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  1. #1

    Default How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Is there any way that our sense of smell could be heightened or Improved? Like I don't know, an exercise maybe, or gasp, Meds or therapies?

    I've never been exactly the person with the most keen sense of smell, I'm almost always the last to smell something, And I think I get used to familiar scents pretty quick. I Have however, an 'ok' memories of scents, I can still remember the last time I ever smelled a lot of fragrances from more than 10 years back, even though I haven't been into fragrances before this year.

    so anyway, any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Tarheel Golfer's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    I don't have an answer to your question, but I do know where you are coming from. I had my nose broken as a teenager, and spent many years with a horrible sense of smell afterward. I hardly ever wore any fragrance in that time, because there wasn't much use. I couldn't appreciate it anyway.

    Within the past year I began to notice my sense of smell returning. I can't explain it, but I"m thankful. Since then I've gotten drawn into this hobby of fragrances, and I'm loving the journey.

    I wish you luck.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    I hate when I'm always the guy who goes "What fart? *takes an extra long whiff, and runs straight for the door". lol. but yeah, I just want to be able to smell better, and pick up other people's scents, and mine, so I could enjoy this hobby a lot better.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    start smoking

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Great advice I'm trying to quit so I can regain any "loss" I may have incurred as a result of smoking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Punisher View Post
    start smoking

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Spend time outdoors and breath fresh air as much as you can- it makes the artificial scents stand out more when you do smell them. IMHO.

    Also use as few scented products as you can- or lightly scented- so other scented items won't interfere with your SOTD.
    I send thee this sweet perfume a fragrance to the fragrant, as one would offer wine to the god of wine.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    ...
    Last edited by MFJ; 22nd May 2010 at 04:22 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Another recommendation for minimizing "accidental" scents - those pointless perfumes that you get in laundry soap or hand soap or deodorant or dishwasher liquid or shampoo or cleaning products. I was sitting next to a box of Swiffer cloths the other day, and they were emitting such a fog of scent that I had to go stuff them in a closet and shut the door. Before I became a perfume freak, I suspect that I wouldn't even have noticed.

    I also feel that I'm improving my sense of smell, or at least my awareness of smell, by consciously dissecting fragrances - sniffing them, reading the note pyramids, digging in my sample collection for other fragrances known to have the same note, going on "note quests" where I order a bunch of samples that all have galbanum, or vetiver, or bitter orange, or whatever.

    And then, when I've over-dissected, I force myself to stop sniffing for specific notes and to just experience each perfume as the perfume - I'm in that phase now, and finding that while I didn't like Ivoire in the dissection mode, I do like it in the "just shut up and enjoy the perfume" mode. I think that both modes are just an exercise in making myself more aware of what I'm smelling.

    And then there's consciously being aware of the smell of non-perfume things. Pencil erasers. Tomato leaves. Two different kinds of strawberries. Peaches versus nectarines. A new book. An old book. Sage and then thyme and then basil. New leather shoes. New dishwashing gloves. Every ingredient that you put into your dinner. And so on.

    Crayfish

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    I"m not necesarrily talking about pills and such, I'm thinking more like nasal sprays or cleansers or whatever.

    I do live in a place with 'ok' amount of fresh air, I Don't use my room's AC, and prefer to open my windows instead.

    Also, I am a smoker. and I'm not too sure if you were being sarcastic. lol.

    although recently, I feel like my nose have been a little more sensitive, specially to bad smells, which resulted in me having my car detailed, and my room cleaned through out and bough a few odor neutralizers/room perfume.

    so yeah, thanks everyone for the help!

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    As annoying as the advice is, the #1 thing you can do to improve your sense of smell right now would be to quit smoking. It'll improve your sense of taste too (theyre not really two separate senses, but heavily intertwined).

