UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


Health in a Handbasket - Episode 1: How underrated is our sense of smell?

When was the last time you gave any thought to your sense of smell?

Smell plays a vital role in our physical and mental health - from our enjoyment of food and perfume to our ability to detect smoke or gas. Even our romantic relationships are affected by scent. 

As we get older, our sense of smell naturally decreases, which is associated with cognitive declines. However, there might be things we can do to prevent this from happening and train our sense of smell. 

Giada Brianza is developing a smell training device that could help people track and develop their smell abilities over time. 

About Giada Brianza

Giada Brianza
Giada is a user experience researcher with a Ph.D. in Human Computer Interaction at the University of Sussex (UK). She studies the effect of smell on body image perception using advanced technologies and mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) approach. Her expertise sits at the intersection of clinical psychology (BSc), neuropsychology (MSc), computer science and design (PhD). She is currently working as Research Fellow in the Computer Science Department at UCL, as part of the EPSRC/NIHR-funded Smell Care Project to investigate digital smell training through a user-centred lens, to help those with loss of smell. The Smell Care Project is in partnership with Fifth Sense and OWidgets Ltd.





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Ferdouse Akhter  0:05  
Hello and welcome to health in a handbasket, your podcast about the sexy world of Healthcare Engineering. I'm Ferdouse Akhter and I'll be your host. I'm the Marketing and Community Manager at UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering. And although I don't always understand what's written in the research papers published by academics, I know that what we're doing in the world of healthcare engineering is important and impactful. And I want to share that with you by speaking to those who know a bit more about this than me.

Speaker 1  0:40  
Say from today's handbasket, we're going to pick up the topic of smell, and how it impacts our lives in ways we wouldn't even imagine, or ways I didn't even imagine. And I'm here with Giada Brianza, who's a user experience researcher, and she works at the interface of psychology, computer science and design. Georgia is developing a digital smell training tool which will allow people to improve their sense of smell at home. So hi, Giada. I literally just learned this this morning, but apparently a lack of smell is called... okay, I wrote it by hand and I can't read my own writing, but an- anosmia, anosmia. Okay. Little key fact for people at home, anosmia is the loss of smell

Giada Brianza  1:21  
Is the complete loss of smell. Parosmia which means when you are just like smelling something else.

Ferdouse Akhter  1:29  
What do you mean? Like if I'm smelling flowers by smell, sewage,

Giada Brianza  1:33  
Basically, basically, okay. And fantosmia is when there is no smell, but then you can still smell something.

Ferdouse Akhter  1:41  
Oh, that is so interesting. Now, people don't normally think about our sense of smell, not on an everyday basis. They think about our eyesight, or I think about my eyesight, my hearing all of that kind of stuff. Why is our sense of smell so underrated?

Giada Brianza  1:55  
We don't pay much attention to our sense of smell, which is one of the most important ones and especially is one of the first senses that we develop when we're like kids when we're like new child born. So it usually is normal to get like an eye test, right? Yeah, or like a hearing test. But there isn't a way to like get your sense of smell checked. And this is like really interesting, because as I said, this is something that is important, as probably everyone knows for our eating behaviour, but also smell is really important for like memories, emotions, they literally fire the same anatomical substrates, so the same part of your brain, but also for all these kinda like social bonding. And to come back to your question where people, like, don't really pay attention to their smell. For example, in a study, teenagers in the UK have been asked if they prefer losing their phone, or losing their sense of smell. And they said it is better losing their sense of smell rather than their phone, which is kind of like an explicative thing. Yeah, yeah. Very scary. So yeah, we are like in my lab, we are basically working in general, with like different senses. And my colleague and I were like focusing on the senses.

Ferdouse Akhter  3:04  
I mean, that's super interesting. I think if you think about people, sometimes someone has like a certain perfume they wear all the time, and you associate that perfume with that person. Like I remember my ex used to wear Giorgio Armani something. I remember I bought it for him once, but that was years ago. And I always associate that perfume with him. And always remember him when I smell that perfume. So I think that's so interesting.

Giada Brianza  3:28  
Yes, in a sense, because that is really connected with like memories, for example, the smell of your grandma, or the smell of your hometown, or the smell of like somebody like who reminds you of like a vacation or like a holidays. And it's something like unconscious sometimes so we don't even pay attention that we are like collecting some memories. But actually we do especially when it's like a matter of like recollection, like it's very, very quickly compared to like vision or hearing which takes a longer time in terms of like processing on a conscious level. The strongest memory I have from my hometown, which is in Italy, where I'm coming from, as you can tell from my accent is the smell of jasmine, even though it's not a very traditional peculiar smell in Italy is my garden like my parents in my parents house in the garden there like jasmines everywhere and in the evenings like the evenings, nights is really strong, which is like a very nice memories.

