Smell of petroleum - a symptom?

Not looking for medical advice. More like looking to see if we need to seek medical advice.

Dad was at my place the other day doing some work that was sort of strenuous for him. While I was walking him out, he asked if I smelled that petroleum/turpentine smell. There was no such smell present. He said that he never told anyone before, but when he exerts himself he smells a sort of turpentine odor. He’s been experiencing this for quite a while (not his whole life, but also not just that day).

I’ve tried Googling “petroleum smell symptom” and “turpentine smell symptom” and all sorts of other stuff but it’s hard to find anything other than articles about petroleum poisoning.

Dad’s been a smoker for 40+ years, and he takes a good amount of medication for pain. At least one is a narcotic. It stands to reason that his sense of smell may be very far gone, and/or the drugs he’s on cause this perceived odor.

But, being the worrying daughter I am, I consider that it could be an aneurysm waiting to blow! Or a piece of metal stuck up his nose! (he worked at a factory for 38 years) Or a sign of dementia! Or a pterodactyl!

Anyway, has anyone ever heard of this “symptom”? Is it something he needs to talk to his doctor about yesterday, or can he wait until his next appointment in June?

I’m going to get a list of his meds and look up the side-effects to see if there’s anything about smells. But in the meantime, figure I’d inquire here first.

If he’s working up a sweat, perhaps that’s what he’s smelling? The medication might alter his body odour a bit, and I know I can always smell myself way before anyone else can. Further to that, some people (like me!) sweat on their upper lip, which may make him smell it even more.

That said, this is an odd symptom, and I think he should talk to his doctor. It’s not like this is a one-off, it’s been happening for a long time.

I’ve never come across a petroleum smell, but I do sometimes smell ammonia after heavy exercise. I posted a thread about it a couple of years ago.

body oils on skin along with sweat and body heat can produce chemical smells in my experience.

IANAD nor AIYPD but…

A one off smell that others can’t smell is probably just as BAD or WORSE severity wise than than constantly smelling stuff other folks can’t.

Its my laymans understanding that during something like a stroke, min-stroke, TIA sorta thing, smelling or hearing stuff that aint there is a common symptom.

My SO had a TIA. The major symptom was hearing something making a loud funny sound that it obviously could not or would not normally do. Those things are NOT the kind of stuff you want to blow off because its a “one off”.

We got lucky when all was said and done, but the emergency room doctors were EXTREMELY concerned when they heard the symptoms and we were in the back being taken care of in few minutes vs the regular emergency room waiting for hours ordeal.

Hmmm…good points to ponder.

My dad and his brothers do not have body odor. Like, seriously. None of them have ever worn deodorant or antiperspirant. They sweat, they just don’t smell.

I remember the first time I worked side-by-side in construction with some guys my dad’s age. It was hot, we were sweating, I was shocked by the smell (it did smell of ammonia). Because I’d never been next to a hard-workin man with regular body smells, it was super weird to me.

SO…if dad’s body makeup is changing in his old age to where he DOES have “normal” body odor after exertion, that could possibly explain what he is smelling. All of a sudden, he’s smelling normal man sweat.

Tell me this…do men’s hormones and body bacteria change as they age, like a woman’s does?