improving sense of smell: 3 posts

Professional Perfumery Training and tips for improving sense of smell

I’ve made a video explaining how professional perfumery training is organized. My explanation is based on my own experience as a perfumer student at IFF. I will also point out a few tips that anyone can use to develop a sharper, more acute sense of smell.

Ever since I’ve posted the video, I’ve received several comments to continue the series, so the next video on the topic of professional training will be on the Jean Carles method of learning raw materials.

I hope that you like the videos, and if you have any specific topics that you would like me to cover, please let me know.

Scent Diary : Wine and Strawberries

One of my weekly pleasures is a Friday market that takes place on a small square not too far from my apartment building. It starts late in the afternoon to fit the working hours, and by 6 pm, the jagged rectangle surrounded by grey limestone buildings teems with EU workers in suits, moms with strollers, elderly ladies with pulling carts and just about anyone who lives in the area.  I come here as much for the produce as for the smells and also for an occasional glass of wine with a friend; I’ve yet to encounter a Belgian market without a drink stand! The market inspires me to experiment in the kitchen and to write in my scent diary (provided that said wine consumption was kept in check.)

strawberry salad

Many of you have asked me to make Scent Diary a regular feature, a place where we can share the scents we encounter. Being aware of different scents throughout the day is the best way to sharpen your sense of smell, while writing down the recollections improves your aromatic vocabulary and memory.

Whether you write down 1 recollection or 10 matters less than simply reminding yourself to smell. You can add as many comments as you wish. You can comment today or over the course of the week; this thread will always be open. Of course, do share what perfume you’re wearing or what particularly good fragrance you’ve discovered.

I wish my friends in the US a wonderful Memorial Day celebration, and the rest of us a relaxing, sunny weekend! I’m wearing Chanel Beige, and we will have this savory-sweet salad with strawberries, arugula and mozzarella for lunch. The rest of my scent diary will be in the comments.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Smelling Exercise : Perfume Around You

In Workout for the Nose : How to Improve Your Sense of Smell I outlined several exercises that will improve your sense of smell. They are guaranteed to give results if you devote at least some time to smelling consciously. But  as I’ve found in my own training, the best results come from doing these exercises with someone else. Not only do you get more motivated to follow through, but you also learn from the observations of others.


So, let’s devote this week to the most basic–and the most effective–smelling exercise. It involves noting the scents you encounter in your day-to-day life and writing them down at the end of each day this week. We can then comment on each other’s fragrant experiences, share our own, and learn to use our noses more often.

Continue reading →

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Latest Comments

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  • Ciara in Summer Cologne for Winter: I have found myself wearing Oyedo by Diptyque lately. The uplifting scent has been very invigorating for the wet, gray days. This scent for me was instantly appealing, but when… January 16, 2022 at 2:06pm

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  • Victoria in Summer Cologne for Winter: I like the idea! I can’t think of any bath oil with a strong galbanum accord, unless Chanel No 19 has bath products. My sense is that it’s best to… January 16, 2022 at 11:22am

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