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Osmophobia or olfactophobia refers to a fear, aversion, or psychological hypersensitivity to odors. The phobia generally occurs in chronic migraine sufferers who may have odor triggered migraines.[citation needed] Such migraines are most frequently triggered by foul odors, but the hypersensitivity may extend to all odors. One study found as many as 25% of migraine sufferers had some degree of osmophobia. The condition may also be present in individuals in substance withdrawal, specifically opioid withdrawal syndrome, where it is usually associated with nausea and/or vomiting.

The term osmophobia comes from the Greek ὀσμή - osmē, meaning "smell, odour"[1] and φόβος - phobos, "fear".[2] Olfactophobia comes from the Latin olfacto, "to smell at".[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ὀσμή, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  2. ^ φόβος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  3. ^ olfacto, Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, on Perseus

External links[edit]

  • Kelman L (November 2004). "The place of osmophobia and taste abnormalities in migraine classification: a tertiary care study of 1237 patients". Cephalalgia. 24 (11): 940–6. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2982.2004.00766.x. PMID 15482356. S2CID 29074529.[dead link]
  • Kelman L (2004). "Osmophobia and taste abnormality in migraineurs: a tertiary care study". Headache. 44 (10): 1019–23. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2004.04197.x. PMID 15546266. S2CID 11480855.