What Could Be the Possible Reasons for Sneeze That Smells Sweet?

Q: I am asking this question on behalf of my mother, who is forty-one years old. She is a perfectly healthy and physically fit woman. I have noticed that when she sneezes, a very sweet musky smell is emitted. It is a floral, honey type of smell, but not bad at all. The smell is strong, lingers for a while and can be smelled even several feet away. My mother does not have sinus infections, tonsils, diabetes etc. Just to let you know because most doctors blame these conditions. Also, my mother has a wet sneeze, with a lot of mist but not much snot.


When we sneeze, the secretions of our nasal mucosa are expelled out. So this smell comes from her nasal mucosal secretions.

How our secretion smells largely depends upon two factors:

  • Our diet
  • Any underlying medical condition we are affected with

She needs to be investigated. Is she taking any thing sweet, smelly in her diet on a regular basis? May be a certain wine etc. Just as an example, people who smoke expel a smoky smell when they sneeze.

Typically, diabetics have an ammonia like smell in their breath or sneeze. Patients with liver disorders or kidney problems may also smell similar.

Though you have already ruled out the sinus problem, still an ENT exam is suggested. This is so because, sinus problem is the most common cause of smelly sneezes.

Does she have any other symptom or problem? Is she taking any medicine? Let us know for further evaluation.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “What May Cause Sweet Musky Smelling Sneeze?

  1. RLoghry

    About once a year I also have an intense musky perfume odor after a sneeze. I cannot duplicate this by blowing my nose after the initial sneeze.

  2. Dom

    My wife often comments after I sneeze, due to hay-fever, that there is a chemical but pleasant smell. Where it comes from I have no idea but would love to know.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      If its in the sneeze, it has something to do with your nasal secretions.

      May be your diet or due to the infective pathology going on.

    2. Tony b

      It has to do with how you are sneezing. everybody’s sneeze has a slight histamin pollen smell, some more than others – if you have allergies. and it’s so happens that you are unable to smell your own histamin, like smelling your own breath. but if you sneeze a very specific way, every once in awhile you will in fact smell your own histamin.


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