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Osmophobia (also known as olfactophobia or osphresiophobia) is the fear of odors. Many sufferers may fear bad smells as well as good smells, while some may fear only bad smells. Sufferers may try hard to avoid smelling anything, especially by covering their noses while limit getting into places where smells are common, such as kitchens and bathrooms. If an osmophobe smells something, he/she may get scared, faint, or panic. Sufferers may also avoid getting near another person, whom they also give off smells, whether emitting body odor or perfume, cologne, or body wash.

Osmophobia could be due to a conditioned response, such as throwing up caused by smelling something like a perfume or a jack fruit. It can also be due to a traumatic experience, like an angry teacher coming close and barking at them while smelling the perfume. Another traumatic trigger is smelling burning tires following a vehicle accident.

Osmophobia is treated using psychotherapy, specifically behavioral psychotherapy and systematic desensitization. Medications are rarely needed for those sufferers.

See also[]

Phobias of the five senses
Photophobia (fear of sight) · Phonophobia (fear of sounds) · Osmophobia (fear of odors) · Gaumaphobia (fear of taste) · Haphephobia (fear of touch)