  11. #11

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    One other suggestion I will add is to try drinking hot herbal tea- like mint or chamomile. Also anything minty like Burts Bees lip balm, gum or mints helps to clear my nose. Or coffee beans. Or a hot shower.
    I send thee this sweet perfume a fragrance to the fragrant, as one would offer wine to the god of wine.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    For me, at this time of year, a benadryl or two when I go to bed is a requirement. My pollen allergies pretty much guarantee a completely stuffed nose when I wake up and makes for a miserable start to my day in more ways than one.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    In order of helpfulness:

    1. Stop smoking. Both your nose and the people around you will thank you.
    2. Sniff things. Deeply. Anthing you can get your nose close to, get a good long whiff.
    3. Breathe deeply as often as you can remember to do so. Try consciously to notice any smell in the air.
    4. Keep your nose clean. As obvious as it sounds, more air flow means more particles entering your nose, which translates to more and stronger detections. In keeping your nose clean, take care not to injure your sinuses; i.e. Don't blow your nose too hard.

    As someone with a naturally and terribly strong sense of smell, I find that the tips above help hone your sense rather than make it stronger (which I don't believe you can really do), like sharpening a knife rather than just making it bigger.

  14. #14

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    I was thinking along the lines of Crayfish and baudilus. It's possible that your actual olfactory nerve isn't working properly but it's much more likely that it's fine, I think. Most people--and I'll risk sexism and say esp. most men--simply don't use our noses very consciously. Smelling perfumes and trying to pick out individual notes has been really helpful in cultivating my sense of smell.

    When I started, most things just smelled 'perfumey' to me, not very distinct at all. I also often had the experience of really quick olfactory fatigue; something that I now perceive for hours would seem to be gone in minutes. So I'm suggesting that--unless there actually is a medical problem--the most helpful thing for you will be education and cultivating awareness of mundane smells. Smells flowers, smell the herbs in your spice rack, smell people in cases where it wouldn't be weird, smell the air as you walk around, etc.

    Here's a mind-blowing factlet. I've read that there is actually very little difference between a dog's sense of smell and a human's. They simply, according to this piece anyway, use their noses constantly so that they're much better able to parse what they smell. Best of luck to you. And I do heartily hope that it isn't a medical problem!

  15. #15

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    The most basic way to do so is to make sure you don't get colds too often.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    First, don't do things that hurt your sense of smell. I know smoking is a terrible addiction. Maybe a little progress smelling new things will add just enough motivation. I'm pulling for you. Also, if you work someplace where you smell a lot of strong chemicals (e.g., industrial cleaning) it's worth spending your own money for some sort of breating protection.

    On a more positive note, I recommend collecting a set of single notes, e.g., essential oils from a supermarket of health food aromatherapy section. I'm also working on this. My results are in my blog entry for Aug. 2

  17. #17

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    You can stop smoking.
    As far as meds, you can use a vasoconstricting nasal spray like Afrin or Neosynephrine or something similar but realize that after about 3 days, you run the risk of addiction and they are tough to quit due to something called "the rebound effect".
    You can use pseudoephedrine/Sudafed but again, it's not recommended long term. It's not necessarily addictive but it's very hard on your system as it's a sympathomimetic drug and "mimics" your sympathetic nervous system to a degree with a "fight or flight" response if you will. It's not that severe but it can make your heart race and cause some nervousness or irritability along with some other possible side effects. You can also use an anti-histamine like Benedryl as mentioned above or a non-drowsy alternative.
    You can try some safe and usually effective nasal irrigation with a sinus pot and normal saline solution
    With a Dr.'s prescription, you can get a nasal corticosteroid spray that reduces inflammation. Those usually take a few weeks to work effectively.
    There are also herbal and homeopathic sinus remedies that may or may not clear your sinuses.
    Of course those may be drastic measures and I don't necessarily recommend all of them but I'd bet stopping smoking will give you a healthy, fairly drastic result and perhaps the addition of something safe and recommended by your physician. :-)

  18. #18

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    The best thing to do is get some exercise - it'll clean out your mucous membranes and also minimize any swelling in your nasal passages. I once went for a jog and when I got back I knew that my sister had been to my house while I was gone because I could smell her perfume a half hour after she left - and she doesn't wear much at all.

