Recover your senses with these smell training tips
Two years after the first lockdown, loss of smell and taste is still one of the most talked about symptoms of COVID, and one that can hang around long after recovery.
Flavour is one of the great loves of life, so we’re helping food lovers reconnect with flavour through smell training. We’ve teamed up with the smell loss charity AbScent to create our limited edition Flavour Saviour kit, to help you re-engage your lost senses and fall back in love with food.
What is smell training?
Smell training helps stimulate your smell receptors, and is scientifically shown to help recover lost senses. Don’t think of it as a cure, more as a helpful tool that you can use every day to support your natural recovery. Like physio for your nose.
Just like physio, smell training takes time. By adding this activity to your routine you’re helping to speed up your recovery. Expect to train twice a day for at least four months, but remember everyone is different.
How does smell training work?
You’ll need a smell training kit to get started. Alternatively, you can find the chosen scents in your own kitchen cupboards. The four scents you’ll need are rose, lemon, eucalyptus, and clove. These are selected by AbScent as specific scents that are great at stimulating your smell receptors.
- Get comfy somewhere nice and quiet. Hold one of the scents to your nose. Take a few short sniffs for about 20 seconds. Focus…
- It can help to imagine the smell. Floral soap, lemon cough drops, spa days, Christmas scented candles… remember all the other senses connected with that smell and fix them in your mind. Looking at images can help too.
- Make some notes on your experience. It’s a good idea to make monthly notes about your training. You can even score your experience if it’s helpful, using a 0-5 score for strength and likeness of each of the smells.
- Have a little break after each one, just 30 seconds to clear your mind (and your nose), before taking the same approach with the next scent.
Remember recovery is full of ups and downs, and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Heads up, as much as smell training is medically recommended for smell loss, these tips are just an educational resource. They’re not meant to replace advice from a doctor or medical professional, and shouldn’t be used to self-diagnose.
Have you lost your sense of smell or taste? Head to our Flavour Saviour microsite for tips and recipes that will help bring back the joy of mealtimes.
AbScent is a UK charity founded by Chrissi Kelly, inspired by her personal journey of recovery from smell loss. Today, AbScent is driving change to end smell disorders, funding world-class research to find treatments and a cure. They share information to provide the best support and trusted information to anyone affected by anosmia or smell disorders.
Find out more about smell training at abscent.org