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  1. #1

    Default About olfactory fatigue

    I read a fascinating post about this in another thread on men who wear too much cologne. I think I understand how olfactory fatigue works for a particular fragrance. But can you get olfactory fatigue from fragrances in general, even if you wear something different every day?

  2. #2
    taint it sweet's Avatar
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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    I'm interested in this as well. I think I almost always suffer from this regardless of how many sprays I use. I never use more than 4-5, but it's usually 3. I'm always interested in where people are spraying to smell it all day. I know hednic says that he does 3 sprays of everything and I'm wondering where the best places to spray are to avoid fatigue. I don't want to wear too much, but I want to smell my scent throughout the day. I know that I don't have the best nose to begin with, but it shouldn't be that bad...
    Currently wearing: Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

  3. #3

    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    My husband has been wearing Paco Rabanne since 30 years and thinks it's a very subtle, light fragrance.... so I think it's serious with him.
    However, if you switch every now and then it shouldn't happen.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by taint it sweet View Post
    I know hednic says that he does 3 sprays of everything and I'm wondering where the best places to spray are to avoid fatigue.
    If I remember correctly, I think he does one spray to each side of his neck and one to the chest. Can't remember if it was over or under shirt.
    "All the best perfumes in history have something that smells like garbage in them; that's what keeps drawing you back."

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    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    It's different for each person. I do two on the neck and one on the chest. I don't seem to get olfactory fatigue switching from scent to scent.

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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    For me olfactory fatigue sets in with any frag after a few minutes. And a way to minimize it is to spray in places where the nose doesn't get constant whiffs. for instance, under the ampits. (I wear suits). While I haven't done it, apparently legs works well too.

    cacio

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    Basenotes Junkie bigbloke's Avatar
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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    Cacio, do you get to smell the scent when wearing your suit if you spray your armpits? Do you take your suit jacket off during the day?

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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    I usually keep the suit on. I get to smell it when I move around, or am a bit overheated, or when I smell under the lapel. Obviously, it would be quite subdued in regular circumstances, though I've never asked people about how much they smell it. If I do take off the suit, the smell is of course stronger.

    A similar effect is obtained by putting a scented paperstrip in the breastpocket. Again, as one moves or moves the head to the pocket, the scent comes off. Sometimes, I like to use different scents, one on the body and one in the breastpocket (typically, a deeper and stronger one in the pocket, since paper doesn't project well, like ouds and the like). So i get to enjoy both at different times.

    cacio

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    Basenotes Junkie Curly11's Avatar
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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    I like your method, cacio. It seems as though you'd have some leeway if the perfume became a problem for some reason. The scent could quickly be reduced or eradicated by simply disposing of the strips.

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    Basenotes Junkie bigbloke's Avatar
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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    Excellent ideas cacio! Thanks. I keep my suit on too so will try that out today

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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    I think most often people get olfactory fatigue because they tend to over apply and inadvertently human brains are geared to learn to ignore these sensory assaults. So people tend to think they can't smell anything and need to spray MORE, which only makes matters even worse, and it's a vicious circle with no end. They keep spraying more and move and over time become some of the famous BN oversprayer club members, pushing 20+ sprays under the pretense they just can't smell anything unless they overload on the fragrance. Duh.

    I've sort of been there, not quite 20 sprays, but I was trigger happy and 6-7 sprays was very normal. Then the more I researched olfactory fatigue, the more I was determined not to end up in that oversprayers club (well, my other reason was I never wanted to end up being "that cologne guy"). And so one day I started really cutting down on the number of sprays to 2, perhaps 3 on some fragrances (with some notable exceptions like Amouage Interlude Man, 1 spray, or Chanel Eau de Cologne, 10+ sprays). The first couple of weeks I thought it wouldn't work as I couldn't smell many fragrances very well or very long, but then the magic happened - my nose adjusted to the volume and not only do I now find 2-3 sprays to be plenty sufficient, but I think my sense of smell has improved greatly and now I can detect minor differences and specific ingredients much easier than when smelling them in higher concentrations. And I enjoy fragrances a lot more, without my brain trying to shut off my scent receptacles all the time - which makes for enjoying fragrances for many hours, very often all day, even when others complain about longevity.
    Currently wearing: Odoon by Pekji

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    taint it sweet's Avatar
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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    Maybe I'll go from 4 sprays to 2... We'll see if that helps.
    Currently wearing: Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    I find it helps to have a scent free day occasionally. After that, I find I can perceive fragrance better.

  14. #14

    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    It's different for each person. I do two on the neck and one on the chest. I don't seem to get olfactory fatigue switching from scent to scent.

    (3739)
    If I may, I will experiment with this method. I have been doing 1 on the neck and 1 on the chest. I think I'd get better mileage with an extra spray on the neck.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  15. #15

    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    I rarely get olfactory fatigue.
    And if I do, it's from 3 minutes after spraying to 15 minutes after spraying.

    I spray my (clothed) chest & neck area.

    And one spray to my arm for analytical reasons.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    I don't think it applies if you have a good amount of fragrances in rotation. It certainly applies if you wear the same fragrance for weeks -- the brain somehow gets used to the smell and basically cuts if to your 'receptors'.

  17. #17

    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    I get it if I have over applied, it's like your nose has been overwhelmed and shuts down. Sometimes I get it with new fragrances where I think it does not last as long as it does.

