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How Does Scent Really Work?

We don’t give our noses enough credit for the work it does for us. The way smell works is much more complicated than any of us could imagine, but understanding the basics allows us to be more appreciative of the sense.

The Process of Smell

 

When we sense a smell there is a process that the odour molecules go through before our brain realizes it is actually a smell and our reaction to it. The odour molecules in the air travel to the back of our nose touching our sensory neurons that contain proteins, which bind the odour molecules and send a signal to our brains. Each of these receptors can be activated by different odour molecules, some harder to activate than others. This process is what allows us to detect a specific scent such as a birthday cake or coffee.

Why Do We Go Nose Blind?

Nose blind is a term you have likely heard in a commercial about air fresheners or other such products. When we are exposed to a particular scent over a long period of time the receptors stop sending a signal to our brain, which means we no longer detect the scent – this is being nose blind. 

Going nose blind is a natural reaction from our bodies that we cannot stop from happening. Most of the time we have no idea this process is even occurring. Although we cannot prevent going nose blind, we can reduce the effects.

Decreasing Nose Blindness

Since we can’t prevent going nose blind, it’s important to find ways to decrease its effects so you can still figure out what scent is in your home.

 

Tip #1: Get Sweaty

This may not be the first thing you think of when wanting to figure out what your house smells like, but science says it works. Scientists don’t know the direct link to why this works but go for a run come home and see what happens.

 

Tip #2: Coffee

Have you ever been in a perfume shop or even our candle cave and noticed the little shakers of coffee beans? This is because the scent off coffee helps cleanse the nose palate. Take a whiff of your bag of coffee or even a fresh brewed pot to get reduce nose blindness.

 

Tip #3: Vacate the Room

This is the most obvious tip, but if you can no longer smell a particular scent you have in a room leave for at least ten minutes. You can leave the house entirely if you want, but the room itself is fine. You’ll notice when you return that your nose will capture the scent again.

Getting the Most Scent Out of Your Candles

Surprise – all this talk about scent and how our noses work is to help you get the most scent out of our soy wax candles. 

It’s important to understand that soy wax burns at a lower temperature than paraffin wax, which means the scent throw is not as strong as a paraffin wax candle. If you light our soy wax candle in an area that has high ceilings and an open concept the amount of smell that fills the room will be less than a bathroom with no window.

 Depending on which of our candles you are burning, some scents will naturally be stronger than others. For example, our But First, Coffee Soy Wax Candle is much stronger smelling than our Freshen Up Soy Wax Candle. Choose your scents based on how strong you like the smell to be.

You can protect the scent of our candle by not burning it for more than 4 hours. When you burn our candles for more than 4 hours, the candle gets too hot burning off the scent faster. This means that when you light our candle again the smell will not be as strong. For example, if you burn your candle for 9 hours, you remove 5 hours of scent throw.

If you can’t smell the scent, follow the tips above to help decrease your nose blindness.

 Click here to download The Scented Market Wax Facts & Candle Care Tips.