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Questions about smell training

Answering your smell training questions

How long does it take to get better?

For many people, the sense of smell will recover naturally after two or three weeks. For people who don't experience this spontaneous return, the recovery period can take many months and in some cases, a couple of years. Smell training has been demonstrated to help recover faster, but it an still take many weeks.

Do I have to use essential oils?

No, any smell will do! It is the act of sniffing mindfully that supports the recovery process, not any property of what you smell.

Essential oils are widely available and easy to use, but make sure you put a few drops on a pad - never sniff directly from the bottle. There is no evidence that particular odours or organic oils offer any additional benefit.

How often do I change my fragrances?

If you've made your own smell training kit, we recommend topping up with a few drops of oil every two or three weeks. The AbScent Smell Training Kits are designed for up to four months use without topping up, but you will notice the fragrance fades over time.

After three or four months using the same fragrances you may want to one or two extras or try a completely new set.

I lost smell after a head injury, will smell training help?

It depends on the nature of your injury. In some cases, olfactory nerves are permanently damaged and will not recover. However, if you can detect any smell at all, there is a chance that smell training will help. It has been shown that the earlier a patient begins smell training, the better the chances of recovery, but it's never too late to start.

I’ve lost my smell as I’ve got older, will smell training help?

It's common to lose smell in later life and smell training can help to maintain function, but it may not restore your ability to smell as you could before. Smell training has been shown to be more beneficial than daily sudoku puzzles for maintaining quality of life.

For many people, the sense of smell will recover naturally after two or three weeks. For people who don't experience this spontaneous return, the recovery period can take many months and in some cases, a couple of years. Smell training has been demonstrated to help recover faster, but it an still take many weeks.

No, any smell will do! It is the act of sniffing mindfully that supports the recovery process, not any property of what you smell.

Essential oils are widely available and easy to use, but make sure you put a few drops on a pad - never sniff directly from the bottle. There is no evidence that particular odours or organic oils offer any additional benefit.

If you've made your own smell training kit, we recommend topping up with a few drops of oil every two or three weeks. The AbScent Smell Training Kits are designed for up to four months use without topping up, but you will notice the fragrance fades over time.

After three or four months using the same fragrances you may want to one or two extras or try a completely new set.

It depends on the nature of your injury. In some cases, olfactory nerves are permanently damaged and will not recover. However, if you can detect any smell at all, there is a chance that smell training will help. It has been shown that the earlier a patient begins smell training, the better the chances of recovery, but it's never too late to start.

It's common to lose smell in later life and smell training can help to maintain function, but it may not restore your ability to smell as you could before. Smell training has been shown to be more beneficial than daily sudoku puzzles for maintaining quality of life.