Should You Be Able to Smell Your Own Perfume?

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Yes you should be able to smell your own perfume when you first apply it in the morning.

5However as the day goes on your nose becomes accustomed to it and you may no longer be able to detect the scent on yourself due to olfactory fatigue1. This is a common phenomenon and it does not necessarily mean that you have used too much perfume1. However if you can no longer smell your perfume it may be time to take a break and change your fragrance to stimulate your nose again6.

What causes olfactory fatigue and why does it make it difficult to smell your own perfume after a while?

Olfactory fatigue also known as olfactory adaptation or fragrance fatigue is a natural process that occurs when we are exposed to a scent for an extended period of time. Our brains become less responsive to the scent and we stop smelling it as strongly.

This can happen when we are wearing a perfume or cologne working in a scented environment or even just walking past a store that is diffusing a fragrance. Olfactory fatigue makes it difficult to smell your own perfume after a while because your nose has become accustomed to the scent.

To avoid fragrance fatigue it is recommended to take a break from wearing a perfume or cologne so that you can “reset” your sense of smell and appreciate the fragrance again. Business owners can also avoid olfactory fatigue by alternating scents every month.

Are there any techniques or tricks to reset your sense of smell during the day so that you can continue to enjoy your perfume?

There are several techniques and tricks to reset your sense of smell during the day so that you can continue to enjoy your perfume. Here are some of them:

  1. Smell your own skin: According to SALLE PRIVÉE’s fragrance chemist and perfume specialist Tanja Deurloo smelling your own skin can reset your smelling pallet and prepare your nose to perceive and experience fragrances’ complexity.
  2. Step outside for fresh air: Fresh air can also help to reset your sense of smell. If you’re testing fragrances in a store step outside for a few minutes before smelling the next one.
  3. Eat a quick snack: Eating can also help to clear your nose. A piece of food with a strong flavor such as a mint or a piece of ginger can help to reset your sense of smell.
  4. Smell training: Smell training consists of smelling the same few scents for a few minutes every day. Take several short gentle sniffs and be mindful of the odor. Sniff fragrances that have strong aromas such as garlic cloves spices mint eucalyptus and ground coffee.
  5. Exercise: Research shows that exercising can reduce the risk of further olfactory impairment and it can clear up the nasal passages. It’s not exactly determined why this is but it could be due to increased blood flow to the nose.
  6. Smell elimination exercises: Reestablish your baseline with scent elimination exercises. This involves eliminating strong smells for a short period of time to reset your sense of smell. Award-winning winetasters often follow this method before competitions to ensure their nose is in peak condition.
  7. Smell retraining therapy: Smell retraining therapy (SRT) is a treatment for loss of smell or anosmia or hyposmia. The process of SRT involves the repeated presentation of different smells through the nose to stimulate the olfactory system and establish memory of that smell. It is best to start with at least four different scents especially smells you remember. The most recommended fragrances are rose (floral) lemon (fruity) cloves (spicy) and eucalyptus (resinous) .

There are several techniques and tricks to reset your sense of smell during the day so that you can continue to enjoy your perfume. These include smelling your own skin stepping outside for fresh air eating a quick snack smell training exercise smell elimination exercises and smell retraining therapy.

Can using the same perfume for an extended period affect your ability to detect its scent on yourself even after taking breaks and changing fragrances?

Extended use of the same perfume may affect your ability to detect its scent on yourself even after taking breaks and changing fragrances. Fragrances consist of volatile chemicals that humans perceive through the olfactory system and various studies have revealed that olfactory stimulation through fragrance inhalation exerts various psychophysiological effects on human beings.

However wearing personal fragrance significantly lowers individuals’ olfactory capabilities specifically in the context of sensory evaluation. Additionally previous studies indicate that using fragrance alters how people behave affecting how others perceive their level of self-esteem and attractiveness.

Therefore it is possible that extended use of the same perfume may affect your ability to detect its scent on yourself but more research is needed to confirm this.