The scent of a diabetic

August 22, 2006 at 1:45 pm | Posted in The Sweet Life | 29 Comments

Those who know me well, know that I can spend a long time struggling to find the right word.

I just changed my reservoir, and realized that while I would know that distinctive insulin smell ANYWHERE, I can not think of words to describe it. So – no cheating – don’t read other people’s comments first – how would you describe that unique fragrance? You don’t have to be a PWD to answer this – family members and health care folks (mermaid!) are welcome too!

P.S. Thanks for the resume suggestions!


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. IMHO- I think it has the clinical smell you find in a hospital or nursing home only fresher. So in one word…clinicky?

  2. I think pungent. Like something burning, maybe plastic.

  3. Ugh, I hate the smell–I generally says it has a funky tang.

    My husband can’t seem to smell it, I on the other hand can tell in a second when he’s dropped ANOTHER insulun bottle (even after he thinks he cleaned it up so well!). Good luck on the job front!

  4. I a most reminded of sticking your nose in a box of band-aids….

  5. A band aid, hands down.

  6. Elastoplast!

  7. band aids

  8. metal mixed with band-aids.

    Is it sad that I actually had to sniff my pump? LOL

    Oh, and don’t EVER drop and break a bottle.

  9. I didn’t even read down and I got band-aids!!

    Ok, so I’m in desperate need of some excitement. 🙂

  10. Like metal. It’s the zinc they use as a ?preservative for the insulin, I think.

  11. Oh, that’s tough.

    That redolent substance is surely unmistakable, though I don’t have a good recall for such sensory things.

    I’ve actually just closed my office door, disconnected from my pump and delivered a fixed prime to check it again (how wasteful, I know).

    I can’t really pin a word on it, either. Kinda like a strong anti-septic of some sort mixed with a mint scent, though certainly not pleasant.

    And it tastes even worse than it smells (Don’t ask. I have no idea how I ever ended up with some in my mouth before, but it has left a serious impression).

  12. The sharply sweet smell of life or insulodorous?

  13. Two words: Dentist’s office.

    I’ve had confirmation from family members, friends, fellow diabetics, and every boyfriend I’ve ever had.

    Oh, and from my dentist, too.

  14. Funny, Kerri, that our resident dentist doesn’t share your opinion…

    I am stunned by all the bandaid opinions. I have never smelt any similarity between insulin and bandaids.

  15. I think it’s the old kind of band aid. They smelled different when I was little. Or maybe my nose worked differently then.

    You have a resident dentist? Pili? I suppose she helps you keep up with your flossing…

    Art, thanks for your comment on my blog the other day. I would love to meet you anytime.

    Well, not anytime. But at many possible times. You know what I mean. Feel free to mail me.

  16. A mixture of nailpolish remover, turpentine, oil of clove and yeah, the dentist’s office

  17. I don’t recall smelling it to be honest! I only use pretty large amounts of it at a time too, so you’d think that I would recall, but the only kind we use where I work is Actrapid so maybe that one in particular doesn’t smell strong? We draw up 50 units at a time into a 50 ml syringe with saline to run as an infusion with hourly BSL’s on a big infusion pump thing. Those poor little bleedy fingers on the patients!

  18. Hospitals come to mind at first. But I can see the band-aid reference. I am remined of a particular one – the one that really sticks to your skin, more material than plastic? But hospitals, and sick people definitely…

  19. Band-aids. The stuff smells like Band-aids. Now let me see if anyone else said that, too.

  20. Another vote for band-aid.

  21. A STRONG rubbing alcohol smell. Very hard to describe. ok maybe not rubbing alcohol but something. Hmm I can’t put my finger on it.

  22. Band-aids. That’s what it smells like to me.

  23. And I didn’t read ahead.

  24. Without looking at anyone elses suggestions: my guess of what insulin smells like is rubbing alchol mixed with “hospital smell”.

  25. To me it smells like old people.

    It’s funny because I’m always asking people if they smell me. Everyone always says no, but I can smell it.


  26. Like old stinky medical tape the plastic kind…. you bought it like 15 years ago at the dime store (which doesn’t even exist anymore) and now you are trying to use it to put on a bandage…ick stinky!

  27. Burning bandaids is what I always think of. Not that I have ever burnt a bandaid.

  28. Band-Aids

    Not the generic brand

    Band-Aid Band-Aids

    Both David and I agree.

    And, no I did not read ahead 🙂

  29. bandaids. definitely. my friends think so too. and i promise i had that in mind before i read the other comments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: