Not for sure, but likely, is that you have a residual infection from your cold. Usually in this forum the smells are caused by anaerobic bacteria. It will probably clear up on its own. If not, get a Neilmed Sinus Rinse at the drugstore. If that doesn't work, the its higher up in your sinuses, so post here again and I will tell you something that almost always works.
Was reading your post and I have been having very similar events over the past few months or so. I have also been having other strange symptoms that my husband feels may be anxiety such as heart palpitations, chest tightening, visual disturbances, as well as the strange odor. It is sometimes ammonialike, but at other times like nail polish remover. In fact, on mothers day my daughter and I went to get pedicures and while I was waiting, the strong smell of the chemicals hit me and was overwhelming. I then felt my heart rate start to accelerate and felt as if I couldn't breathe, as if I was smothering. This continued almost the entire time I was in the nail salon. I have yet to find an explanation for these events and had wondered if you had any success in diagnosing or treating your experiences.
Sorry to hear you are suffering with these strange symptoms. It is frightening to have strange things happen to us. I cannot say that I experienced the heart palpitations as you describe. Perhaps they are caused by your anxiety due to not knowing why you are smelling such awful smells.
As I said in my original question, I was dealing with a very bad head cold at the time. I took the advice of "friggy" and used the Neilmed Sinus rinse for a few days. Thankfully, the strange smell problem did clear up. It is very easy and simple to use the Neilmed Sinus rinse, so you may wish to try that.
I did see my family doctor about the problem as well. A couple months prior to this smell problem I had been suffering with vertigo. It was suggested that I see a neurologist. By the time I saw the neurologist all my symptoms were long gone. He reassured me that I was fine, and that I likely had a bacterial infection in my sinuses.
When I was dealing with this smelling problem I recall being very fearful to have a pedicure done at a salon as the smell in them are very overpowering. Just last week I entered a salon and had no problem, although the place had an excellent ventilation system as I did not smell any strong odour.
I wish you all the best in solving this dilemma, and suggest for peace of mind to see your doctor to share with him the symptoms you are experiencing.