    There are only two fragrances I can think of where I just seem to be totally anosmic to for some reason and they are Santal Noble & Amouage Dia Man. After ten minutes or so I just cannot detect the scent at all, weird.

  18. #18

    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    I get it if I have over applied, it's like your nose has been overwhelmed and shuts down. Sometimes I get it with new fragrances where I think it does not last as long as it does.

    There are only two fragrances I can think of where I just seem to be totally anosmic to for some reason and they are Santal Noble & Amouage Dia Man. After ten minutes or so I just cannot detect the scent at all, weird.
    That is weird and a bit unlucky as they are 2 cracking fragrances, but smell quite different.

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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    I get it from some of the incense frag's..
    Avignon mainly..

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    taint it sweet's Avatar
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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    It still baffles me. I don't know why I have trouble with a lot of scents after a few hours when I know they last for 8+... I really think my nose isn't that great and that I need to try spraying on different spots.
    Currently wearing: Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

  21. #21

    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by taint it sweet View Post
    Maybe I'll go from 4 sprays to 2... We'll see if that helps.
    Thats like tending to hunger by further starvation...

    Quote Originally Posted by taint it sweet View Post
    It still baffles me. I don't know why I have trouble with a lot of scents after a few hours when I know they last for 8+... I really think my nose isn't that great and that I need to try spraying on different spots.
    You should spray more. Try 8 sprays for a few weeks.
    It'll determine whether you're spraying too little or you really have a weak nose as you say.
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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    It's different for each person. I do two on the neck and one on the chest. I don't seem to get olfactory fatigue switching from scent to scent.

    (3739)
    This has been my experience. If I wear the same scent for more than a few days, I cease to be able to detect it all day. The minute that I switch scents, I get excellent longevity on a scent that I mistakenly believed to have average longevity.

  23. #23
    taint it sweet's Avatar
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    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post


    You should spray more. Try 8 sprays for a few weeks.
    It'll determine whether you're spraying too little or you really have a weak nose as you say.
    I'm concerned that this will lead to me choking people around me... I don't want to have it be overwhelming for myself or others. I guess I could try on my day off or something.
    Currently wearing: Terre d'Hermès by Hermès

  24. #24

    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    I think venturing into more sprays like getting into a cool pool. Much of the intimidation vanishes when you realize the pool wasn't that cold tobeginwith.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: About olfactory fatigue

    It has been said on this forum many times that "olfactory fatigue" is the result of wearing a single fragrance too often or spraying your fragrances too close to the nose. Well, I would like to suggest that "olfactory fatigue" actually can be caused by the use of excessive sprays too often, no matter whether you change your scent daily, and no matter where you spray your scent (though certainly worsened by proximity to the nose). Let me explain:

    1) Becoming desensitized to one scent CAN affect your ability to smell other scents. The receptors of our nose work in concert, not just individually, to discern individual smells. If a few receptors become desensitized by over-stimulation, that WILL affect your ability to detect, experience, and enjoy other scents. Don't think about it as individual notes being affected - think about it as complex accords becoming indiscernible. As each accord becomes muted, soon enough the whole smell is undetectable.

    2) Desensitization happens biologically in multiple ways: the receptors can become less sensitive to the stimulus (ie. diminished binding of aromachemicals); the receptors can become down regulated (ie. removed from the membrane all together) b/c of excessive signaling to the brain (overspraying); and the most consequential adjustment, the signaling molecules down stream of your receptors can all become deactivated or sequesterd. The last effect reduces the signal of all receptors simultaneously, which means excessive use of A*Men can significantly reduce your appreciation for the likes of Hermes Un Jardin Sur La Nile. These three mechanisms occur in the body simultaneously and the body's preference for one or the other mechanism depends on the intensity of the exposure, the duration, and the individual. This is all well-characterized desensitization science, coming from the research of drug addition (which is similar in its bioactivity to fragrance).

    So, to all those who think that overspraying is the solution to smelling your fragrances better, consider this: for every night out that you use 8+ sprays, try taking a day off to reset your receptors and smell affectors. And spraying more incrementally over time will result in the same desensitization. The solution? Work your way BACK to one or two sprays A DAY over the course of weeks to months. Over time your sense of smell will recover its acuity and you'll enjoy your fragrances better. If you occasionally go overboard for a special night, consider taking a break so you can reset your nose. Just the two cents of a biomedical engineer...
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Words of wisdom on "olfactory fatigue"

    Pretty much knew this to an extent : but greatful to reminded and refresh by enlightened fellow B/N BroThx
    "Thank GOD for the nose, for without it we would not be enjoying these beautiful created Scents" also Remember "Balance is everything and the key to appreciating "

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    Default Re: Words of wisdom on "olfactory fatigue"

    Thanks for this insight! I've often times wondered about this and what to do about it.

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    Default Re: Words of wisdom on "olfactory fatigue"

    Very interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing them. Perhaps always limiting myself to a max of three sprays has unknowingly helped me in this regard.
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  30. #30

    Default Re: Words of wisdom on "olfactory fatigue"

    I worked in the industry (SA) for a couple of years. At a certain point I just stopped smelling the 50-100 scents a day I was showing becuase my nose couldn't take it. I found that on my 2 days off a week I'd avoid all scents and whenever I'd come back my sense of smell was much better. I know we're all scent-heads but I'd really really suggest trying a 2-3 day stretch of no fragrance wearing, smelling, burning, etc and I think you may find your sense of smell really rebounds back. You won't realize what you were missing until it's back.
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