Olfactory Reference Disorder

Olfactory reference disorder (ORD) is characterized by a preoccupation with emitting a foul or offensive body odour that is not perceived by others.

Someone with ORD may or may not be able to smell their body odour. This perceived smell might originate from the mouth, genitals, anus, feet, underarms, urine, or sweat. Occasionally, there are reports of non-bodily odours (e.g., old cheese, rotten eggs, or ammonia). Sufferers fear or are convinced that others who notice
the smell will reject or humiliate them.
A fear of offending others due to the perceived smell may also be a factor.

The condition produces significant distress and significant interference with life. Individuals suffer a high degree of self-consciousness.

Similarly to BDD, they may engage in repetitive behaviours to try to verify how bad the odour is by repeatedly smelling their body or clothing or by seeking reassurance, or they may attempt to camouflage their perceived odour by excessive use of perfume, gum, deodorant, mints or mouthwash; frequent showering and laundering of clothes; dieting/unusual food intake; or brushing of teeth.

To reduce the risk of smelling, they often try to avoid being close to others or avoid being in public or social situations. When preoccupied by the possibility of flatulence, they may control their diet or eat unusual foods. In one study, symptoms of olfactory reference disorder had caused about half of the subjects
to avoid occupational, academic, or other important role activities, or to be completely housebound.

The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation. Charity no. 1153753.