Ferdouse Akhter  4:22  
I think after this podcast I wanted to go sniffing jasmine and then really nice jasmine memories and remember Giada every time I sniff a jasmine Okay, so smell isn't just associations of memories though, it's got so many other big important functions in our daily lives. What other ways does smell impact us?

Giada Brianza  4:43  
So I think the biggest the most known one and the one that like COVID showed to the entire word is smell and eating. In a sense that like when we are like eating or we are detecting taste, which is also like a sense itself, but also by detecting flavours. So when you're saying that like this cookie, like the taste of this cookie is like chocolate, actually the taste is sweet, but the flavour is chocolate. And in order to, like detect flavour we need both we need like the taste and we need smell. And, of course, like, I don't know if you suffer from COVID If you had COVID and if you lost like your sense of taste, and or smell, but usually when people were losing their sense of taste, actually, they were losing the flavour. So they couldn't, like, detect the flavour of it, because they couldn't smell.

Ferdouse Akhter  5:27  
So what smell or flavour comes from smell. Yeah. Okay, that's so interesting. So say if I didn't have a sense of smell, I would not be able to taste the flavour or of food items.

Giada Brianza  5:39  
It's like it's more like when you're like eating a biscuit. And you don't...you completely like lose your sense of smell, you consider the biscuit sweet because sweetness is the taste like is based on like your tastes and sensation. But you can say that like the flavour is a white chocolate raspberry or whatever. Because the flavour is like a mix of like taste and smell.

Ferdouse Akhter  6:02  
So interesting. If I pinch my nose and I couldn't smell what would I? Is that like a experiment?

Giada Brianza  6:07  
Yeah it's what we're doing. Basically, every single time we were doing like a demo we have like to show to people that smell is really important for like eating behaviour, we buy a pack of like jelly beans, probably you try them, you pinch your nose and the jelly beans have like three different flavours. I guarantee that if you really pinch your nose really hard, that you're not able to detect the flavour of the Jellybean,

Ferdouse Akhter  6:31  
Guys, this is a little test little experiment for you guys, that was really fun, buy some jelly beans and pinch your nose and and then you'll see exactly what Giada is talking about.

Giada Brianza  6:42  
Smell is such important ally for like detecting flavours or like eating behaviours, or like memories and emotion. And we were discussing before, but smell is also like a very important to, like detect danger. Like in general, for example, gas, I don't know, if you ever, like experience our gas leak somewhere. But the first thing that you detect, and the only thing that you can detect of gas is like smell, because you can't see it's like, it's like no way to like visually see gas.

Ferdouse Akhter  7:09  
I think you said this a little bit earlier about the first thing that we learn as babies or the first sense that comes to us as babies is our sense of smell. And I guess that's quite important as a baby.

Giada Brianza  7:20  
Yes, it is actually smell is like the most primordial sense that we develop when we are born and one like... to me the most fascinating studies is like we'd like the milk of the mum. So usually like in the study there were like two samples of like a cotton bud infused by the milk one from like, the mum of the baby the mother and one from like another person and the baby even though it does it can see because when you're like like newborns can see II will turn his head towards the like the cotton been infused with like the mother's milk because he can like smell it. And this kind of like was reflecting our smell is important for like social bonding and like any kind of love experience or like mate selection as well. And like one of the example that I've been to... like one of the studies that I've been taught that like literally blows my mind, one of the person I'm working with he lost his sense of smell back when he was like a teenager I think or like, but he told me the thing that like he missed the most was like the smell of like his partner. And this could eventually lead to like a breakup, which for me was like mind blowing because it's like a very strong example of like, how much sometimes we give sense for granted but we rely on them like so often for like so many things, especially like on an emotional level.

Ferdouse Akhter  8:42  
So they broke up because he couldn't smell her?

Giada Brianza  8:43  
It was like part of the reasons because it was like, so like an important thing for like their relationships.

Ferdouse Akhter  8:50  
So what is your research looking at?

Giada Brianza  8:52  
So I am currently working on like two main projects like two main topics, both of them of course, like about the sense of smell, one which is like through my PhD journey is focusing on how we smell and like how sense can affect our body image perception, which is the picture, the way in our mind, or the size, the shape and the form of our bodies, but also the feelings concerning the body parts and the other one is about like smell training. So how we can develop like a digital smell training in order to help people to train their sense of smell both people that they lost their sense of smell, but also people that like they have like healthy ageing people, slowly losing their sense of smell, with like ageing.

