- In a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Olivia Wilde said that her fiancé Jason Sudeikis was born without a sense of smell.
- Congenital anosmia is the condition in which someone is born with a lifelong inability to smell.
- Since the two senses are closely tied, anosmia also impacts a person’s sense of taste.
In a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Olivia Wilde said that her fiancé Jason Sudeikis was born without a sense of smell.
Wilde said she found out about the former SNL star’s missing sense through mutual friends and it made for great first date conversation.
“It was an awkward thing I brought up on our first date. I was like, ‘I heard you don’t smell so great,'” Wilde joked on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Wilde went on to explain that Sudeikis not being able to smell also brought up some questions when they started having kids.
“When our kids were born, he had a real ‘Forrest Gump’ moment where he [Sudeikis] was like, ‘Is he normal? Can he smell?'” Wilde told Kimmel.
Wilde went on to say that yes, her 4-year-old son Otis can smell and is working diligently with his father to diagnose the condition.
“He’s convinced that he’s going to diagnose the problem and fix it. He’s like, ‘Dad, there is a LEGO up your nose,'” Wilde said.
It turns out, the condition at the root of Sudeikis’s lack of smell is called “congenital anosmia”
The US Department of Health and Human Services defines congenital anosmia as “a condition in which people are born with a lifelong inability to smell.”
For Sudeikis, he didn’t realise he had this condition until after puberty. In 2013, the actor told Jimmy Kimmel, “You never notice it as a kid, because smell is only pizza and farts. And then at some point you get older, and after puberty people start complaining about the smell of your feet and you’re like…’I can’t smell it.'”
Sudeikis’s condition is rather rare, with statistics suggesting it affects approximately one in 10,000 people.
Although the exact cause for anosmia is unknown, scientists suspect it’s either due to abnormal development of the system used for sense of smell prior to birth or a mutation in the PROKR2 gene or PROK2 gene.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure or treatments for the condition.
But Wilde says Sudeikis being unable to smell is like a superpower
Since taste and smell are so intricately linked to how we perceive and enjoy food, Sudeikis’ condition means Wilde is the best chef in the entire world.
“He thinks everything I cook tastes amazing! It really builds my confidence,” Wilde said in a short interview with People.
In 2011, on an episode of Chelsea Lately, Sudeikis revealed he also finds some perks of his condition. “So all I get is the fun part,” he said about farts. “You know, just the little toots, the sounds, the little butt-trumpet action.”
Although farts don’t seem to bother him, Wilde mentioned that certain other smells do.
“He’s still weirdly squeamish about picking up dog s— which is confusing to me. He’s a superhero designed to pick up s—,” she told Kimmel.
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