NEW YORK (Reuters) - After 13-year-old Sahil Shah lost his sense of smell to COVID-19 in November, his parents looked everywhere for help.
"We met with neurologists, neurosurgeons, ENT specialists, and all of them said if it was supposed to come back, it would have come back by now,” said Sahil’s father, Pratik Shah.
But six months later, the teenager from Chicago still had no sense of smell or taste.
The family sought help from an unlikely source - New York fragrance expert Sue Phillips. She has helped develop and market perfumes for Elizabeth Arden, Lancome and Tiffany & Co, and now runs her own company, Scenterprises.
“So let me tell you, first of all, I am not a doctor. I’m not a scientist. I’m not even a chemist,” Phillips told a client at her boutique on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
To begin the process of helping people learn to smell again, Phillips sets up an array of 18 custom-blended fragrances. Starting with the lighter notes such as rose, lavender and mint, Phillips hands one scented blotter strip at a time to her client.
If there is no response, she uses more robust scents, such as spice and musk.