How can I tell if I have a good sense of smell?

    How can I tell if I have a good sense of smell?

    post #1 of 15
    Thread Starter 

    Legit question. I don't think I've ever had any trouble with perceiving smells, I think I have a normal nose but I must say I do have trouble identifying notes, I mean I don't know what I'm smelling half of the time. A lot of it has to do with actually not knowing what some notes actually smell like, like sandalwood for instance, or actual musk, I've never actually smelled those substances in pure form, but still I would say my perception of perfumes are kinda flat? Is it me?

    post #2 of 15
    If you don't know what you're smelling then you don't know what you're smelling.
    post #3 of 15
    Not being able to identify certain notes is quite normal. Nothing to be concerned about. Just enjoy what you can smell. The more different things you be accustomed to, the keener your sense of smell will become.
    post #4 of 15

    If you have never smelled something before, how can you recognise it?   If you smell something but do not know what it is you are smelling, how can you name it?

     

    If you are interested in learning more about the individual materials that go to making a Perfume, I would suggest you take a look at the DIY forum.   There is a huge amount of information there, and others, who asked the same question, have been answered. 

    post #5 of 15

    My advice is to try / sample / spray in the shops more fragrances. If you use the very useful information on this site to find out what notes certain fragrances have, you will soon begin to notice certain notes.

     

    Let me give you an example. You know that fragrance A has sandalwood. You try fragrance B and begin to detect a similarity between the two. If you check the note pyramid on Basenotes for both fragrances and discover both have sandalwood, it means your nose is detecting this note more easily now.

     

    Soon you will see that you detect scents much more commonly and easily.

    post #6 of 15
    You can go to an organic foods store that sells essential oils and smell a lot of them individually.

    Sometimes, it does not help to smell the full concentration of something, so you might need to dab some on a toothpick if possible. ...or buy them and experiment.

    Once you've learned to isolate certain smells, the remaining smells can sometimes be determined with no foreknowledge.
    post #7 of 15

    Maybe this is an idea for you?

    post #8 of 15

    Everyone has their own taste.

    post #9 of 15
    Thread Starter 
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gido View Post

    Maybe this is an idea for you?


    This is great

    post #10 of 15
    Thread Starter 

    Thank you all for your comments

    post #11 of 15
    Yes, it's all about educating yourself. You have heard a middle C musical note before, but unless you educated yourself, you wouldn't know how to identify it. Fragrance notes are the same. You have to have some sort of reference.
    post #12 of 15

    SOLID ADVIVE GIDO. NO ONE WILL TRUELY DETECT EVERY SINGLE NOTE IN A FRAGRANCE. IMPOSSIBLE

    post #13 of 15
    Originally Posted by Tony T View Post
    SOLID ADVIVE GIDO. NO ONE WILL TRUELY DETECT EVERY SINGLE NOTE IN A FRAGRANCE. IMPOSSIBLE

     

    Especially true since perfumes aren't composed of subjective notes. They are made from a mixture of principally volatile molecules.

     

    And these molecules are much more simple than a note. You could use the aid of some amyl acetate to suggest a banana to someone, for instance in candy or a perfume. But you could also use it in the suggestion of pear. Or, to complicate the matter of notes, the creative perfumer could use it a more abstract way.

     

    Then you need a number of other materials for any of the options, and these will have those properties as well. The picture that I am trying to sketch is that the reality of a perfume is far different from a pyramid of notes.


    Edited by gido - 7/10/13 at 1:22pm
    post #14 of 15

    I found this thread not too long ago in the DIY section on "How to Smell," which is obviously serious and somewhat technical, but can provide some good tips and tricks of the trade.

     

    The thread included a response from jsparla which included a link to THIS awesome thread with tips to overcoming sent "blindness" if you do find yourself anosmic to one scent or another. I found VERY helpful, I think personally it should be repackaged a Newbie sticky (if it hasn't already)....

    post #15 of 15

       I've become aware that I simply can't smell some of the musks, and from what I gather, many other people are the same, so that's something you might want to experiment with.

     

       If the famously skanky "Musc Kublai Khan" smells like a light floral to you.....then you have the same blindness for those particular musks that I have.

