The most convincing argument for the importance of smell comes from those who suffer from anosmia. Anosmia is the loss of the ability to smell as a result of an injury or infection. The people suffering from anosmia describe the great void created by their inability to taste many foods because of the close connection between smell and flavor. Most people with anosmia have normal perception of salty, sweet, sour, and bitter substances but they lack flavor discrimination. Loss of smell keeps you from smelling foods that have spoiled. A sense of smell is important to fully taste foods. It can be temporary if associated with a cold. It can be permanent if it was the result of damage to the olfactory nerve.