Smelly visitor

(60 Posts)
sararh Wed 13-Jan-21 13:01:15

Hi all, I have a close family member who frequently comes to visit (live alone and is 'bubbling' with us) who smells so, so bad. The smell is a sort of sour, strangely metallic sweaty smell that I've never smelt on anyone else and lingers in the air for hours after they leave and on furniture for days. I have put throws down so I don't have to wash the seat covers each time. Apart from opening windows and spraying some air freshener, I don't know what else to do. I don't expect there are any magic solutions, but if anyone does happen to have one, please share!!

OP’s posts: |
peak2021 Wed 13-Jan-21 14:38:44

Have they always been smelly? Or just recently? If the latter, could be a sign of a mental health issue.

It's not a nice thing to do but perhaps you need to say something. You may be taking mitigating action but others may just avoid them, especially post Covid.

WitchesNest Wed 13-Jan-21 15:02:51

Do you have fabric sofas? Bad smells (especially B.O) can seep in and cling to them, had a similar issue with a family member and the one seat they’d always use on our sofa. Smell eventually stayed for good and no amount of washing got rid of it. We had to throw the sofa out

Youngatheart00 Wed 13-Jan-21 15:05:13

Oh dear, I’d hate this! I’m mega sensitive to smells (good and bad) and know exactly what you mean about them lingering.

Not sure what to suggest re clearing the smell - aside from maybe have all windows open or see them outside (a la covid advice anyway) but what do you think is the cause? Poor hygiene? A dirty item of clothing (I always think leather jackets stink, for eg)?

goingtotown Wed 13-Jan-21 15:08:44

Spraying Air freshener will make the smell worse.
You need to have a word if it’s personal hygiene.

Elouera Wed 13-Jan-21 15:13:26

Is it new, or have they always smelt? Agree, it could be a sign of mental health, or just letting standards slip due to covid and lockdown and not washing as often, not using deoderant etc.

It could also be a sign of illness such as diabetes! Some people are more sensitive to pheramones and body odours. Could you have a private word with them?

statetrooperstacey Wed 13-Jan-21 15:14:38

I had this, turned out one of my family members had a massive mkat habit. A really specific sort of musty yet sharp chemically BO smell, they sweated it out and it seeped into everything. I would try Candle melts, or simmer a small pan of water with some cloves or clove powder in it, ( I bet you have some 3 years out of date in the back of a cupboard🤣) wash their sheets/ towels etc separately on a hot wash with a bit of zoflora or similar in it. Double bag their shoes and leave outside the back door and try and persuade them into clean socks at yours. Good luck

Advertisement

Santaiscovidfree Wed 13-Jan-21 15:17:44

Maybe bathing less due to bill worry? Lack of shopping /toiletries?

charliespie Wed 13-Jan-21 15:20:47

At a guess they are bubbling with you as a support bubble. What support are you giving them? How long has it been going on? Do you offer day to day support or is it purely for visitation?

Cokie3 Wed 13-Jan-21 15:30:34

statetrooperstacey

I had this, turned out one of my family members had a massive mkat habit. A really specific sort of musty yet sharp chemically BO smell, they sweated it out and it seeped into everything. I would try Candle melts, or simmer a small pan of water with some cloves or clove powder in it, ( I bet you have some 3 years out of date in the back of a cupboard🤣) wash their sheets/ towels etc separately on a hot wash with a bit of zoflora or similar in it. Double bag their shoes and leave outside the back door and try and persuade them into clean socks at yours. Good luck

What is mkat?

Freaksandgeeks Wed 13-Jan-21 15:36:28

You have to tell them. I’m sorry if it makes me sound harsh, but I couldn’t have anyone who smelt like that regularly come to my house. Just couldn’t.

Rainbowandscarlett Wed 13-Jan-21 15:53:40

@cokie3 it’s a type of illegal drug

user1471538283 Wed 13-Jan-21 17:13:11

I would be concerned about their mental health. Could you discuss things with them?

Aquamarine1029 Wed 13-Jan-21 17:14:18

You need to say something. This is disgusting.

MrsFluffyMuff Wed 13-Jan-21 17:18:14

*I had this, turned out one of my family members had a massive mkat habit. *

Me too, it was a close family member, the smell is absolutely unbearable!

Undies1990 Wed 13-Jan-21 17:31:24

If it's not personal hygiene, it'll be drugs.

Lucieintheskye Wed 13-Jan-21 17:32:27

If you don't feel able to directly say it, when they come in say 'oh gosh what's that smell? Have you stood in something?' and sniff around a bit. If they smell nothing, they're unaware. If they brush it off, they know it's them/suddenly realise others can smell it.

It may seem an obtuse way of doing it but it might get it addressed. If they brush it off or really can't smell anything, do the same the next time they visit, or make a big fuss about being sure there's an odd smell.

I had a neighbour who'd visit last year and she'd always have this metallic dairy smell about her? She either had no idea or didn't care until DH and I made a big fuss about how she must have stood in something. Next time she came round she didn't smell, and it had been going on for weeks.

This isn't the best option but if you really had to could you say you had some sort of cleaner on the sofa and ask them to sit on another chair? perhaps a dining chair wouldn't retain the smell as much.

Do they have greasy hair? Or unclean clothes? I wonder if it could be an incontinence issue?

Deathraystare Wed 13-Jan-21 17:51:33

We had a visitor used to come in to see someone on the wards. He had a very very bad smell. The smell used to linger at least half an hour after he had left. A doctor found out he had leg ulcers (he was alcoholic). Oh god did we have to spray the place after he left. They ended up refusing him on the ward. They also tried to call an ambulance for him but he wasn't having it. Apparently he lived with his sister. He sounded just like John Cleese. He has died now.

user1471565182 Wed 13-Jan-21 22:33:21

Im sure somebody told me that metallic smell can be serious illness.

user1471565182 Wed 13-Jan-21 22:40:08

Sweet jesus some of the ulcers/abscesses I saw on junkies back in the day, Deathray. I know 3 seperate people have died from Sepsis/gangrene type stuff in 2 years because of them. It could be that I suppose but they would be in agony. One of these lot could fit a fist inside it (not sure why they tried)

MrsWildermac Wed 13-Jan-21 22:40:42

This happened with someone I knew. I'm a MH nurse and regaled them with a long drawn out story of a 'patient' (fictitious) who smelt really bad and didn't realise that it was necessary and normal to wash daily and wash clothes regularly otherwise they would smell. Worked a treat and they never smelt bad again!

Larsingsong Wed 13-Jan-21 22:44:45

After spending a few years previously working in a&e, a sweet kind of chemical smell was down to drug use.
I hope it isn't the case in your relative's situation, but that's what's sprung to mind.

whatsoccuringnow Wed 13-Jan-21 22:49:40

Drug use was the first thing I thought of too

Purplethrow Wed 13-Jan-21 22:50:39

How old are they op ? If elderly it could be an ulcer or bed sore .
Do they smoke cannabis? Do they look unkempt or unwell?

Catty1720 Wed 13-Jan-21 22:57:17

Without wanting to cause any worry or stress of this so please don’t shoot me if this is a new thing just bare in mind my DP smelt just how you are describing after he had mild covid. It took about a month for him to smell nice again.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in