How to Smell

Learning how to smell is a practice that involves regularly exposing yourself to different scents to improve your sense of smell. Below Al Shareef will share some tips on how to train yourself in smelling better and building on the skills you already have:

Get your materials: It is best to work with materials you interact with regularly, and kitchen herbs and spices are an excellent start. It will save you a lot of money and also provide you frequent exposure to fine tune your ability. You can also buy pre-made smell training kits or make your own using essential oils or other strongly scented materials. Here we offer a simple oudh discovery kit that you could add to your materials.

Time and Space

Give yourself time: Try to set yourself a regular time for practicing to smell, ideally once a day. You should allocate at least 10-15 minutes for each session.

Smell Space: Assign a place in your home or office where you can keep your materials and that it is relatively free of cooking and other smells, as much as possible. Make this place quiet and comfortable place without any other sensory distractions, such as cooking smells, perfumes, or cleaning products.

One scent at a time: Empty your breathing path and nose. Take a couple of deep fresh breathes, expanding your nostrils to allow the air to pass through your nasal cavity and up into your olfactory sensors. Do this slowly and consciously. Then take a scent and smell it deeply. Focus on the scent and try to identify it. You can also try to describe the scent, including any memories or emotions it evokes.


Rinse and Repeat: Repeat the process with each scent, focusing on one scent at a time. It’s best to use the same set of scents each time you do the training. Each time try to associate some descriptors to what you are smelling and over time try to associate the same descriptors to the same material.

Progress: Acknowledge your progress by keeping a log of your progress, noting any improvements in your ability to identify or describe scents, or identifying nuances that you were not able to at the beginning.

It’s important to note that learning to smell is not a quick fix, and it may take several weeks or months of consistent practice to see improvements. However, with regular training your smell sense will get better as will your ability to smell.

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