Ferdouse Akhter  9:34  
Shall we touch on your first topic, which is super interesting. Again, I keep saying super interesting, but honestly, I find it all fascinating, but how like your sense of smell links with like body dysmorphia, and how you feel about your own body like how does that happen?

Giada Brianza  9:48  
So I want to stress the fact that this is like a very first new research topic, so it's never been like tested before. Or at least in the new field of like human-computer interaction which is like where I did my PhD, so all my findings are like literally, like very new and first funding so so whatever, like we found out any kind of like results that we have, I just want to stress the fact that like, it's not like a Bible, it's not like everything like everything else is on so when I started when I started my PhD in my lab everyone was doing like user experience with different senses. One of my like, most key topics for me was body image, I was always been like a during my studies, I did psychology in Italy, and like your body image is such like a good like big part of like psychology in terms of like disease in terms of like attention in terms of like body perception and emotions and feelings, etc. And to me was fascinating that people can have like such a different body image based on um different like stimuli. What I did at the beginning, it was like working with gait, so walking walking patterns, so I select people to walk with different shoes, the shoes were like changing the sound of your footstep. And also at the same time, we were like delivering scents. And then we found that like with different scents, people were walking in a different way, either faster or slower, and they were feeling and perceiving theirself either lighter or heavier. For example, we use lemon because lemon is known from like back to psychology that is related to like very spiky shapes and our feelings of like, energies and like being active. On the contrary, we use vanilla for like the heavier sensation because it's known to be related to like rounded shape. But it was something like relaxing. I'm stressing, like dealing with shapes because what I've done is I can moving from like geometrical shapes, spiky star versus rounded like a cloud to like, I asked myself What if we can, like translate these into body shapes, so something really thin, which is more like spiky bony something really like thick, which is more like rounded. And this is what I've done, I tried to understand if they're, if they seem correlations between sense and geometrical shapes could be also moved to like scents and body mannequins establish this connection that we move forward. And we also tried to like understand the kind of like feelings and sensations because as I said, at the beginning, body image is both like perception, but also all the feelings and emotions, which make this concept so hard to study. So we're like a field study all over the UK. And we asked participants to go around with like, different scents every week. And that like some tasks to do, for example, a drawing like a body collage based on how they felt during the week. And it was super interesting, like looking at, like how people they change the perception of themselves in a way based on like, the scents that they use for the entire week, and also how much their physical exercise and also like confidence or like self confidence, but the confidence was like changing during the period. So yeah, this is like what we are like doing or what I've done so far.

Ferdouse Akhter  12:58  
So what kind of smell would you say helps enhance confidence.

Giada Brianza  13:02  
I go back to the fact the like smell and like scents are strictly connected with emotions and memories. So what can work for me doesn't mean that will work for you. Because maybe you have like a different like emotion or like memories connected to that particular scent but in our study were like basically using it simple essentialism exactly to like overcome this like problem of like, very strong links with emotions and memories. And also like any kind of allergies. So using essential oils is like easier in order to run like a lab study, we found that like peppermint, lemon, were like both of them highly associated with the feeling of like being light, or like being thin, because of course, like, if you think about it I assume we'd associate peppermint with something rounded or something spiky,

Ferdouse Akhter  13:47  
and that's super interesting. I feel like you guys need to release your own perfume and market it as I guess you can't mock it out as like confidence and all of that stuff. Like you say, it's all personalised and dependent on your own personality.

Giada Brianza  14:00  
Yeah, yeah. It's like it's not really easy to make like a big statement. As I said at the beginning, it's nothing like written in stone. But what we are trying to like understand is more like what's the rationale behind it like why you associate, like, different behaviours with like, different scents, like what can be helpful, maybe can be just like, having a scent on a t shirt so it can like help you for like physical exercise for maybe I don't know, like we we didn't like a blazer if you have like a job interview to calm you down. So these are like well like big questions that we were like analysing it and like we are also working with like the Royal College of Art, like designers, fashion designers, because there are like so many different future opportunities and scenarios, like out of this research,

Ferdouse Akhter  14:42  
I guess for people at home if they did want to try and find their own scents is to imagine like a lemon or lavender. See what that invokes in them. And then use that as their perfume and see how it can impact their daily lives. Yeah, like I might see a lemon be like okay, I I associate cleanliness and stuff like that with lemon and stuff and get perfumes that have lemon in it and then see how that impacts my daily life.

