifth Sense Founder Duncan Boak, who spoke about the different ways in which the sense of smell affects our lives, and the different types of smell and taste disorders.  He also spoke about the many different ways in which such conditions impact on the lives of sufferers, using anonymous comments from Fifth Sense members who have completed the ongoing Quality of Life of Smell Disorders survey.  Duncan’s slides can be viewed by clicking here.

Duncan then introduced Fifth Sense member Charlotte Self, who spoke candidly about how her loss of smell had a profound impact on her life, and how it directly contributed to the breakdown of her marriage. Charlotte’s powerful and deeply moving testimony clearly demonstrated just how disorders of the sense of smell can have far-reaching consequences for sufferers.

IMG_0326editDawn Millard and her nine-year old daughter Abi then spoke. Dawn started by explaining how she had realised that Abi had no sense of smell after noticing how she never made reference to smells that her friends would remark upon, and then spoke about how doctors she had seen lacked knowledge and failed to even see it as being a significant problem. Abi then delivered a superb presentation on the sense of smell and how important it is to our ABIlives, the same talk she had given to her classmates at school. Abi also talked about the sponsored swim she did recently where she raised an amazing £1125, and presented the cheque to Duncan. The work that Abi has done to raise awareness of anosmia and the importance of the sense of smell has been incredible, and we are going to have a special blog post about her story very soon.

IMG_0378editAfter a break, Mr Carl Philpott, Consultant ENT Surgeon at the University of East Anglia / James Paget Hospital spoke about the different causes of smell and taste disorders and what can be currently done to treat them. He also talked about the challenges faced in undertaking research to develop new treatments, the main problem being the lack of awareness and recognition for such conditions amongst the medical profession and funding bodies.  The slides from Mr Philpott’s talk can be viewed here.

Duncan then spoke again about how Fifth Sense intends to develop its work over the next three years, stressing the importance of continuing to develop Fifth Sense as a strong, supportive community for smell and taste disorder sufferers, and how this community will underpin the three key areas of Fifth Sense’s strategy; support, education and research.  Mr Philpott then IMG_0372editjoined Duncan to talk about the planned Fifth Sense National Smell and Taste Survey, which will gather data on the prevalence of smell and taste-related disorders in the UK and provide a huge boost to our efforts to improve treatment opportunities and research in future.

Fifth Sense member Chrissi Kelly then spoke about the ongoing Fifth Sense smell training project that she is playing a leading role in, and how her own successful experience of following this process has informed the creation of the Fifth Sense Smell Training Journal, which will be available for Fifth Sense members to test out very soon.

Leading researchers Simon Gane and Darren Logan then did a joint presentation that covered the work they are doing into improving our understanding of how the olfactory system functions, and how this can lead to better understanding and therefore treatment of smell and taste-related disorders in future.

IMG_0400editDuncan Boak and Professor Barry Smith of the Institute of Philosophy then talked food; Barry explaining the role of the sense of smell in flavour perception and what taste really is, with Duncan talking about his own passion for food and cooking and how he makes the most of the other senses available to him when creating meals.

Wine journalist Maggie Rosen then led the wine tasting session, which had two purposes – to demonstrate the impact that smell loss has on flavour perception to the journalists present (who were issued with a nose clip to ensure a level playing field!) and also show that smell loss doesn’t remove the ability to detect differences in wines.  We’ll be putting another post on the blog to cover this in more detail very soon.

IMG_0410editFollowing the conclusion of the wine tasting, we then welcomed Fifth Sense members for the drinks reception, at which Duncan and Mr Philpott both spoke about the success that Fifth Sense has achieved in the relatively short period of time since its inception in mid-2012, and about future plans.  Duncan and Abi then cut the beautiful cake made by Fifth Sense Member June Blythe especially for the occasion.  All in all, it was a hugely successful and special day – onwards and upwards!







We would like to say a huge thanks to all our speakers and our guests at the press launch, and the many Fifth Sense members who came to celebrate with us at the evening drinks reception.

Special thanks goes to the following people for their support and assistance in the organisation and delivery of the event:  Natasha Awais-Dean, Prof Barry Smith and all at the Institute of Philosophy, Maggie Rosen, Abraham Drewry, Nayan Gowda, Keeley Sellers and Sally Turberville-Smith.  And of course, a huge thanks to June Blythe for baking the amazing Fifth Sense cake – what a wonderful surprise! 

Thanks to Fifth Sense member Sarah Page for the photography – visit                                      http://www.sarahkathleenpage.co.uk to see more of her work

Anosmia Awareness Day – 27th February


27th February is Anosmia Awareness Day.  It’s quite likely that you weren’t aware of this; it certainly hasn’t been well publicised in the past.  The date was chosen by anosmia sufferer Daniel Schein who created the event on Facebook to try to raise awareness of a condition that, as we at Fifth Sense know only too well, has been ignored for time immemorial.

