The Power of Smell Training: Steps to Regain Your Sense of Smell

by Kirby Drake

The sense of smell, or olfactory sense, has been a vital tool for the survival and evolution of many organisms. Dating back to some of the earliest life forms, the ability to detect odors allowed them to locate food, avoid predators, and find suitable mates. As humans evolved, smell continued to play a crucial role in our social interactions and behavior. From recognizing familiar scents to being repelled by unpleasant ones, our sense of smell can significantly influence our preferences and personality. The smell can trigger memories and emotions, explaining why a certain scent can make us feel nostalgic or even change our mood. Our olfactory sense is essential for survival and shaping who we are.

Understanding Smell Loss

What is anosmia?

Imagine being unable to smell your favorite foods or the fresh scent of flowers. Anosmia, the complete loss of sense of smell, can greatly impact a person's daily life. Although it is often a temporary condition caused by a stuffy nose from a cold, it can be a more permanent issue for some. Anosmia has been identified as a potential symptom of COVID-19, making it all the more important to pay attention to changes in your sense of smell


Whether temporary or long-lasting, losing this sense affects a person's ability to detect odors and fully experience the world around them. Individuals who experience anosmia may unknowingly consume spoiled or rancid foods as they cannot detect odors indicating spoilage. Additionally, those with anosmia may be oblivious to toxic pollutants or smoke-filled air.

Causes of anosmia

For most people, nasal congestion from a cold, allergy, sinus infection, or poor air quality is the leading reason for losing their sense of smell. This condition, known as anosmia, can be incredibly frustrating and significantly alter how you experience everyday activities like eating or cooking. 

However, several other causes can lead to anosmia, including exposure to toxic chemicals, injury to nerves in the nose or head trauma, and even certain medications. Interestingly, our sense of smell is most acute between the ages of 30 and 60 and tends to weaken as we age. Medical conditions like Parkinson's disease, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and even treatment for head and neck cancers can also lead to anosmia. Let’s not forget the global pandemic. According to the US News and World Report, 86% of patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 experienced issues with their sense of smell, while an equal number reported changes in taste perception. These findings illustrate just how widespread this symptom is. 

Although losing your sense of smell may sometimes be an early warning sign of a severe underlying medical problem, it is a temporary and manageable condition in most cases.

Can smell loss be treated?

Our sense of smell is a powerful tool that shapes our experiences and memories daily. However, when anosmia strikes, it can leave us feeling disconnected from the world around us. Fortunately, many cases of anosmia can be treated by addressing the underlying cause. Whether it's sinusitis, nasal polyps, or side effects of certain medicines, treatment options like antibiotics, surgery, or a simple medication switch may help you regain this important sensory ability and improve your quality of life. In addition to the treatment, many specialists also suggest Smell Training to reawaken the olfactory nerves, especially if anosmia is caused due to a bacterial or viral infection or by an injury to the head. 

When should you seek medical attention?


Suppose you lose your sense of smell because of temporary conditions like the common cold, allergies, or sinus infections. In that case, it usually resolves on its own as the underlying condition runs its course. However, seeking medical attention is crucial if the anosmia persists even after the other symptoms have subsided. Your doctor can identify the underlying cause and suggest appropriate treatment to help restore your sense of smell. 

What is Smell Training? 

The sense of smell is often taken for granted, but for those with olfactory dysfunction, it can significantly impact their daily life. Olfactory training, also known as smell training, is a non-invasive and non-pharmacological treatment option that aims to improve or remediate olfactory functioning. This therapy involves repeated exposure to various odorants twice daily for at least 16 weeks. Olfactory training benefits those with post-infectious, post-traumatic, idiopathic olfactory dysfunction, and even olfactory dysfunction due to Parkinson's disease. With its intended neuroplastic effect, this therapy offers patients a renewed sense of smell and a newfound appreciation for the scents around them.

How does smell training work?

Patients participating in olfactory or smell training adhere to a carefully designed routine in which they are exposed to four different odors from essential oils - rose, clove, eucalyptus, and lemon, twice daily for at least 16 weeks. This technique operates under the premise that the nerves responsible for our sense of smell can be reinforced by consistently sniffing these four scents. As part of the standard olfactory training, patients are encouraged to indulge in this sensory journey twice a day, preferably once in the morning before breakfast and once in the evening before bedtime. It is crucial for patients to maintain continuous and uninterrupted 20 to 30 seconds of sniffing on each odor, ensuring optimal effectiveness.

