Word-taste synaesthesia: Tasting names, places and Anne Boleyn
30 January 2013 Last updated at 00:41 GMT
As a young man, James Wannerton's girlfriends were flavoured of rhubarb and melted wine gums.
And his schoolmates had a strong essence of sliced potatoes and strawberry jam.
He chose his companions not based on their personality or looks, but because of how their names tickled his taste buds.
James has synaesthesia - a condition in which the senses mix together so that sensations we normally consider separately start to intermingle.
As a child this perceptive ability allowed him to reel off facts and figures in school tests and hardly gave him any trouble at all.
And place-names can come with associated flavours, he says, allowing him to create a taste map of his route to work.
But there are times when this constant bombardment of flavours can be distracting.