I remember back to college chemistry when one of my professors pondered what type of person would purposely delve into sulfur-related research. Similarly, I have wondered how some of my colleagues can put their nose right in the middle of a heavy-soiled diaper and use their olfactory sense to narrow the differential diagnosis.
Now, more research involving the olfactory sense has been published: “The development of an international odor identification test for children: the Universal Sniff Test” also called the U-Sniff test (VA Schriever et al. J Pediatr 2018; 198: 265-72) and fortunately it does not involve any offensive odors.
This multicenter (19 countries) with 1760 children age 5-7 years, validated the U-sniff with twelve odors. Key finding: The U-Sniff “enabled discrimination between normoosmia and children with congenital anosmia with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 86%.”
Specific odors that are part of U-Sniff: lemon, banana, coffee, flower, strawberry, fish, cut grass, orange, onion, butter, apple, peach, chocolate, tomato, cheese, biscuit, and honey.