However, people with synesthesia can taste or even hear colours, along with numbers, words, letters and even months of the year.
Synesthesia is a rare, incurable neurological phenomenon where two or more of a person’s senses become entwined. It’s hard to imagine what that might be like to experience first-hand, but in a recent Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit, one woman has provided a fascinating insight.
Redditor “Marapara”, a Manhattan-based actress, learned she had synesthesia when she was seven years old. “I opened the plate cabinet in my home’s kitchen, turned around and told my mother that the cabinet smelled like the phrase, ‘The devil is riding the elevator’ and the words ‘cranberry sauce’,” she explains.
Here are some of the most interesting things Marapara revealed about life with Synesthesia.
On how colour can change her response to something:
“If I look at something gross or unpleasant but the colours taste good, then it becomes more of a positive thing.”
On having a strong reaction to people's names:
"Sometimes I won't talk to [people] because their names don't taste well or are too overwhelming. For example, I couldn't really be friends with someone named Ruth because the name resembles peanut butter, and saying it over and over would make me feel actually sick."
"Probably the best tasting name to me is Shawna, because it tastes like apple sauce. Nastiest name... there are a lot of unpleasant tasting boys' names out there, but if I had to choose off the top of my head I'd say Carol and Ralph."
"The most interesting thing of all is that I don't taste or smell anything at all when I read or hear my name."