Hey! Welcome to Medical Mondays and I apologize for getting this post in super late.
So you know, a genetic defect can wreak all sorts of havoc on the human body. Every tiny little mechanism that keeps us functioning properly can be tampered with, so-to-speak, on a DNA level.
This interesting one is called Trimethylaminuria. In this rare disorder, people are unable to break down a certain compound in their diet. As a result, the molecule trimethylamine builds up and is released in the person's sweat, urine, and breath.
And--you guessed it--trimethylamine smells like fish. (I know, I know. My cartoon is inaccurate. Sufferers don't LOOK like fish. Call it artistic license, okay?)
There are treatments. Affected people have to avoid foods that cause buildup of this molecule, such as legumes, fish, and meat. And taking activated charcoal or chlorophyll might work.
Not all people with this disorder necessarily smell like fish. Some just have a strong body odor. But still. Why can't there be a genetic disorder where people smell strongly of, say, hyacinth? Or chocolate? Or, Chanel No. 5?
Well, maybe there are and I need to do more research. In any case, it does make you think about the literary possibilities...