Benefits of smell training

  1. Patients suffering from olfactory loss have been found to greatly benefit from smell training with various odors, significantly improving their overall olfactory function. 
  2. It has been hypothesized that olfactory training can enhance sensitivity towards the specific odors used in the training process, resulting in a notable increase in olfactory function. 
  3. Furthermore, it has been observed that in some cases, smell training has alleviated pain, improved mood, and induced a profound sense of relaxation. 
  4. A variety of essential oils, such as lavender, rose, lemon, clove, and many others, have been found to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression effectively.

How frequently to do smell training

Patients should incorporate sniffing exercises into their daily routine for effective olfactory or smell training. It is recommended to sniff twice daily - ideally once in the morning before breakfast and once in the evening before bed. Patients should focus on each of the four scents individually, inhaling gently and freely through their nose for a duration of 20-30 seconds. While doing so, it is crucial to make a conscious effort to recall memories associated with each scent.

Rewiring neural connections in the brain is a significant challenge that requires diligence. This requires patience and persistence, so the patient should commit to twice-daily sessions with all four essential oils for a minimum of 12-16 weeks.

The importance of consistency

Smell therapy goes beyond the mere act of sniffing fragrances. It requires patients to immerse themselves in each scent’s significance. The ultimate aim is to recondition the mind and the olfactory system to identify these smells. Although the precise biological process underlying smell therapy's effectiveness remains somewhat elusive, research indicates that restoring olfactory senses involves harnessing the power of neuroplasticity, which only happens after a period of time. This remarkable phenomenon entails the creation of new neurons and the establishment of fresh connections within the olfactory processing system. Consistent and regular exposure to the four odors has been known to result in significant improvement in patients suffering from smell loss. 

How to incorporate smell training into the daily routine

One of the main highlights of the essential oils available in today's market is that they come packaged in sleek, dark glass bottles with airtight lids. However, it's important to note that directly inhaling the scent from a jar may impede airflow and potentially irritate the skin upon contact. Fortunately, there's a fantastic solution: nasal inhalers! These small and portable devices provide an effective way to indulge in smell therapy on a daily basis. Encasing the fragrant essence of nature's bounty, these leak-proof inhalers allow you to enjoy the soothing scents of essential oils whenever and wherever you desire. 

Smell Therapy Kit by MOXĒ


The MOXĒ Smell Therapy Kit is the ultimate science-based solution to help you reclaim your sense of smell swiftly and effortlessly. This innovative kit utilizes four enchanting scents - Rose, Eucalyptus, Lemon, and Clove essential oils - to stimulate and strengthen your olfactory nerves. Immerse yourself in the natural and authentic aroma of these 100% natural essential oils, extracted directly from their respective plants and free from artificial additives or synthetic chemicals.

Embrace the convenience of our ready-to-use essential oil nasal inhalers - compact and effective for your smell training journey. You can avoid the hassle of ordering expensive essential oil bottles or dripping oil into a jar. Our kit includes a comprehensive guide and personal log, ensuring a seamless and consistent path toward regaining your sense of smell. 


Smell therapy demands dedication, focus, and practice. Regaining the sense of smell is a journey that can span months or even longer, varying for each individual. Patience is paramount. For optimal outcomes, it is crucial to adhere to the routine diligently. Seek out a serene space where you can fully concentrate. Inhale gently through your nose, allowing the scent from the essential oils to envelop your senses for 20-30 seconds. Embrace the experience wholeheartedly, immersing yourself in cherished memories of that particular aroma.

Make it a habit to perform this routine twice daily using all four of our inhalers for a minimum of 12-16 weeks and track your progress in the provided Smell Log.

Let MOXĒ help you rediscover your sense of smell and enjoy the world around you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes smell loss?

Anosmia can stem from various factors, including infections like colds or flu, nasal polyps, or other obstructions. It's worth noting that the loss of smell is also a prevalent symptom associated with COVID-19.

Can smell loss be permanent?

Loss of sense of smell can either be temporary or permanent. Temporary anosmia may occur due to common conditions like allergies or a cold, which can irritate the lining of the nose. However, more severe conditions, such as brain tumors or head trauma, have the potential to cause permanent loss of smell, affecting the brain or nerves.

Is it necessary to seek medical attention for smell loss?

If you're experiencing a temporary loss of sense of smell due to conditions like the common cold, allergies, or sinus infections, rest assured that it usually resolves on its own as the underlying condition runs its course. However, seeking medical attention is essential if the anosmia persists even after the other symptoms have subsided. A healthcare professional can identify the root cause and provide suitable treatment options to help restore your sense of smell, ensuring your well-being is at its best.

Is smell training effective for everyone?

Smell training has been known to show improvement in patients suffering from bacterial and viral infections or patients recovering from head or nose surgery. However, there is no treatment for congenital anosmia, which causes permanent anosmia. 

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