🎓 Training your Nose: How to Identify and Discuss Scent


Coffee. Fresh-baked cookies. Christmas tree. Burnt toast. Wet dog. Cinnamon. Mint.

These are pretty universal smells, but often it’s a little more difficult to pick out what we are detecting, especially when it’s in a glass of wine or bottle of soap. It smells good! is a wonderful way to let someone know you enjoyed the experience, but not very helpful when it comes to actually describing

What we need is a rubric/framework to categorize, identify, and describe what we are smelling. Here are some well-known “fragrance wheels” you’ll find helpful in finding just the right descriptor.

Armed with these magic scent decoder rings, now’s the time to engage in an olfactory workout, so grab your favorite yoga pants, and brew a cup of tea, because you’re going to want to watch this short video on how to improve your sense of smell. You, too, can be the life of the party with your newfound nasal acuity!

For example, next time when getting together with your foodie friends over wine, play “name that spice” - it’s surprisingly fun and challenging, and a great way to train your nose and palate!

Week 17 Update

This is very helpful.


I’m not sure if this suggestion goes anywhere. I know people in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s
start to lose their sense of smell. I wonder if something like the video we just saw could help hold back some of the loss if people would be willing to “retrain” how they smell?


Emgie, that’s actually a good idea. I wonder if they even try to do something like this with those in homes and such. I do know that also, loss of smell is a real sign that something is really wrong. I think study says it’s a sign of
impending death! So maybe it’s more deeper than just their minds but we’d never know if we didn’t try!Cool video. I almost love smelling brewed coffee over drinking it some days. The smell of honeysuckle takes me back to my childhood. Our noses are so neat!


I love the power of scents. Downy Fabric softener reminds me of summers at my Aunts house helping her hang towels outside to dry. The smell of windsong perfume brings me to tears because it’s all my mother ever wore. So many smells bring me back to different times. I often choose my shampoo and body wash based off its smell lol. This was a very interesting video


This video was wonderful to watch. I love walking into a grocery store and smelling fresh baked bread or cookies. I think they do this on purpose to entice you to purchase more groceries. I personally love to get right under the mane of my horses and smell them. The warmth of the body heat makes the particular scent much stronger. I know this is probably so very odd of me to admit but it just relaxes my mind and always makes me smile. I love puppy breath and the scent of a newborn baby as well. These are my happy triggers.



I always notice different scents as I shop.
Each store I walk in has a unique fragrance.
I think if I were blindfolded, I would be able to tell you where I am at.
Even grocery stores have a unique scent from one another.

And just the smell of coffee from any coffee shop makes me feel happy!


Fun fact: Physical exercise is the only activity that has been proven to help ward off dementia/Alzheimer’s
when used as part of your daily regimen.

(Source: I was discussing this with a doctor friend earlier this week.)


Me too, every time!



Going to be very strange when my daughter goes to school and I smell… school cafeteria!


This was very interesting, I base alot of my purchases for things like soaps, shampoo, body wash on the way they smell. I love a product with a nice fresh scent!.


I find I like different scents for different products and it’s always different for each. Such as, I love woodsy scents for candles, fresh scents for bath products, fruity for shampoo, flower scents for wax’s and so on. I totally agree and love how someone said how different scents can bring us right back to a certain place and time in our lives.


my mom used to do that with me, make me close my eyes and smell something to name the scent. it was hard at first, it got easier because she rotated the same things which now i can smell out those specific scents now, but others are still hard to name. they smell familiar but yeah you definitely have a good topic here. smells are aromatherapy they can relax you, de-stress you,
they can bring back a good memory , remind you of being on a beach laying against a palm tree watching the waves roll in, scent is important in things like soaps, shampoo. conditioner, lotion, and body wash.
i am going to have to play name that scent with my daughter, i had forgotten all about that. :slight_smile:


I definitely prefer floral and woodsy/ earthy scents which is funny because they are sort of opposite on the charts! Any naturesque smell and I’m all for it. Artificial fragrances on the other hand really bother me no mater what type of scent it is. I find artificial fragrance to be overbearing and causes me headaches.


As a proud papa of my 6 month old baby girl, I agree.
I’m addicted to smelling her sweet breath, brings me so much joy :slight_smile:


This was really interesting and I totally agree that certain scents and smells definitely trigger feelings of happiness and nostalgia. Everytime I smell a certain tanning lotion, I remember when I was really young playing outside with my little sister while my mom suntanned. Also, the smell of Auntie Anne’s pretzels makes me think of the mall everytime. I love how something as simple as a scent can cause us to feel so happy.


Such an awesome way of looking at scents! Very helpful in looking and talking about the categories of scents that I’m drawn to!


I saw that Australian Gold makes a body wash now! I had to stop and smell cause that scent also takes me back to being on the beaches in Maryland where I grew up.


I loved the look on the wife’s face when he was sniffing her head in bed.Great suggestions!


Yes, coffee and honeysuckle. We had this crummy wire fence separating us from the school next door when I was a kid, but it was covered in honeysuckle. We used to suck on the blossoms. Considering all the other things growing around it it’s amazing we didn’t poison ourselves, but no, we got excited every year when the blossoms came!As for coffee, a little rough on the stomach but I would definitely wear coffee-scented anything!
Good scents to work with!