My downstairs neighbour cooks food that smells awful and it stinks up my entire suite. How can I remedy this without offending her?

I’m a 9/11 survivor, lived 600 feet away. I was able to go home after five weeks, but the fires continued to burn for months, and the stench was overpowering, plastic and concrete and electronics, an unlike anything else I’ve ever encountered. I was able to manage it enough that my kids didn’t notice or complain. You can do what I did.

You can buy a HEPA air purifier. They work. They’re small. They’re affordable. Depending on how noticeable your neighbor’s cooking smell is in your apartment, you can get one, or one for each room.You can also get scented candles, but not just stinky candles; there are those that are designed to neutralize odor.

You cannot talk to your neighbor. You cannot ask her to cook different foods. You cannot ask her not to cook. Your neighbor is well within her rights to cook whatever food she likes.

If a HEPA air purifier and candles don’t help, you can go to your landlord and tell them that there’s a ventilation problem between the units, and that odors travel from one to the other, and it’s possible that your landlord will install better ventilation systems, however, even if that’s the case, it will involve construction in both units, and will be a disruption to you, so try the HEPA air filtration first.

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