I lost my sense of smell - completely and permanently - some time as a child. I'm not sure when exactly, which is weird looking back on it, but a doctor some time after said it was most likely either a virus or a bang on the head. Kids of course have plenty of both so I'm not sure.
There are clearly advantages eg. nappies, public toilets, and disadvantages - accidentally burning toast, not being able to smell gas, being paranoid about smelling bad, missing out on pleasurable smells. The worst thing for me is missing out on the emotional elements of smell - not being able to smell your loved ones, or the smell of rain, new and exciting smells on holiday etc etc. But the main thing I'd say is that it's proved to me that the commonly expressed belief that '90% of taste is actually smell' or whatever is bollocks.
I'm sure there are important elements of the enjoyment of food and drink that are to do with the smell not the taste, which obvs I miss out on, but I can taste just fine, and get a lot of pleasure from food. I'm told I'm a pretty decent cook, too. They are clearly linked, and sometimes people lose both together, but they are not so closely linked that you can't have one without the other.
Of all the main senses, I am for sure happy that it was smell I lost.
My mother in law is the same. She’s not been able to smell anything since I’ve known her and it’s been enlightening to relate to that experience.
Same as you, she is able to taste and enjoy (most) foods so it hasn’t been a major challenge.
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