Giada Brianza  15:07  
Exactly, or like a candle when I when I did my university so one of the reason also why I picked scents like smell for as like my main topic is because when I was doing my university and to study for like different exams, right, I was using a different scent, like a different like a Yankee Candle, which is like the worst brand ever sorry, this is I can remove, like different candles based on different like subjects, because they were like helping me to kinda like concentrate and focus more. And also my brain was this kind of like association. So this is like the subject the topic. And this is just...

Ferdouse Akhter  15:40  
You know, I think ah years ago when I was like revising as well at GCSE is the environment in which you revise and if you replicate that environment during the actual exam, then you're more likely to do well. So if you could have bought a Yankee Candle into the exam hall, you'd have done it by like, even better maybe, which is also really interesting. Yeah, I think that brings us on to your second project, as in, you know, like how we're saying that maybe you guys should build your own perfume but you kind of are building your own hub of smells

Giada Brianza  16:12  
More or less in this sense. My second project is kinda like a bigger project is is being funded by NIHR and EPSRC and we're like coming to working on...

Ferdouse Akhter  16:21  
NIHR, that's like a big funding body in the UK right? Like one of the biggest I think, is that the biggest and they fund lots of research. Yeah, in everything. I mean,

Giada Brianza  16:31  
Unfortunately the funding is really small. But yeah...

Ferdouse Akhter  16:35  
They have a lot of money but I guess they also have a lot of projects.

Giada Brianza  16:38  
The idea is to create like a digital smell training. So in order like to give you like an idea why we're working so hard on it is because people think that like anosmia, word that we learned today, or like parosmia like any kind of smell this dysfunction is really rare, but actually is not. In the western world is more like usually the 20% of the general adult population is affected by a smell dysfunction, which is really like a big percentages of if you think about it, but if the interesting fact is this number is like raising towards more like 75% for people aged between 70 and 80 years old, because we know from like neuroscience point of view, the our sense of smell is declining, even if you have like a healthy ageing pattern, it is always declining after like 50-60 years old. And this is like why we decided to like strongly focus on smell training and make it digital. At the moment is like a very simple task, you have a bottle of essential oils in front of you, and then you smell them. That's it's like a very kind of like simple manual, very, like analogue way of doing it. And it's not reliable in the sense that like it's really hard to track how far is the bottle, do you really smell, is like the bottle touching your nose. So you have like the liquid and your nose is like spilling the smell around you. And this is like really hard for the for the person who is doing the smell training to keep going because there is like no feedback. So you can just like smell and if you have any smell dysfunctions or if you don't smell, it is really frustrating like imagine like spending  like every 10 minutes smelling something that you can't smell like... So this is why we are like we decided my group of research, we also have like external partners external from UCL, all together, we decided to like work on creating a digital smell training. So something more like standardised reliable, more like a scientific approach.

Ferdouse Akhter  18:34  
So what does that look like exactly?

Giada Brianza  18:36  
The smell training itself, the analogue one requires in theory to smell four different scents twice a day for five minutes, every single day for at least three plus plus months. And then at the end, they eventually you should see like any effect.

Ferdouse Akhter  18:54  
So the analogue would be just like in a box...  Yeah, you get a box essential oils and you just go sniffing it

Giada Brianza  18:59  
It is what is in the NHS website at the moment. If you type like smell training, they suggest you to buy a bottle of essential oils and doing it.

Ferdouse Akhter  19:05  
So that's not given by the doctor you buy that yourself? And there are like charities?

Giada Brianza  19:09  
So we're working with Fifth Sense, which is like a UK-based charity for people who lost their sense of taste and smell and they provide you if you ask them they provide you the bottle of essential oils, but like you can use any brand or like anything like it's not as I said, it's not like a very... hardly structured.

You don't have to log your...

No, there is no way to track like nothing. And this is why we like we're also partnering with another UK based startup which is called O-widget and they are like focusing they already created like a smell delivery system. So like a tool like a device which is able to deliver smell in a very like reliable and precise way. It looks like a metal box which is the size of like a book in a way so it can be stood on the shelf is like pretty like tiny. It can be used wireless, so uou can charge it, but also you can remove the wires and use it and you can move it around. And at the moment, the one that we are using for our study has six channels in the sensor, like, it has like a cute nose, you run with like six different holes, it can like release six different scents, like separately.

Ferdouse Akhter  20:18  
And you have to put your face into it?

