The Return of My Wine Sniffing Nose

Mynose A big concern of mine when I chose to stop smoking two weeks ago was that sometime about now I'd find myself balled up in the corner of my office, sitting on the floor combating withdrawals. My biggest concern was that I'd give in and start smoking again. Turns out neither of those things have happened. But something has happened on the way to Ex-smokerdom.

I got my sense of smell back. Or at least my nose's last few forays into a wine glass and into other aroma-worth venues proved to be enhanced experiences well beyond what I ad become accustomed to over the past decade or so. But what's interesting is that I don't seem to have an enhanced sense of taste back.

Now, this seems odd to me since it is the nose in combination with taste buds that deliver our sense of taste. I suppose this means that my taste buds have not recovered, or at least they are recovering at a slower pace.

Another drink-related revelation in connection with stopping smoking came the other night. I had long suspected that my appreciation for brown spirits had a great deal to do with the impact 80 or 100 proof spirits had on my palate. That is, being much stronger than wine, I was able to better appreciate them, than wine, given the diminished state of my nose and palate after 20 some odd years of smoking. It turns out that with my sniffer in better shape than ever, I am still devoted to brown spirits as much as I always was. In fact, even more.

I honestly expected that if everyone was correct, that if my sense of taste and smell was going to return, that I'd feel a new compulsion to replace my bourbon intake with more wine intake since I'd be better able to appreciate the product of the grape with my newly repaired sniffer and taster. Not so much.

Overall, the effect of stopping smoking on my intake of beverages has been an outstanding experience.

And to anyone considering stopping smoking, let me say this: The patches and pills and potions that now exist to help quell the withdrawals are really remarkable. This attempt at quitting smoking has been much easier than past attempts. I attribute this not only to my motivation, but to the wonderful drugs and drug delivery vehicles that American pharmaceutical companies have given us.


6 Responses

  1. Randy Watson - November 9, 2009

    First of all, congratulations! I have struggled with nicotine and smoking for quite some time. While I have it under control right now, it has always a slippery slope. Sense of smell comes back first, and after another month, your taste will also improve.
    One piece of advice, be careful with your alcohol intake. I’ve always found this to be the source of my falling off of the wagon when it comes to smoking. Good luck and best wishes!

  2. Benito - November 9, 2009

    Congrats on the progress! Next step will be to get your hands on a really ripe, stinky cheese and see if you can remain standing after a good whiff of it.
    Friends of mine that have quit have remarked on odd things, good and bad, that come with the return of smell. On the good side is a trip to the botanical gardens or farmers market, which now has a whole new element. Bad: being in an elevator or public transit on a hot day when the A/C isn’t working–you can identify every soap, deodorant, and perfume that people used, as well as the rich assortment of natural body odors.
    Best wishes for your continued success here.

  3. Mark - November 9, 2009

    Congrats-great to hear it is going well for you. I’ve watched more then one family member struggle to quit-I wish you the best luck in the world! Glad to hear that using the patches/gum etc is a helpful thing from big pharma!

  4. Dylan - November 10, 2009

    Isn’t progress a wonderful thing? Consider it the first of many milestones on a road to improvement, they’ll serve as the motivation to continue forward.

  5. vino - November 12, 2009

    Congrats! I know how difficult is to stop smoking, been there also. But i remember that when i stopped smoking, the food and the wine tasted better, more flavourish.

  6. John Talbot - November 13, 2009

    Congratulations on the progress so far. Keep the faith. My own experience with quitting gave me back my nose after 2 weeks but the tongue took a couple of months and the return was much more subtle and gradual. You’re in for a treat. Let’s here where your palate is 1 year from today.

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