Strange smell after I sneeze...

Sometimes, when I sneeze (particularly if the sneeze was violent and unexpected), I notice a distinctly ‘musky’ aroma on my hands*.

What is it?

*[sup]Sorry if the idea of me sneezing into my bare hands seems vulgar; I did say it was the unexpected sneezes; otherwise I’d have had time to get a hanky ready.[/sup]

Hey Mangetout,

I don’t have an answer, but you’re not alone. I have occasionally smelled the same weird, moist, musky, mucousy, (I’m feeling a bit queasy) smell before, too, when I sneeze. Sometimes it’s very strong, and (hold your stomachs, now)I have caught a whiff when my wife sneezes. EWWWW BLECHHHH! It seems to be worse when I have a cold or sinusitus, and I just always assumed it was what mucous membranes smelled like.


::quickly raises window for some fresh air::

with me, strange as it might seem, it’s not too unpleasant a smell, it’s almost fragrant (am I weird?)

I was just wondering if this “smell” you experience is also experienced when water goes up your nose, such as when swimming/diving or laughing while eating/drinking.

It is perhaps a saline-like smell from the mucous lining, I WAG. Along these lines, often the mouth/nose can get an induced copper-taste/smell, respectfully, during certain instances usually associated with a mild trauma, in the least, I believe - can’t recall the exact circumstances.

  • Jinx

no, it’s definitely not just the plain old yucky mucusy smell, it’s a definite musky (almost perfumed) armoatic thing.

it’s the sweet smell of blood and brains slowly oozing from your nostrils.

Whenever I smell that odor, I’ve usually got a sinus infection. What color’s your mucus? If it’s yellow or green, chances are you’ve got an infection. If it’s clear, it’s probably just allergies.

IANAD, of course.

Sometimes, when I sneeze (particularly if the sneeze was violent and unexpected), I notice a distinctly ‘musky’ aroma on my hands*.


When you sneeze, many times the sneeze comes through your mouth as well as your nose. My guess is (kinda gross) it’s the vaporized saliva, mucous, funk, etc. that you have in your mouth; when you sneeze, all this gets sprayed into the air as a fine mist, and you end up “smelling” it. I’ve noticed this “aroma” myself (it’s kind of “sickly sweet”), and with others, and it’s generally stronger if you haven’t brushed your teeth/tongue. Gick.

Maybe ask your doc the next time you see him/her?

cant say i notice this smell myself.

I believe this odor is due to some sort of bacteria that is resident in the sinus

It’s the artisanal mole you’re smelling.

If I’m standing close by, I can smell a sort of floral smell after my wife has a hard sneeze.