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Rediscovering your sense of smell

A journey through basic smell training

Imagine waking up one day and realising that you can no longer savour the aroma of your favourite coffee or enjoy the scent of freshly bloomed flowers. Loss of smell, also known as anosmia, can be a disorientating and upsetting experience. Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon in the form of basic smell training, a simple yet powerful technique that can help you regain your sense of smell. In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of smell training and how it can be a game-changer for those dealing with anosmia.

Understanding the Impact of Anosmia

Loss of smell can have a profound impact on one’s quality of life. It affects our ability to taste food, detect danger (like spoiled food or gas leaks), and experience the world around us fully. It can lead to feelings of isolation and a loss of interest in eating.  Basic smell training is a technique that has shown promise in helping individuals recover their sense of smell.

What Is Smell Training?

Smell training, also known as olfactory training or olfactory rehabilitation, is a therapeutic technique designed to stimulate the sense of smell by exposing it to a variety of scents regularly. It involves using a set of strong-smelling substances, such as essential oils or aromatic herbs, to stimulate the olfactory nerves and potentially promote the recovery of the lost sense.

How to Get Started with Basic Smell Training:

1. Gather Your Supplies
You will need four distinct scents to get started. Common choices include rose, lemon, eucalyptus, and cloves (these were the original choice of scents when smell training evolved, however, you can use any strong smelling scent). These scents should be easily distinguishable from each other.

2. Set a Daily Routine
Consistency is key when it comes to smell training. Allocate a specific time each day to engage in your training, ideally in a quiet and odour-neutral environment.

3. The Sniffing Process
Take a few moments to clear your mind and focus on your sense of smell.
Carefully open one of the scent containers (or scented product) and take short sniffs (someone compared it to ‘bunny sniffs’ – short rather than long inhalation).
As you inhale, try to consciously connect with the scent, attempting to identify any nuances or familiar characteristics.
Repeat this process for each of the four scents, taking your time with each one.

4. Record Your Progress
Keep a journal to document your daily experiences with smell training. Note any improvements, no matter how small they may seem.

The Science Behind Smell Training

While the exact mechanisms aren’t fully understood, smell training is believed to work by stimulating the olfactory nerves and encouraging the regeneration of olfactory receptor cells. This process can be slow and may take weeks or even months before noticeable improvements occur. However, many individuals have reported significant progress and even a complete recovery of their sense of smell through consistent smell training.

The Power of Patience and Persistence

It’s important to approach smell training with realistic expectations. Recovery may be gradual, and not everyone will experience the same results. Patience and persistence are your greatest allies on this journey. Celebrate even the smallest improvements as they come, and don’t be discouraged by setbacks.


Loss of smell can be a challenging and isolating experience, but basic smell training offers hope and a path toward recovery. By dedicating just a few minutes each day to reconnecting with your sense of smell, you can embark on a journey of rediscovery. Remember, the road to recovery may be long, but the rewards of regaining your sense of smell are immeasurable. So, gather your scents, set your routine, and let the aromas of the world guide you back to a fuller, more vibrant life.

with love janis