The Smell of Death

Thursday, July 29, 2010 Bojoy 2 Comments

Earlier today I was browsing through the site of Reader's Digest and read a story about a cat that could predict death. Interesting! Oscar, that's the cat's name, lives in a nursing home. He has at least 25 successful predictions, in which patients died hours after the cat sat down by their beds. The author was at first skeptic about the cat's ability and mentioned that maybe the cat could smell the "sweet smell of death". Reading those quoted words (sweet smell of death), ignited my curiosity. You know I've always had a big curious cat lingering within me so questions like "Does really death have a distinct smell?", "Could the cat possibly smell it?", "How about us humans?" came popping out my mind. An animal experts have put forth a variety of explanations, though most agree that it likely has to do with a specific smell produced by dying patients. I wanted to know more so I Googled it, trying to find some answers through the web and indeed I have came across several forums discussing this "smell of death" thing. They were saying that they were able to smell an unexplainable, indescribable odor from their sick love ones and month or days after that, they pass away. Here are some statements from the forum, (there were like hundred comments posted saying the same thing).

KathQuiet said on Jan 08, 2008....
I do know the smell. If you're attentive, which I guess I just naturally am, you smell it long, long before death really comes. My father died very recently and the odor in his room at the care center was pungent, nearly putrid, permeating and heavy. The thing is, I smelled death a good six or more months ago, very faintly, before any of us knew he had multiple myeloma, before he opted out of treatment. The smell became stronger and stronger, being all but overbearing the last night of his life. It was enmeshed in my clothes, hair and skin. Two days after wearing the clothes, when I went to launder them, the smell was still unmistakably distinct.


Carley2ca said on May 21, 2008....
I'm glad I found this forum. I have been searching for explanations on the smell of death as well. I noticed that when my father was close to death there was an odour about him. It was just a sweet rather heavy odour, not unpleasant. I kept asking my sister but she didn't smell it. He was just about 97 and was dying, basically, of old age, there was no illness. When we went recently to visit a friend who was dying and, again, I noticed an odour. She did have cancer and was jaundiced, she died about 5 days later.

anonymous said on Mar 07, 2010....
I had heard people speak of the smell of death before....my husband being one of them. I always thought it was AFTER the person had died, but never noticed it on my mother and uncle, both of whom I saw within 12 hours of death. However, my father, who was 92 and had been in a care home for just 4 weeks, passed away this last Saturday, 6th March. He had gone into hospital on the Thursday, and I sat with him for about 3 hours on the Friday. I experienced a smell coming from him that I would describe as a sickly sweet smell. I'm not sure I would have been able to describe it if I hadn't heard it described that way before. I wondered at the time, if it was the smell of death that I'd heard about. After my father passed away, I mentioned it to my husband, and he confirmed he had always smelled it BEFORE the death. So, now I have experienced it myself, I know I will always be worried about experiencing it again on a loved one.


I haven't really gotten close to someone who's sick, either a friend or a family member (PRAISE GOD!), so there's never been a chance for me to experience any of what I have read. At first it felt weird to me, and it made me say "ooohhhhh... aaaahhhh... creepy! interesting!" But then I know there's a scientific explanation behind this. Maybe when we get ill, our body emits an odor. Maybe that's the time when our organs are failing, deteriorating or something like that. I just got really curious and thought maybe that's why hospitals smell bad. Don't you think? But whatever explanations science has on this, I never wanted to smell that odor. No thanks! No matter how curious I am.

How about you? Have you ever encountered the sweet smell of death? O.o

2 lovable comments:

Very morbid naman itong post mo na ito, nakakapanindig balahibo, lol. Yes, there might be something about this matter but just like you, I am not interested to know about it. Ayokong maging harbinger of death katulad nang pusang binanggit mo sa umpisa nang post mo. Let the dying die gracefully without any curious people smelling him for the scent of death. Thanks for the post. God bless you all always.

ninja Cyber said...

hii...