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  1. #1

    Default Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    Hello all
    I am getting the feeling that my nose is awful! I do understand that some very talented and commited people spend years and years training in this art, but checking my first ever collection of scents (Farhenheit EdT, Terre Parfum, Boss Bottled EdT & L'Instant de Guerlain EdT) I find that during the day the amount of scent that I can detect changes dramatically. Yesterday as I was standing by a windy bus-stop I even smelled Fahrenheit rolling off me in the wind! Ah hour later I could hardly smell it. An hour or two after that I could smell it quite distinctly. At the moment I am not getting many notes- I'm getting the petrol and flowers but to me Farhenheit to me really smells like a strong Marlborough by Dr Harris, Terre smells like summer and sandalwood etc- this is the extent of my 'tasting'.
    Scent is expensive in China so I will not be buying much more for several months- maybe one more next month, but I am hoping that, even with my limited selection, I will get more tuned in to my fragrances.
    Re-assurance/advice please?
    Last edited by The Traditionalist; 11th March 2013 at 08:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Dependent rubegon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    If you're new to thinking about scents, you will have a hard time picking out notes and understanding how to analyze your reaction to a scent. That improves the more you smell things and spend time thinking about what you're smelling. Sniffing something while reading a bunch of reviews of the scent will help you. I wouldn't worry too much about being able to discern individual notes - fragrance is meant to be experienced as a whole, not as a collection of ingredients.

    Its normal for you to detect your own fragrance only intermittently throughout the day. If you are exposed to any scent continuously, olfactory fatigue will cause you to stop being able to perceive it. If you are spraying with the expectation that you will smell your scent clearly all day, all that will do is deaden your sensitivity to it, and annoy the hell out of everyone around you.
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  3. #3
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    After so many years of fragrance collecting, I still have problems picking out individual notes.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    As others have said, it is normal for the nose to go on and off. The nose shuts off smells after a while - that's why one doesn't realize if he stinks or not. As for notes, in general one perceives clearly only one or two, the general feel of a perfume. But many of the notes are picked up only if one knows the composition.

    cacio

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    Buy a bunch of diverse samples and give yourself time. Read the note pyramids but don't assume they are always accurate or that you will be able to detect any particular note very clearly. It may take several months before you can identify the major notes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    It's not an easy business. I have been collecting since I was a adolescent and still cannot pick out the notes of a fragrance.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    If you spray on the front of your neck don't. Do one on the back of your neck and chest. If this doesn't work think about taking some Zinc.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    My advice? Never come back to this forum if you're tight on cash.

    and yeah, it's normal.

  9. #9
    odioustoilet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    my sense is bad, so I have gone to stores that offer essential oils and just smell certain notes in their most basic form without any other ingredient to clutter up your nose
    sent via commodore 64







    *explore your world on a bicycle*

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    We get desensitized to any stimulation when exposed to it consistently for a length of time. Your fragrance seems to come and go because of that. It's the reason a lot of people on this forum complain of poor longevity ("it only lasts an hour on me!") when other people can smell them loud and clear.

    As to picking out notes, it's all about practice. To be able to pick out leather, just get out there and try different sorts of leather scents. Eventually you'll be able to detect it without being told it's there. But this doesn't happen overnight. You kind of have to immerse yourself in it for a while.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    Your brain is a brilliant organ. It's often smarter than you'll want it to be, and this is a perfect example. When your brain detects a constant, it starts to ignore it in order to pay attention to other things. It's a self defense mechanism. It's also why over-sprayers don't realize how much they over-spray. The brain gets used to it. So, if you're losing your scent through the day, don't make the mistake of thinking the answer is to spray more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagey View Post
    As to picking out notes, it's all about practice. To be able to pick out leather, just get out there and try different sorts of leather scents. Eventually you'll be able to detect it without being told it's there. But this doesn't happen overnight. You kind of have to immerse yourself in it for a while.
    YES!!! I find that I learn more by buying samples, especially samples outside of my comfort zone. I buy bottles to wear, but I often just buy samples to learn.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  12. #12

    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    Quote Originally Posted by sarıpatates View Post
    My advice? Never come back to this forum if you're tight on cash....

    I am assuming this advice was given in friendship. If so, I can understand the motivation for it. I joined a watch forum- I now have several thousands pounds worth of watches. A shaving forum- 5 straight razors and 12 double edged razors, including vintage ones, brushes, soaps etc. Pipes... it goes on and on. In the last 10 days I have spent approx $500 on scent. I'm happy with mulling over what I've got and enjoying them for a while.
    (to give some perspective- a 30ml bottle of Fahrenheit costs 535 RMB, which is $86. And no I will not be buying online)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Traditionalist View Post
    And no I will not be buying online)
    Why? Don't like to save money?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Is my sense of smell non-existent or do I need to train it?

    Many reasons, including postage hassles from The EU/US and the fact that if I do set myself up to buy online I will have a constant stream of little parcels coming to me from overseas which, in the long run, will probably NOT save me money and probably will cause me a lot of angst. A colleague had the option of hiring a car or taking a 7 hour round trip to pick up a parcel from customs. He hired a car, drove for 2 hrs to be told they had no idea why it had been held up and they c/would not find out. He drove back furious and only the second time he went there with a Chinese person, did he get his stuff- a few T-shirts, toiletries etc, worth about 5% of the cost of his journey. I am also against the seemingly ubiquitous modern-day practice of wasting time in shops from which a person has absolutely no intention of buying.

    - - - Updated - - -

    p.s.
    Thanks everyone for the re-assurance regarding my currently limited appreciation of my scents. I wear on my chest- probably some of it goes to my throat area, but today I moisturised previous to spraying, going lower to avoid the throat area and left alone, rather than spreading/thinning it. Despite the fact that I have a bit of a stuffy nose, I can still smell the two sprays of my SOTD (Boss Bottled) after 9hrsand I did get a hint of spice.
    Not bad, considering.

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