Giada Brianza  20:20  
So the best position would be like 40 centimetres, between your nose and the device. And...the best is like on a table, and you're like sit, so this is like the ideal scenario, and the device is controlled via an app, through Bluetooth and Wi Fi. And with the app, you can like control the device. So you can control the spray, let's say so you can control like the scent puff you can control the duration, you can like control how many time you want it. And while we are trying to do is like basically replicating the smell trainings, which means like five minutes, we made like very like structured. So [inaudible] it is going to be like five, slash 10 minutes. It has like 12 puffs in a way. So we are using six scents twice. And then people can also rate their perceived intensity. At the moment, we don't have any notification to like to pop up into the phone and saying, Hey, do this smells training. But eventually, we will like to do something like Duolingo in a way. So you forget your smell training today? Ah, yeah.

Ferdouse Akhter  21:24  
Oh my gosh yeah, I get it every day. Yeah, I'm on like a freeze strike, or is it the cold one? Because I keep forgetting! So does this help people regain their sense of smell? What does this smell training do? What's the end goal for this?

Giada Brianza  21:37  
So as I said, there's like basically like two kind of like final aims. We are currently working at recruiting people between 45 and 55 years old, with smell dysfunctions, because we want to like test if it can really help to recover or like getting like a better sense of smell, if not fully recover. 

Ferdouse Akhter  21:58  
So it helps with recovery. 

Giada Brianza  21:59  
It helps with the recovery. Yes, it's proven that even with the one with bottles, it helps with recovery.

Ferdouse Akhter  22:04  
Okay, I guess for people who have like long COVID and stuff...

Giada Brianza  22:07  
It could help.

But they need to stick to it. So this is like a stress point, they have to do it. Because this is the least like at the end of the day is it smell is like going to the gym. So in a way our smell training is like going to the gym, you need to stick to it and do it again and again. Otherwise, you're not becoming any like more muscle or like stronger. Same with your sense of smell, is like a muscle you need to train it.

Ferdouse Akhter  22:30  
So interesting. What about if you've completely lost your sense of smell? Does this help you regain it? Or is that...?

Giada Brianza  22:36  
It's debatable. In the sense like, there are like studies, they're proving that it could really help people that we like at a chart... we know through Fifth Sense, through like our partners, they never gain their sense of smell back. It also depends how you lost your sense of smell. If you had like, like severe brain injury, it's very hard for you to fully recover if it is like long COVID, or like sinusitis or like virus infection, it might be easier, but still is like a very case to case,

Ferdouse Akhter  23:10  
I guess there aren't like operations you can do for that because it's it's like nerves and neurons, or how to smell, what...how do you even smell?

Giada Brianza  23:18  
So, how our sense is working...well you smell from your nose, right? 

Ferdouse Akhter  23:23  

Giada Brianza  23:25  
And everything is going like it from inside the nose to like travelling all the way up to like a centre, which is even before the brain so you have like a centre where like all the smell sensations are going. And then from like this kind of like scent centre, let's say, like different connection are going inside the brain. There is like a part of the cortex, so a part of our brain which is like dedicated to smell. But then you have also at the same time activity in the amygdala, which is known for emotions and memories. Or like the frontal cortex, which is known for like conscious choices like conscious behaviour. So, like, it's really hard to recreate or like, have a surgery to re-have your sense of smell. It's really, really hard, especially if like the connections are damaged or like if the part of your pain is gone. It's almost impossible.

Ferdouse Akhter  24:16  
Okay, so what are the next steps for this technology then?

Giada Brianza  24:20  
So we hope at some point to like establish like not only like our smell training like digital smell training is working and it's helping people not to drop out which will be amazing. But we also want to like kind of establish a smell care culture, because as we said at the beginning, people don't really think about the sense of smell as something important, something to take care of, something to like train, or like something to assess from like a medical point of view. So what we really want to do eventually like at the end is push to like establish this kind of like culture within like the public but also from more like a higher level so more like a policymaking, trying to like us to work with like, doctors and GPS and to create in a way more like awareness, and also more like reliable tests and like reliable exercises that people can do that might like help them.

Ferdouse Akhter  25:13  
That's super interesting. And hopefully this podcast kind of changes culture a little bit. 

Giada Brianza  25:17  
Keep smelling. 

Ferdouse Akhter  25:18  
Yeah, keep smelling, keep smelling so that our sense of smell doesn't decline when we're like 70 or 80. I think that's the stat you said is to sniff lemon everyday, or peppermint oil. So what kind of actually what are five five smells would you recommend people smell on a regular basis?

