How to Tell If You Smell

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Use Coffee to Reset Your Scent Palate

While you’re conducting these smelling tests, it can help to have a scent palate refresher. Something you can sniff to reset your nose before you take a whiff of your clothes, armpits, fingers, or breath. Coffee, fore example, is a strong, single-scent component that gives the receptors in your nose a quick break from what it’s been smelling all day (you). That’s why department stores keep coffee beans handy in the perfume section. You can smell a perfume, reset with some coffee, then smell a different perfume. Coffee is also easy to access for most people. It’s in the break room of almost every type of workplace, and it’s easy to snag a little before stealing away to smell yourself.

However, coffee doesn’t give your nose a total reset. As Pamela Dalton, a psychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, explains at Washington Post, our sense of smell doesn’t reset and recover as quickly as our other senses. To fully refresh your scent palate it could take several weeks. That’s why you can sometimes notice the smell of your house after you’ve been on vacation. And since you can’t really get away from your own body, there’s no way to completely regain your nose’s sensitivity to your own odors. Still, a coffee refresh is better than nothing when you really want to make sure you aren’t stinky.

Ask Someone You Trust

Last but not least, you can ask somebody you trust to smell you and tell it to you straight. Without a doubt, this is the most effective method. It’s not ideal to ask your partner, or someone you live with, though, since they’re also fairly used to your smell. Ask a coworker or friend and tell them to be honest. It’s a little awkward, but hey, it’s guaranteed to work.

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