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Olfactory Reference Syndrome (ORS) (also referred to as Autodysomophobia[1]) is a psychiatric condition in which the affected person is excessively preoccupied by the concern that one's body odor is foul or unpleasant. This disorder is often accompanied by shame, embarrassment, significant distress, avoidance behavior, social phobia and social isolation.[1][2] ORS is not recognised by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, however it is considered by many to be a sub-type of Body dysmorphic disorder. ORS links obsessive and compulsive aspects. Sufferers may have trouble concentrating at a given task or in particular situations due to obsessive thoughts concerning body odor.


Common symptoms of ORS include excessive thoughts of having:[1]

  • halitosis (bad breath)
  • anal odor
  • vaginal odor
  • overall body odor
  • an unnatural, non-human or chemical odor

People with ORS believe others' behaviors or comments are related to the imagined odor (e.g., another's cough, sneeze, or turning of the head is due to the alleged odor).

Compulsive behaviors[]

Individuals with ORS often engage in time-consuming behaviors in an attempt to alleviate their perceived odor. Common compulsive behaviours include:[1]

  • Repetitive showering and other grooming behaviors.
  • Excessive use of deodorants, perfumes, and mouthwash.
  • Repeatedly scraping of the tongue
  • Repeatedly checking the source of the alleged odor.
  • Seeking reassurance from others that there is no odor.
  • Avoidant personality: a fear that individuals detect foul odor when in social environments.
  • Frequent visits to doctor regarding their perceived foul odor.
  • Repeatedly accusing family members of emitting foul odors.
  • Excessive use of scented candles.


Olfactory reference syndrome may be treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and/or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.[2]

External links[]


{[enWP|Olfactory reference syndrome}}