Today, the Versatile team has prepared an exercise for you (let's say a game earlier) to improve your sense of smell.
How does the sense of smell work?
It is the first sense that develops from birth. Indeed, it is thanks to this that infants begin to recognize their mother. Humans have 25 million olfactory cells. It is also the brain that allows us to identify odors. Olfactory cells are used to send information so that it can recognize them.
Each person has the power to feel in their own way ( so each vision will be unique ). You should know that we are only aware of what we feel after half a second (approximately). The olfactory message arrives in the interior of the brain, just above the eyes. Very often, when we sniff something, we immediately ask ourselves “Do I recognize this smell?” “Does this please me?”
Did you think that smells had no mystery to you?
But you nevertheless observe that certain fragrances remain very mysterious to you... The sense of smell, like everything else, needs to be worked on . It is possible at all levels to perfect our olfactory culture to identify different notes or accords. Thanks to simple exercises, you will quickly be able to sharpen your olfactory sense and decipher the scents around you.
Are you ready? Here are 4 exercises to train your olfaction:
The guessing game
For this first game, choose two/three ingredients with powerful scents and try to identify them with your eyes closed. You can start with simple, easily identifiable things like vanilla or mint .
If you want to complicate the exercise a little (if you feel capable), ask one of your loved ones to choose three different products. The latter can focus on odors that are more difficult to identify (nutmeg, smoked tea, mimosa flower, etc.)
For the second exercise, you will have to memorize scents. Any of them anyway. Take the time to associate them with a memory , a word , a place or a person . Also, don’t hesitate to come back and smell the sample several times to fully absorb it.
These are techniques used by professionals (perfumers more precisely) who wish to become noses. This will also allow you to better understand your surroundings and identify those who are most like you.
Dream, it's the most beautiful thing
Another exercise that can help you improve your sense of smell: imagining smells in your head. For example, visualize a delicious hot croissant and try to imagine the smell that might escape from it ( your mouth is already watering )
Repeat this exercise with several scents and practice this exercise regularly.
Little Bonus: take yourself (fictitiously) to your favorite restaurant and concentrate on the trail of the food and drink that comes to mind. This is another exercise worthy of the greatest schools of perfumery!
Photo: Croissant café/Versatile Paris
Take care of your nose
IMPORTANT: Pamper your sense of smell
To improve your flair, you must first take care of it. Certain substances should be avoided. This is the case for chemicals that produce vapors or even cigarettes (sorry for smokers). The latter is particularly harmful to your senses.
Moreover, you can probably notice that your sense of smell varies during the 30 minutes following tobacco consumption. Bad smells can also negatively affect your sense of smell. It is therefore better to avoid (then smoking is bad).
Admit that we don't pay enough attention to all the smells of everyday life . However, it is the best way to improve your sense of smell. When you prepare your coffee, for example, take the time to describe the aromas that escape from the coffee maker.
Do the same with your recipes, your tastings and the drinks you are served. We advise you to keep an olfactory journal . You will be able to note your sensations when a scent reaches you, whether it is pleasant or not. Everything is good to take to exercise your senses.
Photo: “Croissant café” breakfast/Versatile Paris
Is smell really useful?
You should know that in certain cultures the education of smell is very well implemented. For example, in Japan, “Kôdô” consists of creating fragrant compositions essentially based on scented woods. They are then given to an audience of connoisseurs so that they can smell them during a ceremony called “Kôkai”. This technique makes it possible to distinguish and memorize different smells.
How to distinguish good or bad?
Every nose is different, there are no rules. Some will be more sensitive than others. Sometimes, if we cannot differentiate or identify basic odors (vanilla, orange, etc.) it is because the level is not very high.
One of its extreme weaknesses may be linked to diseases and viruses such as Covid-19, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.
(Re)discover our article on Mayday, I don’t (feel) anymore!
Note: man loses part of his olfactory abilities at 65 years old. Hence the need to work on your sense of smell to limit this.
Versatile accompanies you
Our perfumes are also a good olfactory exercise. Take Coffee Croissant for example , smell the good smells of coffee-cappuccino, buttered croissant, creamy almond, enough to make an impression!
Hangover , the one that reconciles us with the aftermath of difficult evenings. With its very amber and woody rum accord, the exercise will be carried out very well.
Finally, the one that gives us pep's, Rital Date , which changes from boring Colognes and attracts us with its notes of pesto, pistachio, limoncello,... the perfect sweet-salty mix.
In addition, our perfumes are concentrated between 30 and 38% , so they are powerful enough to smell them well!!
If we summarize, smell is one of the pleasures of life, as much for simple smells as for food. Our little nose reinforces our comfort zone, our memories... It can also be a source of calm in difficult situations with feelings of fear, sadness, ...
On the other hand, our olfactory sense is an essential element in warning of certain dangers such as fires or the spread of toxic odors. When we stimulate our sense of smell too little on a daily basis or when it disappears, we are in a somewhat weak position when faced with this type of situation.
To conclude, this is a training story. Like a muscle, your olfactory sense must constantly be used to perform efficiently. And these training exercises are quite enjoyable to perform.