    Also, watch out for nasal sprays. They can actually temporarily (and sometimes permanently is overused) ruin your sense of smell. My ex girlfriend was addicted to Otrivin for years and now she has very minimal sense of smell . Saline salution is cool to use, but if you use it too often the salt will dry out your nasal passages.

    Oh, and watch out for nasal corticosteroids too (like Flonase). Sometimes these things work and increase your sense of smell (like for my dad for instance) but when I used it as a teenager my sense of smell almost went to zero (thank god it was only temporary).
    Last edited by L'Aventurier; 19th August 2009 at 03:32 AM.
    Sales thread here

  19. #19
    ECaruthers's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    For temporary minor congestion I use a Vicks inhaler. It's cheap & small & there are other equivalent products. I think it's basically Vicks Salve in a little tube with a hole at one end and a screw down cover to keep it from evaporating between uses. I think my last ube cost $2.19 about two years ago and should last another 3 years.

    Hey, TimothyX, this should save you enough money, you can get your tobacco smells afrom a full bottle of Chergui.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    There is also good news for all you smokers (which I discovered when I became an ex-smoker, and then - many years later - a colognoisseur). You know how you can sense very subtle differences in tobacco flavor? How all brands and styles within those brands are vastly different - how even tiny things like heat, puff history, age, and humidity drastically affect the flavor? How even the second smoke from a pack can be different from the first? Well, all that sensitivity will transfer to fragrance after you quit. Instead of detecting subtle differences in a strong-smelling substance (smoke), your sense of "flavor" will recalibrate itself to detect subtle differences in less strong-smelling substances. In fact, I now get much of the same enjoyment that I used to get from smoking from fragrances. In a sense, your smoking has been training for becoming a sniffa. Not surprisingly, many perfumers are smokers. Just remember that each of those perfumers would probably give us a dozen or so more perfumes in their careers if they weren't smokers.

    As for exercises to improve the sense of smell, I cannot recommend highly enough the benefit of pushing and testing your own abilities with unmarked test strips - or marked on the back like flash cards. It's like weight-lifting for your nose. You will see clear improvement over time. Recently I shocked even myself by identifying every one of a group of unmarked samples for a buddy of mine. And my nose isn't half as good as most people here. You can buy test strips cheaply from some of the places that sell perfume components, like Perfumer's Apprentice, or just slice up coffee filters into radial strips of identical size. I used to save old strips from stores for this, but now my nose can even detect basenotes after several months, and they're no longer identical.
    * * * *

  21. #21

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Wow, I'm glad I started this thread, We're getting a lot of good suggestions here.
    and yes, I'm definitely looking towards exploring single scents. I don't think there's any place here that I could get single note oils/frags, so any good suggestions? I'm looking to get something cheap, just to be familiar with the various types of notes, like Patchouli, Sandalwood, Bergamot, Vetiver, Lavender, Etc. etc.

    I Haven't even thought of quitting smoking in my whole life, I guess maybe because I think It's the only thing that keeps me sane all these years, and like every smoker, I enjoy smoking, it fills the empty gaps where my mouth is idle, I'm afraid that without cigs, I'd probably fill those in with eating, and I Honestly don't need another few inches to my size 38 butt. lol.

    Great suggestions everyone, will try some of them out and will let y'all know!
    LF: CAP/LID for Creed Original vetiver and Creed Millesime Imperiale, 75ml. Please pm me.. Thanks!

  22. #22

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Pay more attention and note the smell in your memory consciously. I think a lot of us are already better smellers than we think we are - except that us scenthounds are able to remember and articulate them better. It's what separates us from the general public...

    Eg today while passing by a woman at a supermarket in the morning, I instantly recognized Flowerbomb - jasmine, sweet, mild spices, and woods. Whereas most guys would just probably go by her without a notice even if they might think "she smells good."
    Q: How do you make a feminine fragrance masculine?
    A: Add 'Pour Homme' to the bottle
    - Pierre Bourdon

  23. #23

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Another great post to revive
    Off-Site Decants =) (updated 05/16/12)
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic....7994440fd3c0ab

  24. #24

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    I "heightened" my sense of smell (accidentally), and it was a very unpleasant experience, probably a bout of "chemical sensitivity" syndrome, actually. It is better to just smell a lot of different things, like herbs and spices you might have in the kitchen, than try to change your sense of smell. Over time, by just smelling a lot of different frags you will begin to be able to identify the notes.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 15th March 2010 at 05:54 AM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    youre going to need to get your nose pierced on each side. then hang a thin chain from one side, thread it through a 2.5 lb weight, wrap it around to the other side. some simple nose flares, three sets of ten. then just work your way up in weight.

    at least thats what i read on the internet.

