Why Can’t You Smell Perfume On Yourself? [Know All The Facts]

Written By Nazia Haque

Our nose can be pretty mysterious and play some real tricks with you.

One of these tricks is when you spray on your favorite perfume and go about your day, but then you cannot smell the scent on yourself anymore!

So, keep reading if you want to find out more about why nose blindness happens and how to start smelling the scent on yourself again.

Why Can’t You Smell Perfume On Yourself? [Know All The Facts]

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Why Can’t You Smell Perfume On Yourself?

This happens because when you are constantly exposed to a particular scent, your nose becomes adapted to the fragrance. As a result, it becomes accustomed to the scent and stops detecting the smell. You will be able to smell the scent on yourself once again after you smell something else.

Why Can’t You Smell Your Perfume After A While?

It has probably happened to you many times that after spraying perfume on yourself, you can’t smell it anymore after a while.

Not only that, but spraying on more perfume does not help either; no matter how hard you sniff, you simply cannot get your nose to register that smell again.

The same phenomenon happens to all of us when we go somewhere with a distinct smell – sometimes pleasant and sometimes not.

Sure, the smell really hits you at first, but as you spend some time there, say a few hours, you will realize that the strong smell your nose detected when you entered is not there anymore.

So, let’s explore the science behind it:

How Do We Smell Different Aromas?

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Before I tell you about why we cannot smell our perfumes after a while, let me begin by telling you how we smell anything at all.

Hundreds of volatile fragrance molecules travel through the air and arrive inside your nose, stimulating the millions of olfactory neurons in your nasal cavity as you take a breath in.

The stimulated olfactory nerve will then send messages corresponding to the scent to the brain, and these neurons will work hard to do so.

The message will be deciphered and saved in our massive internal database once it arrives, and the olfactory memory will be triggered.

Nose Blindness: Olfactory Adaptation

Nose Blindness: Olfactory Adaptation

The fact that we no longer smell our perfume is part of a physiological process of olfaction.

Since the fragrances we breathe in are decoded and stored in our mental library, the brain remembers the smell.

Once we spray on a scent regularly or a new scent, the brain links the scent with our own body odor within a few hours.

Our olfactory receptors are permanently stimulated by our own fragrance.

This same phenomenon is equally applicable to the scent of our house as well as the perfume we use frequently – unconscious mechanisms of the body come into play.

When we use a scent, our receptors become familiar with it. This results in olfactory adaptation. As a result, the receptors are not stimulated in the same manner or do not have the same signal of the same magnitude when this receptor binds to our olfactory receptors.

How long does it take for you to become accustomed to a particular scent?

Well, that is a difficult estimation to make – but it can happen any time when you are regularly exposed to a scent.

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How Can You Start Smelling Your Perfume Again?

If you cannot smell your favorite scent anymore, do not panic because it is fixable.

If you want to reverse this olfactory adaptation or simply clear up your nose, there are a few methods that can help you out.

The first and easiest method of clearing your nose is sniffing in a few coffee beans to take in that aroma, which will help you get rid of any residual smell still left in your nose. This method will help you smell your surroundings again.

You can also try sniffing a swatch of wool or an unscented part of your skin to revive your olfactory sense.

Because the human nose acquires certain odors rapidly, it is critical for perfume salespeople to clean the noses of prospective clients before they smell each fragrance, and they often use the techniques mentioned above.

If you want to start smelling your regular fragrance again, a great way to reverse the olfactory adaptation is by changing your fragrance for a while.

If you change the perfume and get back to your old perfume after a while, your nose will be able to detect the smell of the latter again.

Another effective way you can try is switching up your perfume by rotating a few of your favorites or even alternating between a day and night fragrance.

Can Others Smell Your Perfume Even When You Cannot?

Can Others Smell Your Perfume Even When You Cannot?

You might be worried about whether others can smell your perfume when you cannot smell it yourself? Well, it is not unusual to think that way.

Just so you know, there is no need to worry. Even if you cannot smell a perfume you just put on, others can certainly smell the fragrance. So, there is no need to douse yourself in the perfume just because you cannot smell it properly.

This is a mistake people often make – they drench themselves in fragrance just because they assume that others cannot smell their fragrance. And that is a big no-no!

It may get really unpleasant for the people around you if you use too much perfume on yourself. I am sure you have experienced this yourself when other people around you used too much perfume on themselves.

To avoid overwhelming others do not apply too much perfume even if you cannot smell it properly yourself. Simply apply a few pumps on your pulse points and go about your day smelling splendid.

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To sum it up, yes, our olfactory senses can be a bit tricky, resulting in us not being able to smell our favorite fragrances anymore.

But that is only reversible, and there are many ways to train your sense of smell, change scents, and return to smelling your favorite scent again.

I hope I was able to answer your confusion as simply as possible. If you have any further queries, suggestions, or comments, please leave them in the comment section below.

About The Author
Nazia is passionate about perfumes. Her love for perfumes started with her father whom she lost in 2017. She’d often reminisce his memories with the help of his fragrances’. Writing about fragrances makes her happy as she can share its wonders with the world. She also loves reading sci-fi novels and traveling.

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