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    7/10/13 at 1:52am

    blohan said:



    Legit question. I don't think I've ever had any trouble with perceiving smells, I think I have a normal nose but I must say I do have trouble identifying notes, I mean I don't know what I'm smelling half of the time. A lot of it has to do with actually not knowing what some notes actually smell like, like sandalwood for instance, or actual musk, I've never actually smelled those substances in pure form, but still I would say my perception of perfumes are kinda flat? Is it me?

    7/10/13 at 3:07am

    hedonist222 said:



    If you don't know what you're smelling then you don't know what you're smelling.

    7/10/13 at 3:42am

    hednic said:



    Not being able to identify certain notes is quite normal. Nothing to be concerned about. Just enjoy what you can smell. The more different things you be accustomed to, the keener your sense of smell will become.

    7/10/13 at 3:53am

    David Ruskin said:



    If you have never smelled something before, how can you recognise it?   If you smell something but do not know what it is you are smelling, how can you name it?

     

    If you are interested in learning more about the individual materials that go to making a Perfume, I would suggest you take a look at the DIY forum.   There is a huge amount of information there, and others, who asked the same question, have been answered. 

    7/10/13 at 4:09am

    rum said:



    My advice is to try / sample / spray in the shops more fragrances. If you use the very useful information on this site to find out what notes certain fragrances have, you will soon begin to notice certain notes.

     

    Let me give you an example. You know that fragrance A has sandalwood. You try fragrance B and begin to detect a similarity between the two. If you check the note pyramid on Basenotes for both fragrances and discover both have sandalwood, it means your nose is detecting this note more easily now.

     

    Soon you will see that you detect scents much more commonly and easily.

    7/10/13 at 4:16am

    thines01 said:



    You can go to an organic foods store that sells essential oils and smell a lot of them individually.

    Sometimes, it does not help to smell the full concentration of something, so you might need to dab some on a toothpick if possible. ...or buy them and experiment.

    Once you've learned to isolate certain smells, the remaining smells can sometimes be determined with no foreknowledge.

    7/10/13 at 4:36am

    gido said:



    Maybe this is an idea for you?

    7/10/13 at 9:25am

    sjg3839 said:



    Everyone has their own taste.

    7/10/13 at 10:24am

    blohan said:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gido View Post

    Maybe this is an idea for you?


    This is great

    7/10/13 at 10:24am

    blohan said:



    Thank you all for your comments

    7/10/13 at 10:41am

    RedRaider430 said:



    Yes, it's all about educating yourself. You have heard a middle C musical note before, but unless you educated yourself, you wouldn't know how to identify it. Fragrance notes are the same. You have to have some sort of reference.

    7/10/13 at 11:52am

    Tony T said:



    SOLID ADVIVE GIDO. NO ONE WILL TRUELY DETECT EVERY SINGLE NOTE IN A FRAGRANCE. IMPOSSIBLE

    7/10/13 at 1:11pm

    gido said:



    Originally Posted by Tony T View Post
    SOLID ADVIVE GIDO. NO ONE WILL TRUELY DETECT EVERY SINGLE NOTE IN A FRAGRANCE. IMPOSSIBLE

     

    Especially true since perfumes aren't composed of subjective notes. They are made from a mixture of principally volatile molecules.

     

    And these molecules are much more simple than a note. You could use the aid of some amyl acetate to suggest a banana to someone, for instance in candy or a perfume. But you could also use it in the suggestion of pear. Or, to complicate the matter of notes, the creative perfumer could use it a more abstract way.

     

    Then you need a number of other materials for any of the options, and these will have those properties as well. The picture that I am trying to sketch is that the reality of a perfume is far different from a pyramid of notes.


    Edited by gido - 7/10/13 at 1:22pm

    7/11/13 at 9:46am

    YogaNerdMD said:



    I found this thread not too long ago in the DIY section on "How to Smell," which is obviously serious and somewhat technical, but can provide some good tips and tricks of the trade.

     

    The thread included a response from jsparla which included a link to THIS awesome thread with tips to overcoming sent "blindness" if you do find yourself anosmic to one scent or another. I found VERY helpful, I think personally it should be repackaged a Newbie sticky (if it hasn't already)....

    7/11/13 at 11:15pm

    Birdboy48 said:



       I've become aware that I simply can't smell some of the musks, and from what I gather, many other people are the same, so that's something you might want to experiment with.

     

       If the famously skanky "Musc Kublai Khan" smells like a light floral to you.....then you have the same blindness for those particular musks that I have.