Olfactory Hallucinations?

So, today when I woke up this morning, I smelled this spontaneous, unpleasant odor for a few minutes. I didn’t really question it at the time because I was still tired. The odor had disappeared after a few minutes and it didn’t seem to be coming from anywhere. This is the first time this has happened to me.

I want to know if anyone else has experienced this, and what they’ve done about it.

I want to tell my GP this and see if she can get me to see a neurologist or something.

I used to get a whiff of vomit now and then when there really wasn’t any…very unpleasant indeed. At the time I thought it was a ghost…now I think either hallucination or a sort of olfactory memory maybe.

I haven’t experienced this in years but I didn’t really do anything about it…it seemed to just go away with the worst of my symptoms…I don’t know.

1 Like

I smell things sometimes too yet they don’t last as long as your symptoms. I treat them as similar to tactile and just keep trying to go with the flow.

1 Like

Hi Faulkner,

I think that olfactory hallucinations are pretty common in schizophrenia - probably the best thing to do is talk with your psychiatrist. Perhaps a medication adjustment would help if they bother you every day.

Generally I’ve read that people’s stress hormones are at their highest in the morning when people first wake up - so that could be the trigger for your olfactory hallucinations.

Here is more info:

Phantosmia is the phenomenon of smelling odors that are not really present. The most common odors are unpleasant smells such as rotting flesh, vomit, urine, feces, smoke, or others. Phantosmia often results from damage to the nervous tissue in the olfactory system. The damage can be caused by viral infection, brain tumor, trauma, surgery, and possibly exposure to toxins or drugs.[14] Phantosmia can also be induced by epilepsy affecting the olfactory cortex and is also thought to possibly have psychiatric origins.[citation needed] Phantosmia is different from parosmia, in which a smell is actually present, but perceived differently from its actual smell. Smelling colors is also reported in some cases of serious hallucinations.
Olfactory hallucinations can also appear in some cases of associative imagination, for example, while watching a romance movie, where the man gifts roses to the woman, the viewer senses the roses’ odor (which in fact does not exist).
Olfactory hallucinations have also been reported in migraine, although the frequency of such hallucinations is unclear.

From this page on Wikipedia:


Never really smelt anything really disgusting but have smelt rolling tobacco(lasts for short spells) and gas (lasts several weeks before going away).

1 Like

maybe you passed wind just as you woke up without realising, maybe thats why you woke up lol


@SzAdmin Thank you. I don’t have a psychiatrist yet nor am I taking drugs because I’m still in the disease’s onset and this is first hallucination I experienced so far. My GP says it may be hard to find a pdoc in town because of my insurance.

Hi Faulkner,

Its important to get treatment as soon as you can. Here are some other sources for help:

Early Psychosis Treatment center information in these two links


Psychiatric Treatment Centers affiliated with Medical Schools in the USA

This link may help you find a psychiatrist in your area

http://www.nami.org/ - National Alliance on Mental Illness.


sHi Faulkner~
Hope you can find a doctor soon.
My son had a few of these. He used to think I smelled like alcohol and I do not drink. To my knowledge, this only happened a few times–kind of disappeared on it`s own.*

1 Like

There was a time when it seemed to smell like dead animals all around me. It went on for a while. I honestly can’t say now that it was for certain an hallucination or the fact that I probably didn’t shower for a long time.

1 Like

use a good deodrant…
take care

1 Like

i’ve smelled rotting and formaldehyde. i tend to think it’s me. the problem is when i do actually have some semblance of proper hygiene going on (which can be a problem, admittedly) and the smell is not only there but gets stronger and stronger, sometimes it grows and it’s like it’s going to suffocate me. what’s weird for me is that it does tend to happen when i am bathing. well, at least i try to get rid of it by bathing and it doesn’t work and that’s when i get concerned that it’s coming from the inside of me so no scrubbing will fix it.

medication. that’s what’s actually resolved it for me. i mean, when it is the olfactory hallucination thing and not that i’ve gone a month without bathing. the only downside there is that it can resolve it in a way but then whenever i smell something remotely similar it rekindles that thinking that it’s my insides doing it. that may be more “delusion” than “hallucination” though…sometimes the lines between the two blur for me. i think you should talk to whomever you’re working with and s/he should have some suggestions, too. take care

@etre What kind of medication do you use to treat it?

antipsychotics. i should note that they’ve not been addressed as a separate issue. they kinda play a role in my larger frameworks of psychosis and so THAT, the psychosis more generally, is what’s been the focus of all of my treatment.

i get haldol injections and take daily zyprexa dissolvables, ativan, and cogentin currently. i don’t think i’ve had olfactory problems much for the past couple of years though and i’ve taken a variety of antipsychotics since diagnosis. i don’t know if what you have is really the same or not or how it’d best be addressed. but that’s me and mine and how.

1 Like