I've been chatting with a couple of nurses about the nature of the "death smell". This was prompted by a recent story you may have seen about a nursing home cat who cuddled up to people who were going to die soon.
I hear that an ability to smell impending death is possible, and some nurses are aware of this smell. I've only been able to speak with a small number of nurses to date, and have had some trouble characterising the nature of the odour. I'm hoping that some of you kind people can offer your insights into this ability. My motivation is pure curiosity, with the hope of gaining knowledge.
What is the nature of the smell? If you had to compare it to something else what would it be?
Do you most often notice this smell in the aged at the onset of a "natural" death or those with a particular type of systemic problem (e.g. renal failure)?
If you have this ability do you think that it is an actual odour, or perhaps is it a more synaesthesic effect, where a "feeling" (precognition) is active as well?
Does anyone know of any research that has been done in this area? I've been looking through medical journals but haven't been able to find any.
Thanks for your time reading this post, hope you can help me.