Giada Brianza  25:35  
So like the four canonical ones, or like the four we were like trying to pick for the smell training, are rose, clove, eucalyptus and lemon. 

Ferdouse Akhter  25:44  
Okay, why? 

Giada Brianza  25:45  
Because they're like, different in terms of like balance and arousal and in terms of like, both, all of them are considered positive scents. Like pleasant scents, because some of them are...

Ferdouse Akhter  25:55  
Cloves that that spice isn't it? 

Giada Brianza  25:57  
Clove is a spice. Like mulled wine. 

Ferdouse Akhter  26:00  
Okay. Oh, yeah. Okay,

Giada Brianza  26:01  
So smells like Christmassy. And like, for example, like eucalyptus is the reason why eucalyptus is part of this pool, is because eucalyptus can like trigger your trigeminal nerve, ehich is like another thing. Sometimes some scents, I don't know if you ever like experienced but they're like painful. If they're smelling something really pungent can be painful. 

Ferdouse Akhter  26:23  
So is that...word 

Giada Brianza  26:25  
Trigeminal nerve which is like part of your nose 

Ferdouse Akhter  26:27  
Is like a pain...

Giada Brianza  26:28  
Is the pain is like a nerve for the pain. So like, some of the scents can be painful as well. If it's like a very intense and if it is like very strong because you can activate that like...

Ferdouse Akhter  26:39  
The stinging kind of you get in your nose. That's that's a different sense isn't it? 

Giada Brianza  26:43  
Is more like you when you feel like something it can be really like when you smell something and you have like this cold painful sensation. Like very strong, like minty. Or like eucalyptus, for example. So if you want to, like fully train your nose, these are like the four like canonical scents to train your sense of smell. And then I will say pick the one that you like the most and keep smelling.

Ferdouse Akhter  27:06  
Okay, so like have like one or two as your regular smell training.

Giada Brianza  27:10  
Yep, you can train you can use like, either peppermint or like lemon or eucalyptus and then another. And there's something more like lavender, cinnamon, something relaxing. So you have like the two comparisons.

Ferdouse Akhter  27:24  
I guess if you had like scent candles, that's also a good form of smell training. .

Giada Brianza  27:28  
Yeah and then as long as you train. So what we're trying to advertise, as long as you've trained and you keep training, it's also when you're like cooking. If you keep smelling when you're cooking.... first of all, it's more fun. And then it really helps like your muscle memory.

Ferdouse Akhter  27:48  
We just realised that Phil, a member of our AV team can't smell and we didn't realise this. So Phil's gonna join us quickly and speak to Giada, because what he just said to us was super interesting. And I wanted you guys hear it. So Phil, just repeat everything you just said.

Phil Mason  28:03  
Well, I can't smell I've got

Ferdouse Akhter  28:07  
what you said about smelling every few months.

Phil Mason  28:10  
Yeah, so got no sense of smell. But every two to three months, it may come back in a really obscure place like on the train. And you think to yourself oh my god, everybody smells. I can smell perfume or I can smell someone eating. But apart from that, there's nothing, even if I'm cooking food. I can't smell gas, that kind of thing. But I can taste... I can taste it takes a bit longer to come than for most people think but yeah, no sense of smell whatsoever.

Ferdouse Akhter  28:35  
How does that work out? Like why can Phil only smell like very two to three months?

Giada Brianza  28:39  
Because you're smelling two different ways. One is like through your nose one is like through the inside part of your throat right? And you're like... 

So like when you're eating, the smell goes inside. And if you breathe in, if you breathe into your mouth, you smell as well. So if you like pinch your nose and you're like heavily breathing in, you smell so that you have like two ways of like smelling but as he said, it will probably take like a bit longer or like strong.

Phil Mason  29:05  
So will this training help me?

Giada Brianza  29:07  
I hope so! Do our training, be our participant!

Phil Mason  29:09  
Really? I'd be well up for that.

Ferdouse Akhter  29:14  
Amazing. Yeah, that's honestly interesting. Thank you for listening everyone and thank you for coming along Giada. And Phil and Phil, thank you.

Health in a handbasket is produced by UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering and edited by Cerys Bradley. The Institute of Healthcare Engineering brings together leading researchers to develop the tools and devices that will make your life better. We're using this podcast to share all the amazing work taking place. You can learn more by searching UCL health in a handbasket or following the link in the show notes. So share with your friends and family if you found this interesting, we're available everywhere, especially where you just listened to us.