Smell Training: How to retrain your smell

My Smell Training Background.

I have sinus issues and after many surgeries, lotions and potions, I was left with no smell. Smell training has been the best gift ever. My smell is nowhere near where it once was but it is moving in the right direction. This is why I believe it is extremely beneficial to learn how to retrain your smell.

For some, the sense of smell can be improved via training. Just like any new skill, it will take time and dedication but you will see results as you fine tune your smell again. 

Who is Smell Training For?

All people with anosmia, all of who have lost their sense of smell through either head trauma, a severe infection of the upper respiratory tract, through sinus issues, covid 19 or for reasons unknown.

Will it work for Covid 19 Smell loss

Smell training has been shown to work for infection of the upper respiratory tract and other smell lose reasons. Smell training is the best option for reclaiming olfactory function and smell loss from Covid 19.

What you will need for Smell Training

A Smell Training Journal


Click here for more info about my Smell Training Journal

Smell Training Basics

Four Jars, Four Labels, One pen, Four scents, Four pieces of paper/kitchen towel.

Buy specific jars or clean out old jam jars. Four Key scents/aromas. Just like taste, experts have broken smell into key categories. Aromas and smells fit into four main categories; Flowery, Fruity, Spicy and Resinous. We need to fill each jar with one of these key category smells. There are many smells in each category. I use these easily accessible, essential oils. 

Fruity – Lemon

Flowery – Rose

Spicy – Cloves

Resinous – Eucalyptus

Smell Training Preparation

Clean the jars and make sure they are dry and have a friend or family member smell the cleaned jar to make sure it is free from any odour. Add in some kitchen/paper towel – just enough to cover the bottom of the jar. Add between ten and fifteen drops of essential oil. Label the jar and the lid with the scent and the category. If you misplace one, you know which jar it came from and you do not contaminate the smells. Refresh the jars once every two months.

Next Level

Find lots of smells and create lots of jars. Jar your favourite smells, build a smell rack or smell drawer. Label them with the scent and the category. However, the four basic scents above are enough to start smell training and begin reclaiming and retraining your olfactory receptors.

Training. Each page in the journal has the seven days of the week. Each day is further broken down into three test times and four smell categories. There is a space at the top of each page to write your scents, so you can switch it up any time you wish. For each test, measure and record the smells potency from 1 (weak) to 10 (Strong), identifying your scent level each day, for each of the categories. Over time you will begin to see improvements. Around four months seems to be the time frame. For me, it was about two months. It also took about two weeks before I was recording numbers above one! But it happened.

Resources for Smell Training