Fifth Sense has decided to follow Daniel’s example, and going forwards we intend to play a large part in making  Anosmia Awareness Day an internationally recognised event to both commemorate the power of the sense of smell and raise awareness of the issues caused by its loss and other olfactory disorders.

This year we are using Anosmia Awareness Day to do two things; firstly, to reflect on the work that we have achieved in the relatively short time that we have been in existence, and secondly to look ahead to the event we are holding in partnership with the Centre for the Study of the Senses at the University of London on 15th March 2014.  This will be the official press launch for Fifth Sense as the first charity working in the area of smell and taste-related disorders and raising awareness amongst society of the huge role that the sense of smell plays in our lives.

To have a look at some of the successes we have had so far, please visit our website at www.fifthsense.org.uk/successes.  If you don’t consider yourself to have a problem with your sense of smell then please have a read through and take a few minutes to think about the many aspects of life that the sense of smell impacts upon, for example:

– Enjoyment and appreciation of food and drink

– Emotional attachment and connection to our partners and children

– Early warning system of impending danger e.g. gas and spoiled food

–  The simple matter of a walk in the countryside with the smell of trees, meadows or the sea air; take away smell from this activity and the world becomes a much less vibrant place

Smell plays an enormous part in our lives, it’s just that many of us don’t realise it.  Fifth Sense’s official launch on 15th March will look at the history of the sense of smell and how our perception of its overall importance has diminished over time.  We’ll be looking at how it plays a vital role in relationships and emotional wellbeing through the first-hand experiences of Fifth Sense members.  We’ll also be talking about how we intend to change society’s perception of the sense of smell, raise awareness of smell and taste disorders and develop our role in facilitating research into such conditions, and much more.  We’ll be publishing a full schedule of the event on this blog very soon.

In the meantime, join us in taking a few minutes to appreciate the power of the sense of smell; you really do not know what you have got until it is gone.

Report from ‘Get a Whiff of This’, Cambridge Science Centre, 13th November 2013

Fifth Sense’s latest engagement in our ongoing quest to raise awareness of smell and taste disorders and the importance of the sense of smell to our lives was at the ‘Get a Whiff of This’ event at Cambridge Science Centre.   Below, Fifth Sense Founder Duncan Boak tells us about the evening and why the participation of Fifth Sense members in public engagement activities such as this one is crucial to our long-term goals.

This was the first in a series of sensory perception-focused events at the Centre, and featured alongside me was Dee Rawsthorne from the Institute of Food Research, Dr Darren Logan of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Mr Carl Philpott of the Smell and Taste Clinic at James Paget Hospital.

Dee is Public Engagement Manager at IFR, and as such is involved in the Institute’s many outreach activities and helping to educate the public about the science behind food and nutrition.  At Get a Whiff of This she was running some demonstrations to show people what taste actually is (the basic tastes being sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami) and how much the sense of smell contributes to the overall flavour of food and drink.

Darren’s work at the Sanger Institute is around olfaction, genetics and behaviour.  During the evening he was talking to members of the public about why people respond differently to the same smell, and how a person’s genetic makeup can be the reason they prefer some smells to others.  He also explained that most people have specific anosmias, i.e. unable to smell particular smells.  For example, 3% of the population are unable to detect the smell of Cis-3 hexanol, which is the chemical responsible for the smell of freshly cut grass.

Most Fifth Sense followers will be familiar with Mr Carl Philpott, who is leading the way in the UK in both diagnosing and treating people with smell and taste disorders and undertaking research into such conditions.  Mr Philpott spent the evening talking to people on the causes of smell and taste disorders, and what can potentially be done to treat them.

I was expecting that the vast majority of the audience to be unfamiliar with smell and taste disorders, but in actual fact there were quite a number of people in attendance with such a condition, having come along because of the presence of myself and Mr Philpott at the event.  It was a useful reminder, as I’m preparing to launch Fifth Sense’s three-year plan and strategy in the New Year, that any public activity we are involved in is not only an opportunity to raise awareness amongst the general public, but to also reach out to the many smell and taste disorder sufferers who have never had access to any advice on their condition, let alone diagnosis or treatment.

Heading into 2014, one of our aims is for Fifth Sense to increase its level of public engagement and get involved in more activities and events like this one at Cambridge Science Centre, and provide more of our members with opportunities to play their own part in educating society on the impact that smell and taste disorders have.

I’m looking forward to sharing our plans for the next three years with our members in January, and in the meantime I’d like to wish all our members and supporters a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.


Watch a short video from the Get a Whiff of This event here.

For more information on Cambridge Science Centre, visit their website at http://www.cambridgesciencecentre.org