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June 25, 2020 4 min read


If I share with you a way on how to boost your smelling ability, would you be interested in learning more?


Dear friend


Have you experienced this?


You sprayed your favourite perfume. The fine mist went on your neck and some on your collar.

 You could feel the intensity the moment it contacted you.


But then 


Within 30 minutes, you asked yourself why this perfume did not smell as strong as in the beginning. The tenacity somewhat decreased.

Another 30 minutes passed, you wondered if you did spray the perfume all because you could not feel anything.

The truth is the scent was still there. You did not feel it because your olfactory sense got used to it.

This phenomenon is known as olfactory adaptation.

Smelling is one of our survival skills.

So, if our body is not in danger, our brain will not pay attention to it. Over a short period, it will ignore that particular scent

Why am I telling you this?

Because I have a story to share with you

I helped my competitor to prevent a potential refund and kept his customer happy. The best part was he did not even know it

Kevin loves oud.

He got a bottle of oud, and the vendor told him that there was a "vanillic sweet" note in this oud.

He could not "detect" it.

He told me it spent around $500 USD for a 12 ml bottle of this oud. Although it was not the top of the line, he bought it because he wanted to smell the vanillic sweet that the vendor told him.

When he received his packet, he was excited to try one.

He kept trying in the next 2 hours, but he could not find the particular scent that the vendor told him.

Feeling frustrated, he wanted to file a claim for a refund under "item not as described."

But before he did it, he tried to investigate more.

And through Google, he contacted me.

After a few questions and from his answers, I was quite confident his oud was genuine.

So I wanted to find out more.

After a few chat, I also learnt that he was a chef by trade.


I made no promise, but I thought I could help him to feel that smell.


By applying a principle know as

 "olfactory adaptation."

So this was what I wanted him to do.


In the next day, to bring that oud bottle with him to work.

I asked him to open and try the oud again in the change room as soon as he finished work. 

And he did

Something amazing happened

He felt the subtle sweetness that he could not detect it the day before


If you met a chef after he finished his shift, you would be able to smell the garlic, grilled steak, smoked salmon or whatever he cooked on that day.

But if you asked him if he could feel it.

The answer would usually be no although he knew about it


His nose "adapted" to it

Nine hours in the kitchen, he had been continually smelling the same cooking smell.

His brain lost interest in this odour, and his sensitivity toward it decreased.

After several hours, his olfactory sense did not respond to this particular odour anymore because the brain saw no danger. It was exhausted after detecting the smell continuously, so it switched off for the moment. 

Here is the key

At this stage, Kevin's brain was actively looking for new odours. It does that because it wants to alert him about the potential danger so he could watch out.

So his olfactory sensitivity had increased.

At this moment, when he tried his oud oil, immediately, he found what he had been looking for, the "sweet vanillic wood". It clicked, so he told me about it.


I was happy for him as I know what it felt like to find the smell that he has been looking for.

A beautiful ending: I helped  Kelvin discover the "unfound" scent, and my competitor did not have to refund. It was fair because he was selling genuine stuff. 

So do you have to be a chef to do this?

No you don't

If you burn incense or diffuse essential oils, you would notice after around 30 minutes, your sensitivity toward that particular incense or oil is less. And it continues to decline over time.

Your brain is ignoring this scent temporarily because it does not detect any danger. This is when

 The olfactory adaptation took place. Your brain is looking for new odour.

So at this stage, if you try a new perfume or merely a new scent, you will be able to pick up the majority of its characteristics or at least you will have a unique perspective of the odour you want to try.

You can reset your sensitivity by isolating yourself from the source of the smell.


Just in case you want to smell the incense or the oil that you are diffusing, simply walk out that room.

And come back in 10 minutes, you will feel the smell again. 

How do you still increase your sensitivity to smell if you don't diffuse oil and you don't burn incense? 

I have good news for you.

Turkish Ministry of Health, Seckin Ulusoy, in 2017, with his research teams, wrote an article "Are people who have a better smell sense, more affected from satiation?" It concluded that

"Olfactory function improved during fasting and declined during satiation."

It means when you are hungry, your sense of smell improves because your brain is on high alert. 

When you are hungry, your stomach secreted an appetite-boosting hormone called ghrelin (You and Your hormone)

This hormone stimulates the parietal lobe. It is a brain region which is responsible for sensory processing information (Thau and Singh 2020)

When this region is stimulated, your olfactory ability improves to find food or energy sources.

During this time, your smelling ability increases.

If you want to do wine tasting, or any aroma sampling, especially oud, then this is the perfect time to do it.

Let me know if you have a similar experience!


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