Please help me solve this olfactory mystery

Please help me solve this olfactory mystery, involving a horse farm and peppermint tea

My oldest daughter has been taking horseback riding lessons at a horse rescue place near us off-and-on for about two years. Most of the times when I go with her, by the end of the hour-long lesson my whole head is full of this kind of musky, vegetal scent that I’d describe as rosemary-adjacent. It’s not the smell of horses (I’ve been around them periodically my whole life) or hay (same) or any vegetation that’s at the farm. It’s… something else.
What’s wild is this scent will persist for days; every time I’m not otherwise smelling something with a strong smell, the “horse farm smell” is there in the background. It usually takes about 72 hours to clear to the point where I can’t smell it at all anymore. It’s weird and unpleasant, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what’s causing it.
I haven’t smelled it since COVID, as lessons have been on hiatus, except this morning someone in my house made a cup of peppermint tea, and sure enough it’s back in full force. The tea was consumed 5 hours ago and I can still smell that same horse-farm smell as strong as ever. No one else can smell anything out of the ordinary, not even my wife, whose sense of smell is generally MUCH keener than mine.
What is going on here? What is this effect, and what’s causing it? I know horses sometimes get peppermints as treats, which seems like a promising connection between the tea and the farm, but I’ve eaten peppermints from time to time and I use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap semi-regularly, and never had any kind of olfactory issue whatsoever.
This is a surprisingly hard issue to Google. Help!

posted by saladin to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)

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