Our expert says:
Your attention seems focussed on the smell and maybe the appearance of smoke, but your story suggests a fire phobia, in the sense of an exaggerated sense of risk, and a response that's not entirely helpful, to the possibility of fire.
Of course nobody should be delighted to see signs of fire, but over-reacting to the possibility is usually rather unhelpful.
Very rarely hallucinations of smell may occur in some forms of brain tumour, but this is exceedingly unlikely in your case, and there's surely be other clear signs pointing in that direction. Slightly more commonly, some people with epilepsy, experience an "aura", a warning sign of an impending fit, which can include convincing smells, sometimes described as being like something burning, often more unpleasant than the usual smoke one encounters.
At least see a GP to check on these possibilities ( a physician or neurologist if he finds any more signs worth checking on ) ; otherwise a psychiatrist could confirm whether this is indeed a phobia, and could treat this successfully, often with a combination of meds also used to treat depression, and Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ( CBT ) a form of talking therapy that helps one unlearn unhelpful fears, ideas and behaviours like those which occur in a phobia.
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