  26. #26

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Ha ha ha!!! you bery funnee man...

  27. #27
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    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Here's one extreme tip based on personal observations of expecting mothers: Get pregnant.

    Sorry guys...

  28. #28

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    I would suggest using a Neti Pot. Neti Pots are FANTASTIC for allergies as well as cleaning out the nasal cavity. It sounds disgusting and vile but I promise you once you get the hang of using one you breathe so much better and can smell better as well. Here is a video of a neti pot demonstration for a visual on what this entails. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8sDIbRAXlg *NOTE* not my video, and I am no way connected with this account - LOL I just thought this would make it easier to explain* I got mine, with cleansing salts, at CVS for under 15 dollars.

  29. #29

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    +1 on the neti pot. And a tip that'll save you bucks with that... get non-iodized salt and mix your own solution, a quarter tsp in nearly-hot water, stir well, let sit for 5 minute, stir again... A traditional neti pot rinse 2x a day (more in dusty, windy, or high-pollen weather) does wonders.

    Other than that, don't smoke... and smell everything you can get your hands on (that is safe to smell) and... take notes!

    Edit: You can use sea salt with the neti, just back off the mixture a bit, as sea salt tends to be... stronger!
    Last edited by actiasluna; 22nd May 2010 at 02:48 AM.
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  30. #30

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Start taking 50mg Zinc tablets, I wouldn't recommend taking them daily, just every time you want your sense of smell heightened. The effects are very noticeable and take effect in about 5 minutes after you ingest the tablet.

  31. #31

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Exercise (gotta break a sweat and start deep breathing) is the most dramatic improvement. You'll notice it even before your done with your workout. Fasting is another way. I fast twice a week for 24 hours each time. After about 18 hours your body goes into survival (hunting) mode and you'll breath better and smell pretty much anything in your environment. Climate also has a lot to do with it. If your in a colder climate or have allergies, the mucus can block the smell receptors. Finally, when you sniff take short quick sniffs. Animals detect scent this way.

  32. #32
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Quote Originally Posted by silentrich View Post
    I fast twice a week for 24 hours each time. After about 18 hours your body goes into survival (hunting) mode and you'll breath better and smell pretty much anything in your environment.
    I don't think that's an option for me. My body would go into death mode.

  33. #33

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    When on certain antibiotics I became quite sensitive to scents, but not in a good way. So many things nauseated me.

    When I spent long periods unable to eat (due to illness) I became very sensitive to smells, to the extent that I could tell what kinds of vegetables my mum was cutting/peeling at the other end of the house, but I wouldn't really recommend fasting from a health perspective.

  34. #34
    Basenotes Junkie Curly11's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Smoking does dull sense of smell and taste. The suggestion of breathing fresh air and reducing scented cleaning products, etc. is a good one.

  35. #35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyDG View Post
    Great advice I'm trying to quit so I can regain any "loss" I may have incurred as a result of smoking.
    Ugh...you and me both. It's such a vile habit. But I do love it still. I I quit once for 1 year. But then picked it up again. Cold turkey too. You have to really want to quit, and I don't want to right now.

    As far as how to heighten your sense of smell, I don't know. But you could maybe educated yourself on what some of the more popular ingredients are so that you can more easily detect them.
    Smell an iris, some vetiver etc etc.

  36. #36

    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    lay off the coke habit

  37. #37
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    Default Re: How to heighten or Improve sense of smell.

    Quote Originally Posted by walkdogg View Post
    lay off the coke habit
    Yep.

    I will help by taking all your coke.

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