"People talk about how smells can nostalgically bring you back to childhood," said Perrone. "I don't have memories of how my grandma's house used to smell or anything like that. Smell is the strongest trigger of memory they say, and I guess I missed that, but otherwise, it's one of those things that I've never known any other way."
In fact, Seiden said most people with the condition only seek medical treatment or information at the prodding of a family member.
"They have grown up without a sense of smell, and so the lack of smell has no real bearing on their interaction with others or their environment," Seiden said.
"It's hard to miss something viscerally, but it sounds like smell would be nice as a memory tool," said Perrone. "I wish I had that."