How to smell train

Your step-by-step guide to smell training

What you will need

To begin smell training, you will need a kit. The original smell training essential oils were rose, lemon, clove and eucalyptus. These remain the standard fragrances for smell training kits, but there is no reason why you can’t choose your own oils based on your personal preference.

You can buy a smell training kit here, or make your own.

Follow these instructions to assemble your own smell training kit in English, en Españolem Português, in Italiano and en Français.

When you buy an AbScent Original Smell Training Kit all proceeds go straight back to the charity to help others living with smell disorders. 

Before you begin

It’s helpful to make a note of how your smell is right now. You can compare your level of smell and experiences today and after a couple of months of smell training. It will help you see your progress.

Click through to our self-assessment guide. 

Now get started

Sit somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed.

Open a jar and hold it close to your nose. Take some gentle sniffs for 20 seconds. During this time, really concentrate on what you are doing. If you’re using lemon, focus your thoughts on lemon. Try to block out any intrusive thoughts. Be as attentive as you can and try to recall what your experience of lemon was.

Take a few breaths and move on to the next fragrance. Work through all four in turn.


Little and often

The Snif app has been designed to give you lots of visual cues to help your training. It’s an easy way to make sure you are smelling for the right length of time.

You will need to smell train twice daily, and you need to make it a habit for a minimum of four months. It helps if you keep your kit near your bed, so you remember to train both in the morning and in the evening before you go to sleep.

Be prepared - it will take time, this is not a quick fix.



Even if you can’t smell anything today, start training and give it a shot. A damaged olfactory nerve has a good chance to repair itself, and smell training is the way you can help that happen faster.

Many people feel they are “not ready” to start smell training after their injury or virus. It’s really important to understand that the earlier you begin, the greater the benefit to you in the long run. Losing your sense of smell can be so hard, and it is easy to feel discouraged and down. Smell training is a positive step you can take for yourself. It’s a way you can take control of the situation. 

Want to hear from others who are smell training? Request access to our Facebook forum and find moral support and advice from others living with smell loss.​​​​​​