Rose McGowan lost her sense of smell in ‘freak accident’

By Craig Simpson, Press Association

Rose McGowan has revealed she lost her sense of smell following a freak accident.

She said a blow to the head received from a car door five years ago left unable to test her own bath products, and oblivious to dangerous gas leaks.

The actress and activist has said she gained “super” taste buds after losing the ability to smell.

McGowan said she was tested by Harvard experts following the incident, which left her with a highly-attuned palate, but adjusting to life with one less sense.

The Scream star and writer of Brave said she once left the gas on at home and didn’t notice the danger.

Speaking on the Off Menu podcast with Ed Gamble and James Acaster, McGowan revealed her loss, and her new powers of taste.

She said: “I found out about five years ago. I did a series of tests at Harvard because I lost my sense of smell in a freak accident. They were studying me because I could still taste which is normally interrelated.

“I got hit in the head with a car door in a freak valet accident in Los Angeles.”

Rose McGowan has been forced to install gas monitors in her home (Ian West/PA)

She added on the impact of her loss: “Not being able to smell, I’ve had to get gas monitors for my house and things like that because I accidentally left the gas on one night and didn’t know because I couldn’t smell it.

“There are some inherent dangers that come with not smelling. I can only use bath products I have always used.”

McGowan, who has been a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement, said she underwent tests following her accident.

They revealed her to have an extraordinary sense of taste, despite losing the interrelated sense.

McGowan said: “I’m what they call a super taster, I have extraordinary taste buds.

She added: “Afterwards, everything became like a taste explosion and too much. That’s why they were studying me at Harvard Medical School.”

“I would go once every couple of months. I was in New York so would just go down to Boston which is a couple of states away.

“They would have strips on my tongue seeing the acid levels and trying to get me to smell things – but I couldn’t.”

The full interview is available on the Off Menu podcast, part of the Acast network.