Loss of olfaction in old age is a frequent problem, which occurs at the same frequency as diabetes or severe sensorineural hearing loss. Problems caused by loss of the sense of smell may include weight loss due to loss of appetite, intake of rotten foods, social isolation and depression. Until now the loss of olfactory function has received relatively little attention compared to diabetes or hearing loss. In this article we review the loss of the sense of smell with age. Possible therapies are discussed to improve the quality of life in older people.