What is this smell?

In my mother’s house there is a very strong oniony/garlicky smell in two of the rooms. Very strong. I cannot locate it easily by doing the smell test. It seems to be moving into another room. I thought that it was the small can of axle grease that I had left (the original room was a utility room), because the two smell similar (which I never would have thought) but sticking my nose into the can doesn’t conjure up the same intensity.
Can anybody help me?

I forgot to add that it started Sunday night.

Well, the obvious cause may be onions or garlic.

Have you checked her cupboards? In my experience, a rotting onion can cause a stink that’s not to be believed. If one has rolled under a cupboard or into a corner and started to rot, I can believe that the whole house would smell like onion.

Well, I checked one cupboard this morning, in the separating room between the utility room and the room into kitchen, which is where smell seems to be drifting, and there was nothing amiss. The onion that I did find seemed in good shape. I moved a bunch of junk on the weekend in the primary room of offense, but I would have thought that a quick walk around would have turned up the culprit.

In my experience, “rotting onion” doesn’t really smell like “onion”, it smells like “Crap, it’s time to play “What’s That Smell?” again.” Check under everything.

I worked at a place once where there was a strong smell that many people described as onion-like it got stronger and stronger until we tracked it to a metal cavity wall; we removed a panel and the culprit was the very large, decomposing body of a rat.
It didn’t smell like anything other than dead rat once we’d got the panel off, but I think it was the case that only certain components of the smell were making it through the panel and into the building.

Ooh, ooh, can I play?

Sure! You can have MY place in line! :smiley:

Why are the ads at the bottom of this page for symphonies and Beethoven?

Look for a potato that’s rotting, it may not even look bad, but will will be mushy to the touch. Don’t get the juice on you , because it will stay on you for a long time.

Chances are that this is not your problem but let me tell you about my odor mystery.

In my bedroom, we started noticing a bad smell. I don’t think I would have described as onion/garlic, but it smelled organic. It got stronger, and I was starting to think something died in the attic, the walls, or the ductwork. I searched the attic, no smell up there. I took off faceplates to expose the walls, no smell. A cursory check of the ductwork turned up nothing. It was starting to drive me crazy when I realized that it didn’t smell all the time, only after we were in the room a while. I had a hunch, and left the lights off the next time we went in. No smell. Lights on, smell started.

We have a ceiling fan with a light fixture, four lights in ceramic sockets. Plastic rings screw onto threads on the outside of the sockets to retain the glass shades. Over the last 10 years the plastic started to deteriorate from the heat of the light bulbs, and started to smell terrible. I replaced them with metal ones.

The moral of the story is that not everything that smells organic is necessarily organic.

Well, there’s always a gas leak to consider. But that smells like rotten eggs to me, not garlic. Maybe mold from a leaky pipe under the house? Dead animal in the crawlspace? Invisble aliens from Sector ZZ9pluralZA?

Folks, I’m afraid that was your last chance to play “What’s That Smell?” Would you like to try our next game, “Where Are Those Flies Coming From?”

Seriously. Find it and I’ll let you clean up all the maggots and lick the spoon.

Could be a dead______________ (Insert any cold-blooded animal )

I often find that dead birds have a spicy smell, which makes my stomach growl and my mouth water, until I find out what it is.

You are obviously part cat.

Ooh, ooh that smell

Can’t you smell that smell?

Ooh, ooh that smell

The smell of death surrounds you.