Lack of taste and smell

Katalin Kiszel-Kohari - August 31, 2020

2020 must be the longest year in record! Even the January-February floods feel like they happened a decade ago and only 6 months lapsed since. Not to mention what came afterwards. For me, the scare of my life, when I realised in late March that I had lost my sense of taste and smell and I had not even had a cough since January.

The first thing that I had noticed, was a wine I had known full-well, and slurped regularly tasted just like a slightly acidic liquid. It was a lovely, aromatic Chenin Blanc and I could not detect any flavour or aroma whatsoever. It could have been anything, even lemon juice mixed with water. At that point nobody was talking about loss of taste in connection to Covid-19. At least it was not a major symptom. I have never experienced complete loss of my above-mentioned senses as on this occasion. As if by magic, just from one day to another, it has been pulled out of me. My nose felt hollow. When you have a cold and your nose is blocked that is very much different. Things might taste funny and unusual, but strong odours would get through in some dialled down way and it does not really last very long. Well, for me this lasted for 8-9 weeks and my nose was not blocked at all. Being a sommelier and a person who relies on these senses it felt like forever. I was panicking a bit. What if it never comes back?! I have tried to smell mustard, horseradish, ground pepper, flowers, you name it, and nothing smelled of anything at all. Food did not taste like it used to and I could not gauge seasoning either whilst cooking. You do not realise how much you trust your senses until they are not there to help you.

When the lilacs were in bloom in the early Summer months that was the starting point when I began to enjoy smelling things again. I am happy to announce that I am back in business. Having said that, my favourite ever perfume does not seem to have the same scent as before. The bog- standard shower gel I have been using for years seem to have a different fragrance nowadays. I doubt they have changed the ingredients in the last couple of months. Never mind, I can re- adjust my palate.

So, 2020 does feel like a never-ending delusional horror story, not my words but so true, written by Stephen King and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Photographs by The Tannin Addict.